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Dembare in conflict of interest, to be crowned Champions?

by Staff reporter
19 Oct 2022 at 05:57hrs | Views
FC PLATINUM could be made to pay dearly, including possibly having the Castle Lager Premiership football title which they are on the verge of winning forfeited, after they allegedly used an ineligible player, Juan Mutudza, in most of their games this season.

The 23-year-old midfielder has a running contract with Herentals until the end of this year.

But, in total disregard of that, Mutudza went on to join FC Platinum early this year and he has been instrumental in the Zvishavane miners' push for a fourth league title in a row.

This is despite the fact that Herentals wrote to the club over eight months ago advising them to stop playing Mutudza without their consent.

And after also writing to the Premier Soccer League several times over the same issue without any joy, the Students have now turned to the ZIFA Player Status Committee.

"We make reference to the above matter in particular to advise your good selves that Herentals FC is making a formal complaint against FC Platinum. The allegations are that FC Platinum have signed and/or registered our player by the name Juan Mutudza without our consent.

"We tried to engage FC Platinum and the Premier Soccer League by way of several correspondences but nothing materialised," wrote club secretary-general, Fainos Madhumbu, to the ZIFA Player Status Committee on October 5, 2022.

"We believe that FC Platinum committed an act of misconduct by signing or registering Juan Mutudza as their player because we still have a valid contract with him and as far as we are concerned he is still our player.

"By copy of this letter, we kindly request that you formally investigate the matter and conduct a disciplinary hearing as mandated by the standing rules and regulations of the Premier Soccer League."

Mutudza has featured in more than 15 games for the platinum miners in the league this season.

PSL spokesperson, Kudzi Bare, yesterday acknowledged her organisation was aware of the issue but referred this publication to ZIFA, who are the custodians of player registration across all divisions in this country.

According to the contract shown to The Herald, Mutudza's stay with Herentals is supposed to run out at the end of this year.

The player was loaned to Dynamos at the start of 2020 for one year but the two Harare clubs agreed that the midfielder be allowed to stay for a further year, given football had been washed away by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

After a decent showing with the Glamour Boys in which he helped them reach the Chibuku Super Cup semi-finals, Mutudza was supposed to revert back to Herentals at the start of this year.

However, DeMbare were still interested in his services and wanted to get him on a permanent basis before they opted to negotiate for another single year's loan deal after they realised he had only 12 months remaining on his contract with Herentals.

Dynamos chairman, Isaiah Mupfurutsa, confirmed yesterday they were in advanced negotiations with Herentals pertaining another year's loan for Mutudza when the player suddenly disappeared.

"I can confirm that we had a loan deal with Herentals for their player Juan Mutudza in 2021 after the player had failed to get a chance to play in 2020 which was the initial agreement," said Mupfurutsa.

"Herentals agreed to that deal and we had Mutudza for the rest of 2021. We were also interested in getting the player on a permanent basis but his management checked and confirmed with us early this year that he was still contracted to Herentals until the end of this year.

"We did the same and we decided to negotiate for another one-year loan deal. Everything was going well and we had agreed in principle to have the player.

"However, we then heard that the player had joined FC Platinum and we actually felt betrayed by Heentals."

Surprisingly, when The Herald called Timothy Mazhindu, who is responsible for player registration at ZIFA, he said Mutudza had first been registered as a permanent Dynamos player last year and his registration with FC Platinum suggested the midfielder had been signed from Dynamos.

But Dynamos boss Mupfurutsa made it clear Mutudza was only at DeMbare on loan not as their permanent player.

By yesterday, Herentals were still making follow-ups with ZIFA pertaining the issue.

FC Platinum spokesperson, Chido Chizondo, said she was not in a position to comment.

"I cannot comment on those player issues. Rather, you can find out more from ZIFA or the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe," said Chizondo.

Ideally, should FC Platinum be found on the south of statutes, they risk losing considerable points which can see them even relegated from the PSL.

In 2003, Dynamos fielded former striker Edmore Mufema, a player who had a running contract with Motor Action in their match against Lancashire Steel.

As a result, the Glamour Boys had three points docked from them and they went on to lose the championship to Amazulu by the same number of points.

Spirited efforts to regain the three points, including a High Court application by Dynamos, all came to nought.

In 2017, FC Platinum were warned against registering defender Lawrence Mhlanga by Chicken Inn who had a contract with the player.

Although the team tried to be brave, they were still forced to sideline Mhlanga for the entire season.

Herentals have indicated that they are determined to leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of justice.

FC Platinum are just a point away from claiming a fourth title in a row with four games to play but things could turn upside down.

Second-placed Dynamos, who suffered the pain and hurt of using an ineligible player in 2003, could end up as the beneficiary of the alleged failure by FC Platinum to practice due diligence in getting Mutudza on board while Chicken Inn will also have a chance of winning a second title in six years.

Mutudza has been one of the key figures in FC Platinum's quest for the championship.

He galvanised a team which has been together for more than three years and their run in the league has not been surprising given this is a team which managed to retain 95 percent of their players from the 2019 squad.

FC Platinum were sent packing from the Chibuku Super Cup in the semi-finals on Sunday by the same club which could also haunt them in the boardroom.

Source - The Herald