FUZ give ZIFA Ultimatum on Chirinda saga Obriel Chirinda

Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter

FOOTBALLERS Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) are getting increasingly frustrated with how authorities have been dealing with striker Obriel Chirinda’s raging transfer saga with the player’s trade union body on Monday giving ZIFA a 48-hour ultimatum to intervene.

Chirinda is at the centre of controversy after allegedly signing two contracts with giants Dynamos and reigning league champions Ngezi Platinum Stars.

The Warriors fringe player reportedly first put pen to paper when Dynamos representatives visited him in Bulawayo in December.

Despite having a running contract with Bulawayo Chiefs then, Chirinda accepted a deal with the Glamour Boys’ agents who paid him half of the amount they had agreed which is understood to be around US$6 000.

However, Dynamos hit a brick wall as they tried to negotiate with Bulawayo Chiefs to release the player.

It was during that period that league champions Ngezi Platinum Stars came knocking on the door for the player’s services and everything sailed through.

The Premier Soccer League even registered Chirinda as a Ngezi player and issued him with a licence.

Dynamos then approached the PSL with documents to prove that Chirinda was their player instead and the league subsequently withheld the striker’s licence citing that the matter had to be cleared first before he could be allowed to turn out for Ngezi.

Since then, Chirinda has been grounded, despite training with Takesure Chiragwi’s team.

The Premiership will begin Match Day 8 fixtures this afternoon but there will be no sign of Chirinda who scored 12 goals last season and helped Bulawayo Chiefs achieve a mid-table finish.

Chirinda appeared to aid Dynamos’ complaint when he signed an affidavit admitting to having entered into a deal with the Harare giants before going into bed with Ngezi.

However, FUZ feels the player has been given a raw deal by the domestic football authorities.

FUZ president Desmond Maringwa is not happy with the manner the PSL has handled the matter.

He said they had been engaging the league since March 19 to no avail.

In the only correspondence they have sent to FUZ, PSL, insisted that they were not changing their stance to withhold Chirinda’s licence.

“Obriel Chirinda has two contracts with Dynamos and Ngezi Platinum Stars FC. Further, the player received money from Dynamos FC as per the (attached) affidavit. There is no evidence to show that the money was paid back to Dynamos FC.

“We, therefore, advise the player to regularise his contractual situation before he can be allowed to participate in Premier Soccer League competitions,” wrote PSL chief executive Kenny Ndebele in response to one of the FUZ’s many inquiries last month.

Seeing that their continued engagement with the PSL has not yielded a conclusion to the saga, FUZ decided to approach ZIFA for some respite.

In their letter to ZIFA chief executive Yvonne Manwa dated April 2, 2024, FUZ pleaded with the mother body to intervene in the matter.

“We are deeply concerned with the way the matter of Obriel Chirinda is being handled by the Premier Soccer League and we have reminded them that they are not supposed to hold on to a player’s licence to play since his registration was done by the regulations on the registration of players and it is against the principles of natural justice,” wrote FUZ secretary-general Wonder Sithole.

“PSL has no right to adjudicate nor pass a decision in any dispute involving a player and a club as this is the sole responsibility of the FA’s competent judiciary body.

“This case has not been brought to ZIFA by any club so as far as we are concerned there is no dispute brought in light of the DRC (Dispute Resolution Chamber) responsible for dealing with this matter . . .

“We appeal to your esteemed office to intervene and correct this anomaly before it causes more harm to football as we believe procedural rules should take precedence in all matters regardless of what we perceive to think or know.”

But exactly 20 days after sending the correspondence to ZIFA, FUZ has also not heard from the Normalisation Committee running ZIFA.

And on Monday, Sithole made a follow-up with Manwa giving the association a 24-hour ultimatum to intervene.

“We are making a follow-up on the matter exactly 20 days after our last communication and nothing has been done and the player’s licence is still being held up by the Premier Soccer League.

“This injustice must be eradicated in our football and I do not know why it takes this long for the association to follow laid down regulations in allowing the player to play for his registered club since no case was reported and again even if there is a dispute because such pending disputes should not stop players from rendering service by the FIFA RSTP.”

Chirinda was one of the hottest properties on the market in the off-season after a solid season at Bulawayo Chiefs which he capped by winning the Soccer Star of the Year runner-up medal.

His 12 goals made him the second-best scorer in the league with a goal behind Golden Boot winner Takunda Benhura of Ngezi.

But in a year, he was expected to reach new heights, Chirinda remains on the sidelines watching in agony as Ngezi struggles in front of goal, thanks to the ongoing saga.

The raging dispute has also diminished his chances of making the Warriors’ squad ahead of the senior team’s World Cup qualifying campaign.

Chirinda had appeared to have found his way into the national team during Brazilian coach Brito’s short stint with the Warriors.

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