TRIANGLE United players are up in arms with their club’s leaders over the way the Lowveld side are treating the death of vice-captain, Ronald Mudimu.
The veteran goalkeeper, who was 33 at the time of his death on Sunday, is set to be buried at Zororo Memorial Park in Chitungwiza today.
Eighteen first-team players staged a rebellion against the club’s officials when they were told they would not attend their colleague’s funeral.
Instead, they pooled their resources and hired a kombi, which took them from their base in the Lowveld to Chitungwiza, where they have been paying their last respects to the late goalkeeper.
‘‘We were told by the club’s officials that the protocol was that only six people, from the club, will travel for the funeral,’’ the players, through their representative, told The Herald.
“They said those attending will be the coach (Taurai Mangwiro), the captain and four others and we felt that was an insult to our colleague.
‘‘This is a man who gave everything for the cause of this club, he was at the club for about five years, and deserved better treatment than this.
‘‘We had a meeting and said if they can do this to our long-serving vice-captain, then what about the rest of us, it means they will also discard us, if we die.
‘‘That’s why we came together with each individual contributing to the hire of the kombi, which brought us here, so that we are there with our colleague, when he is lowered into his final resting place.
‘‘It’s disturbing to note that we people, who call themselves club officials, who really don’t care about players yet we are supposed to be the club’s most important asset.’’
The players said Mangwiro was only given clearance to travel for the funeral late yesterday.
‘‘As we are talking to you, right now, our coach is on the road, driving during the night, to come here and be there to say goodbye to his player,’’ they said.
‘‘Can you imagine, today is Tuesday and we are already in the evening, and burial is set for tomorrow (today) and the people who employed him, for the last five years, are not here? ‘‘His coach is driving through the night because he knows the importance of Ronnie, since our coach used to be a player before, and understands we are not happy with everything that has happened.
‘‘Ronnie’s contract is set to end in December (this month), we don’t think he will be given any form of pension, for the service he gave to Triangle United.
‘‘We doubt anything will come to his family because, even when he wasn’t feeling well, we could see that he wasn’t given the attention that we felt he deserved, by our club.
‘‘At one stage we had a meeting, as players, and decided that we should try and help him get specialist medical attention, which we felt he deserved, but we could not raise a significant amount of money because we haven’t been paid our signing-on fees.
‘‘Even Ronnie could have possibly visited a specialist, if he had been given his signing-on fees, and he would probably be alive today.
‘‘It’s a very sad story and we felt that the public has to know all this because we have lost someone who gave everything to our club but, when he needed the club’s helping hand, some officials felt he didn’t deserve it.’’
Only four players, who are sitting for exams, and striker Derlic Mulimba, who is not feeling well, did not travel with the players for the burial of their late teammate.
‘‘If they are going to sack us for choosing to be with one of us for choosing to say goodbye to someone who won us a trophy and took us into the CAF Confederation Cup, then they should fire us all,’’ they said.
‘’They are 18 players here and they can dismiss us all, at least we will go away knowing we stood for our friend and teammate and his soul will always guide us.’’
No comment could be obtained from Triangle United officials last night.