By Eddie Chikamhi
DYNAMOS have dodged Fifa sanctions after they finally complied with the order to pay Cameroonian forward Christian Joel Epoupa his dues in a row that had dragged for over a year.
DeMbare owed the player US$16 775 but the Glamour Boys eventually paid US$22 722 because of accruing interests.
Epoupa walked out on the Glamour Boys at the beginning of last season citing constant breaches of the contract by the club.
The 26-year-old yesterday said he was happy the chapter has been closed and is now concentrating on his career with Zambian side, Power Dynamos.
“It’s OK now boss. Firstly, I want to thank the Lord, the Footballers’ Union of Zimbabwe who accompanied me in this battle and my agent Gilbert Sengwe,’’ he said.
“It was long but today we won and I am very happy.
“I would like to say thank you again to the FUZ and I commend them for what they do for footballers, in particular, and football in general.
“Through their president Desmond (Maringwa), they should continue like that and one thing is for sure, minds will change in football.
“I have moved on. Zambia is fine but I do not intend to end here. I have other projects which I am aiming at and with the grace of God it will work out.’’
The Cameroonian import had signed a two-year deal with Dynamos at the beginning of 2017 but he only served one year before the relationship turned sour.
He accused the club authorities of breaching the contract after they defaulted in paying the agreed signing-on fees, salaries and other benefits.
With the help of FUZ, the matter was referred to the Fifa Dispute Resolution Chamber chaired by Briton Geoff Thompson.
Fifa warned of unspecified sanctions if DeMbare had failed to comply.
Maringwa commended the current Dynamos executive for bringing the matter to rest.
“We are happy that, finally, the player got his dues and I must commend the current Dynamos executive for fulfilling their commitment to pay,’’ he said.
“They paid the money in full. They could have appealed to CAS but the costs of doing so are a bit on the high side.
“So, they had no option but to pay the player and they managed to beat the 30-day deadline.
“If they had failed to comply they would have fallen victim to the full wrath of the Fifa statutes. In such cases a club may have points docked, relegated or have other stiffer penalties imposed on them.’’
The former DeMbare midfielder said the Epoupa case should serve as a lesson to local clubs who do not respect contractual obligations.
“I think our clubs should be honest enough with their players to tell them exactly what’s there and try to be professional in all their dealings.
“If they don’t have the kind of money demanded by the player it is better to agree on a payment plan and stick to it.
“Football issues don’t have to be referred to labour courts or to Fifa all the time.
“The clubs should always strive to find mutual understanding with their players. Contractual issues need to be taken seriously,” said Maringwa. The Chronicle