By Ricky Zililo
Bulawayo Chiefs have vowed to fight to the wire for a fair share from the sale of striker Perfect Chikwende to Simba SC of Tanzania by FC Platinum last week.
Chikwende signed a two-year deal with the Tanzanian league champions last Friday after his sale was hurried through.
Chiefs rang Zifa to halt the process of issuing the player with an international clearance, arguing that FC Platinum should give them their share from the deal since Chikwende was on loan at the Zimbabwe champions. He had been loaned to FC Platinum for the 2020 soccer season, but due to the lockdown enforced by the Covid-19 global pandemic, Zifa issued guidelines clarifying that contracts that were due to expire in 2020 would rollover into 2021.
The guidelines were taken from Fifa and Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela said they are binding.
“Those are guidelines that were adopted from Fifa. However, the underlining principle is that clubs and players should sit down and find solutions regarding these issues. Remember the coronavirus has brought some abnormal circumstances, so Fifa encourages them to sit down, the players and the clubs, and find solutions. These solutions should not inconvenience the player, that is what is encouraged,” said Gwesela.
FC Platinum are adamant that Chikwende is their player and argue that the player served his loan obligations when he featured for them in the Caf Champions League.
However, Chiefs are sticking to the Zifa guidelines, insisting that the local league was never played, hence the player has a running contract with them.
“Our 2020 loan agreement between FC Platinum and Bulawayo Chiefs FC over Tatenda Perfect Chikwende is still binding. Reference: April 2020 Fifa guidelines and a letter from Zifa dated 31 December 2020. All our player contracts for 2020 are still Valid until all obligations are fulfilled. This follows that no loan transfer fee will be charged to FC Platinum for Tatenda P Chikwende for (the) 2021 Soccer Season,” Chiefs said.
“We’re governed by the rules and regulations passed by Zifa. We believe that we have a strong case and we will continue to fight for what is rightfully ours. We are not out to get at the player, but we just need a fair share because the player in question had a contract with us and we played a role in his development.”
Part of the Zifa guidelines on player contracts read: “The delay in the commencement of the football season has brought about challenges in respect to employment contracts for the players and clubs. Those issues are to do with the following;
(i) Employment contracts which were due to expire at the original end date of the season.
(ii) Loan transfer agreements which are due to expire at the original end date of the season.
(iii) Employment agreements which are due to expire at the mid-season break.”
Zifa then proposed guidelines to govern the employment contracts subject to any other mutual agreement or arrangement that parties might have agreed on.
Parties were encouraged to have a mutual agreement that is beneficial to all parties concerned and Zifa emphasised that the guidelines are meant to provide a general guideline on how the contractual issues are to be governed during the Covid-19 pandemic era.
(a) Where an agreement is due to expire at the original end date of the season, such expiry be extended until the new end date of the season, or alternatively, in the event that the 2020 season is called off, the end date of the next ensuing season.
(b) Loan transfer agreements which are due to expire at the original end date of the season are extended until the new end date of the season, or alternatively, in the event that the 2020 season is called off, the end date of the next ensuing season.
(c) Employment contracts which are due to commence at the mid-season break are extended to expire at the new mid-season break to be set by the governing relevant Zifa affiliates.
(d) Where an agreement is due to continue at the original start date of a new season, such commencement be delayed until the new start date of a new season.
(e) Notwithstanding the aforementioned recommendations, parties are to abide by the contractual obligations in respect to payment of the agreed salaries, and other payments due to the players during the subsistence of the contract.
“The aforementioned guidelines are in line with the general guidelines made by Fifa and are amended so as to suit our season and circumstances,” the Zifa letter reads in part. The Chronicle.