Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
CASH-strapped Bulawayo soccer giants Highlanders’ players will each pocket R500 (about $37) for the duration of their two-week pre-season camp in South Africa.
Bosso are expected to leave for South Africa this morning for the camp and will set up base in Polokwane for about five days. They will await confirmation from Bloemfontein Celtic for a proposed training match set for next week before travelling to the Free State provincial capital.
Distraught Bosso players told Chronicle Sport yesterday that while the idea of a pre-season camp in South Africa is noble, they felt insulted by the club’s offer of R500 for the duration of their stay.
“We understand that the club is facing financial challenges, but honestly going for more than 10 days away from home and getting an allowance of R500 is an insult. What makes this even bad is that they told us that we should be grateful for the R500 as they had intended to give us R100 each,” said one player.
Another player said they were told they could get more allowances in the event that the game against Bloemfontein Celtics is confirmed.
“We tried to raise our concerns that R500 is little and they told us we will get more if the game against Bloemfontein Celtics is cleared. They told us the money will come from gate takings. However, we asked what will happen if the game doesn’t materialise and they didn’t say anything. We know that it will be difficult to get a friendly or the game against Bloemfontein sanctioned because the South African league will have resumed from their mid-season break,” said the player.
The players questioned the club’s decision to travel to South Africa instead of using the meagre resources to organise a camp locally.
“When we travel for away league matches, we’re given $20 and now we’re going for over a week in South Africa and we get an equivalent of $35 for the whole stay.
“This doesn’t make sense. Why didn’t they organise a camp locally because that would have been cost effective. We are told that it’s supporters based in South Africa facilitating the camp, but is that why we are getting paltry allowances,” the player questioned.
They said the camp may fail to achieve its purpose of team building as they are not happy with the arrangements.
The players also said they feared being victimised for raising their concerns.
Efforts to get a comment on the players’ allegations from Highlanders’ acting chairman Modern Ngwenya and secretary-general Emmett Ndlovu, who is also the club’s acting chief executive officer, were fruitless.
Ngwenya’s phone rang unanswered. Ndlovu reacted angrily and told Chronicle Sport to seek comment from Ngwenya.
Article Source: The Chronicle