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Zifa sticks to player contracts resolution

by Staff reporter
03 May 2021 at 06:23hrs | Views
THE stage is set for a contest between players and clubs, with Zifa sticking to its resolution that player contracts that expired in December should be rolled over to this year, following complaints by the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ).

Caps United have already challenged the movement of some of their players, demanding some form of compensation after they signed players who have moved on without kicking a ball for them.

The 2020 Premier League season was abandoned due to COVID-19-induced lockdowns.

Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela yesterday said the association was sticking to a statement it made at the end of last year, which it claims was in line with Fifa guidelines.

The statement, issued by Zifa in December, read: "Where an agreement is due to expire at the original end date of the season, such expiry be extended until the new end date of the season, or alternatively, in the event that the 2020 season is called off, the end date of the next ensuing season. Loan transfer agreements which are due to expire at the original end date of the season are extended until the new end date of the season, or alternatively, in the event that the 2020 season is called off, the end date of the next ensuing season. Employment contracts which are due to commence at the mid-season break are extended to expire at the new mid-season break to be set by the governing relevant Zifa affiliates.

"Where an agreement is due to continue at the original start date of a new season, such commencement be delayed until the new start date of a new season. Notwithstanding the aforementioned recommendations, parties are to abide by the contractual obligations in respect to payment of the agreed salaries, and other payments due to the players during the subsistence of the contract. The aforementioned guidelines are in line with the general guidelines made by Fifa and are amended so as to suit our season and circumstances."

Last week, FUZ wrote to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) indicating otherwise, but the league resolved on Friday that player contracts should roll over to this year following inactivity in football for the past 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This is even more regrettable since Fifa, in the Fifa COVID-19 guidelines, instructed its member associations to engage with players' unions at domestic level. We would like to stress that the guidelines which were issued on December 31, 2020 do not make it sufficiently clear that the recommended points are not binding on players and clubs. In other words, we feel that it has not been made sufficiently clear that these are just recommendations from Zifa and that for any and all amendments to be made to loan/transfer agreements and employment contracts, the consent of all parties is required, including consent of the player," FUZ said.

The footballers said Fifa "suggested" an extension of contracts.

"In any case, Fifa never proposed to extend the contracts of the parties with a full additional year. We would add that according to the Fifa guidelines, as a matter of principle, existing employment agreements shall be governed by the national law referred to in the agreement and/or an existing collective bargaining agreement and the contractual autonomy of the parties ... so we urge clubs to negotiate with players on new contracts for the 2021 season," FUZ said.

After the PSL annual general meeting on Friday, PSL vice-chairman Lifa Ncube said: "We will stand guided by Zifa on player contracts. We will stick to Zifa guidelines and we resolved on contracts roll over."

There was a significant movement of players last year and Gwesela insists that any such movement should be by mutual agreements between clubs.

Brian Banda moved from Highlanders to FC Platinum last year after his contract expired in June together with Tinashe Makanda, while Innocent Mucheneka is said to be at FC Platinum from Caps United.

Caps United's Newman Sianchali is said to be now at Dynamos, while Chicken Inn's Valentine Kadonzvo is at Ngezi Platinum, whose midfielder Michael Charama is now at the GameCocks.

Source - newsday

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