Zifa blesser or rather benefactor, Wicknell Chivayo’s decision to pay only some foreign-based Warriors their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification bonuses has left locally-based troops a disgruntled lot.
Chivayo promised the senior men’s football team $250 000 to be shared among players and officials as an incentive for qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations finals to be hosted by Gabon, but to date he has only paid some of the foreign-based players and no locally-based player has received anything.
Chivayo promised to give the players the money in June after they defeated the Flames of Malawi at home to secure qualification for the first time since 2006.
Locally-based players that were involved in the qualification campaign include Hardlife Zvirekwi, goalkeepers, Tatenda Mukuruva, Donovan Bernard, defender Elisha Muroiwa, Tafadzwa Kutinyu and Teenage Hadebe.
During the campaign, Bruce Kangwa, now in Tanzania, and Danny Phiri, who is plying his trade at Golden Arrows in South Africa, formed part of the locally- based contingent.
Some players, who spoke to NewsDay Sport said that they felt their efforts were not being appreciated since they were not benefitting from Chivayo’s handouts.
The controversial businessman had also promised to give the Warriors Samsung Galaxy S7 mobile phone handsets valued at around $1 000 each, but again only the foreign-based players benefitted.
The players said they were not happy with Chivayo’s selective nature of paying bonuses.
We were just asked to open accounts after our qualification and were promised that the money would be deposited,” one player said. “But we have not received anything. The same players that have been paid bonuses are the ones that were given mobile phone handsets and we did not get anything. It’s a bit frustrating when such promises are made in public, yet the payments are made in secrecy and selectively.”
Contacted for comment in early August Chivayo promised to pay off the players before their Guinea tie. But yesterday Chivayo threatened to pull the plug on the locally-based players’ bonuses.
“I do not owe any newspaper reporter any explanation about how I pay the players,” he said.
“I remain tirelessly committed to support the national team and Zifa during Philip Chiyangwa’s tenure. I will not give in to any pressure tactics, as I have, to date, wholeheartedly outlaid reasonably big amounts towards football.”
Chivayo said he had done a lot for the team including paying the players after their 1-0 defeat to Guinea in the final match of their Group L qualifier.
“Recently, I was in Guinea with the players. I gave them money after their defeat to Guinea. Ask them. Why would I give them money for a defeat? You and your editor don’t appreciate the role I am playing. But now, tell those players they will not get any cent from me again,” he fumed.
The 25 players and officials who travelled to Guinea were reportedly given $5 000 to share by Chivayo, translating to about $200 per individual if shared equally