Cloud Fusire and Takudzwa Chitsiga
FOOTBALLERS Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Thomas Sweswe has castigated local football clubs for running out players’ contracts while having outstanding issues with them. He says this was destroying the careers of a number of young players who are losing faith in the game.
Addressing journalists at Motor Action Sports Club yesterday, where FUZ are preparing for “the out–of-contracts players tournament” to be held on Sunday, Sweswe said there were a high number of young talented players whose contracts were being left to run out by clubs.
However, those clubs would still have some outstanding issues with the players. Former Warriors coach Callisto Pasuwa will lead a Bulawayo Select side during that tournament.
“It is of great concern for the future of our football if we look at the number of young talented players whose contracts are being left to run out by our clubs,’’ said Sweswe.
“Every year, since we started our programme, the number of issues concerning unsolved issues between players and clubs are increasing and this is putting the future of our young generation at risk.
“Clubs should, at least, notify or release these players in time so that they can look for alternative teams instead of letting the players contracts run out all the time, especially without notifying them and resolving issues with them.’’
ZIFA communications and competitions manager Xolisani Gwesela urged clubs to follow football rules and ethics.
“We urge all clubs in the country to be professional and follow the code of ethics when dealing with players as it is stipulated in the club licensing which requires them to act in a professional way all the time,” said Gwesela.
Former Dynamos and Warriors defender Sweswe, however, believes that the FUZ programme of out-of-contracts tournament and training will present these players with an opportunity to resurrect their careers.
“But we believe that through the programmes we are doing around the country we will help these players with an opportunity to continue with their careers,’’ said Sweswe.
“At this forthcoming tournament on Sunday we have invited several coaches from the Premier League and Division One to come and watch.
“This will definitely help some players to be identified by these coaches.
“We are happy with the programme and in Harare we started on a high note with 33 players turning up on the opening day on Monday and we expect more players as we progress.
“We are running the training camp concurrently this time and there is a good response from the players.
“In Harare we have Tonderai Ndiraya and Naison Muchekela while for the Bulawayo players we have Calisto Pasuwa, Agent Sawu and Sithethelelwe “Kwinji 15” Sibanda as their coaches.’’
He said they were preaching more than just football.
“We have since shifted focus and spread our wings and last year we focused on drug abuse by players but this year we are running with the theme: “My budget, My future,” said Sweswe.
“It has since come to our attention that most players die as paupers after a long career because of mismanagement of their income and so, this year, we will be emphasising on that as well as life, skills and how to handle media fame.
“We are going to have some experts like Nick Munyonga on drug abuse and Tinashe Nengomasha on players’ contracts.
“There will be a lot of scouts and coaches and we are confident that some players will be signed as, at least, 10 players managed to get contracts last year.’’