By Ricky Zililo
Reigning Premier Soccer League champions FC Platinum have dismissed Bulawayo Chiefs’ claim for a share from the sale of striker Perfect Chikwende to Tanzanian champions Simba SC, saying they have no right to demand compensation.
Chikwende signed a two-year deal with Simba in January following a reported transfer fee of US$100 000.
Chiefs had blocked issuance of an international clearance to the player, but Zifa issued it and advised the two clubs to engage each other.
The Bulawayo side had argued that the player was on loan to the Zvishavane side and were, therefore, entitled to compensation.
Chikwende’s contract with Chiefs expired at the end of 2020, but since there was no football for the whole year the Bulawayo side believes the player’s loan agreement was still binding in the wake of a Zifa-issued guideline that contracts that were supposed to end in December last year should rollover into this year.
Responding to Chiefs’ letter of demand from club lawyers Job Sibanda and Associates, FC Platinum’s lawyers Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans Legal Practitioners insisted that the Bulawayo team misinterpreted Zifa-issued guidelines clarifying that contracts that were due to expire in 2020 would rollover into 2021.
“There is no factual or legal basis for your client’s demand. In the event that your client should institute any legal proceedings against our client then such proceedings will be vigorously opposed. At that point our client will make an appropriate claim for the resultant legal costs to be borne by your client.
“Your client’s desperate attempt to seek refuge in the Zifa and Fifa rules to suggest that Tatenda Perfect Chikwende was still its player is a transparent misinterpretation of facts which cannot be persisted on,” reads part of FC Platinum’s response.
The platinum miners stated that they signed a contract with Chikwende on January 4, 2021, after the player had turned down an offer by the Bulawayo side.
In its December 31, 2020, guidelines sent to affiliates, parties were encouraged to settle for mutual agreements that are beneficial to all parties concerned.
Zifa emphasised that the guidelines were aimed at providing a general guideline on how the contractual issues are to be governed during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.
“(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