Akbay downs tools

HARARE - Highlanders were thrown into turmoil yesterday, for the second day running, as coach Erol Akbay continues to refuse to attend training demanding the club pay him his outstanding dues.

The Dutchman did not attend the club’s training session on Tuesday and yesterday as well vowing to remain at home until he gets his signing-on fee dating back to last year.

“Right now I’m at home. I did not go to work today,” Akbay told the Daily News.

“They promised me that they would pay me my signing on fees upon my return from Netherlands after my break following the end of last season. Up until now they haven’t paid anything.”

Akbay, who led Bosso to a credible third place finish last year, also claimed that the Bulawayo giants are failing to meet some of their contractual obligations as well.

“They are also not paying my phone bill, fuel and Internet services. Until they honour their dues and obligations, I will not be turning up at training.”   

The Dutchman is also in a major fix since he cannot remit his earnings back home since Zimbabwe imposed a strict requirement to all foreign currency transactions.

Any individual or company that wants to transfer foreign currency outside Zimbabwe first has to seek approval from the central bank.

With United States dollars scarce in the local economy, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has put in place priority lists with sensitive industries occupying the top tier.

Highlanders acting-chief executive officer Emmert Ndlovu chose to be diplomatic when reached for comment claiming the coach did not attend the training sessions because he was not feeling well.

“As a club, we have always paid his salary timeously into his account unless there is something else that I don’t know is happening,” Ndlovu said.

“My understanding is that he did not attend Tuesday’s practice session because he wasn’t feeling well and if he didn’t pitch up again today (yesterday) maybe it could be the same reason.

“There’s nothing sinister about Highlanders as an institution, we can only go as far as playing our part in paying the coach but we cannot follow up on how he uses money paid to him.

“Generally, people are struggling to access their salaries in the bank that is what is obtaining in the country at the moment and we can only go as far as talking to our bankers to try and assist in the best possible way to ensure that what the coach wants is realised but the problem could even be beyond the bank itself.”

Unless Bosso find a solution to this impasse, they are in danger of spoiling what had started as a promising season.

Highlanders kicked off their 2017 Castle Lager Premiership season with a comfortable 2-0 win over Bulawayo City last weekend at Barbourfields Stadium.

Bosso got their goals through forward Prince Dude and Simon Munawa.

This weekend, they would surely be hoping to put aside their woes when they host premiership returnees Shabanie Mine at the same venue.

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