Big Bullets players Thursday started boycotting training ahead of crucial knockout Standard Bank Cup quarterfinal match this weekend against Civo United in Lilongwe.
The boycott comes barely 24hours after their traditional rivals, Mighty Wanderers, also refused to train on Wednesday in a desperate attempt to force their General Secretary, David Kanyenda to step down.
Bullets players are demanding their accumulated unpaid upkeep allowances.
While confirming the development, Bullets General Secretary, Higger Mkandawire, pleaded with the players to reverse their decision and assured them that officials were doing everything possible to settle their dues.
The Peoples Team’s five senior players confided in Nyasa Times Thursday they have not been paid their upkeep allowances since the start of TNM Super League first round.
“Enough is enough we cannot keep playing while the club owe us a lot of money. Where do they think we are getting the money to feed our families?” wondered one of the players on opted for anonymity.
The players said they have all agreed not to train or travel to Lilongwe for the Standard Bank Cup against Civo on Saturday if their executive committee fails to pay them their dues.
The players observed there was no job where people work without being paid.
“Then why should we continue working yet we are not being paid? The problem with our football officials in this country is that they take players for granted. No money, no work and we will not travel to Lilongwe unless we are paid,” he stressed.
But Mkandawire has assured the players that the executive was working tirelessly to secure money for their upkeep allowances.
“But they must also understand because we are running a club that has no sponsors and yet apart from securing money for their upkeep allowances and other allowances, we also need to find money for their transport, food, accommodation in all away matches,” explained Mkandawire.
He, however, blamed the boycott on some external forces who he claimed were inciting the players not to train.
On players’ threats to snub weekend’s game, Mkandawire reminded the players the move would be to their disadvantage.
He said, for instance, if the players win against Civo United and progress to win the cup they will be the ones to benefit significantly.
“Why are they doing this to us? Out of the 25 people who were elected in various positions of the club only five people have remained. We are doing this for the love of the club and players must understand the situation,” he complained.
Struggling to raise K1 million
The Bullets GS reminded the players that despite asking for their unpaid allowances, the club is also struggling to raise not less than K1 million to fulfill Saturday’s game match Civo United in Lilongwe.
Mkandawire said the team requires K200, 000.00 for fuel to and from Mzuzu and about K500, 000.00 for accommodation and food.
“They should calm down because we are at a tight corner,” pleaded Mkandawire.
Wanderers’ players end training boycott
Meanwhile, Mighty Wanderers, who boycotted training on Wednesday, demanding the ouster of Kanyenda ahead of their do or die encounter against Red Lions at Balaka Stadium also in the Standard Bank cup.
Wanderers’ players are accusing Kanyenda of lacking the welfare of the players by primarily siding much with the supporters.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :