Decisive week for FC Platinum
Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
FC PLATINUM are this Friday scheduled to stand trial in one of the most fragile football cases that could end with the stripping of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title they won last year.
The Zvishavane miners have been hauled before the ZIFA Player Status Committee over their alleged fraudulent use of midfielder Juan Mutudza in the 2021-2022 Premiership campaign.
The impressive player, according to claims by Herentals, belongs to the Students who say his stay was supposed to lapse on November 30 last year.
The 23-year-old joined Herentals in 2018 where he reportedly signed a four-year contract that was supposed to run until last year.
He had been loaned to Dynamos for the whole of 2020 before the teams agreed to renew the temporary deal by a further year given the 2020 season had been washed away by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Upon the expiry of the loan, Mutudza was expected to revert back to his parent club.
Surprisingly, the Students learnt that he had joined FC Platinum after allegedly been ‘’fraudulently’’ cleared by Dynamos.
Herentals couldn’t blow the lead.
They instead approached FC Platinum to air their grievances.
The miners responded by offering Herentals what the latter labeled as a “bribe” to buy their silence. But the Students demanded Norman Mapeza’s side was supposed to stop using Mutudza in their matches as a prerequisite to the negotiations.
After some lengthy discussions, Mutudza was temporarily released from FC Platinum to pave the way for the negotiations
But after just three weeks of a deadlock, Mutudza rejoined FC Platinum with the former Budiriro Gunners man playing a significant role in the team’s fourth consecutive league title.
Mapeza also came to within one more title to equaling the legendary feat set by former Dynamos coach Callisto Pasuwa who remains the only coach to win four titles on the bounce with a single team.
Pasuwa won four straight league triumphs with Dynamos between 2011 and 2014.
On the other hand, Mapeza, contrary to what’s believed, has won three league titles with FC Platinum as the 2019 league title was delivered by Lizwe Sweswe at a time the former Warriors captain had just lost his job at Chippa United in South Africa.
Yet the title they won last year could be lost in the boardroom if FC Platinum are found on the south of the statutes.
Herentals have made frantic efforts to make sure the miners are hauled before a legally constituted board and answer to their alleged misdemeanors.
Acting ZIFA chief executive, Xolisani Gwesela, told The Herald the hearing had been set for Friday this week.
Herentals have fulfilled all the requirements including delivering summons to the three accused parties — FC Platinum, Mutudza and Dynamos.
They have since delivered the signed return of service to ZIFA to pave the way for what will be an eagerly awaited hearing and ruling.
“Herentals have fulfilled all the requirements as demanded by the authorities.
“The hearing date has thus been set for Friday (this week). Everyone concerned has been notified,” said Gwesela.
“Herentals delivered the return of service for all concerned parties last week and the date has accordingly been set.
“That is all I can say for now.”
It will be interesting to know what the outcome of the case will be.