Players of the relegated OR Tambo District Cosmos have been hit hard where it matters the most - in the pockets.
The players have not received their salaries for April after they allegedly stole the team's kit, according to the side's boss Loyiso Magqaza yesterday.
Magqaza accused the players of stealing the kit at the clubhouse in Butterworth, Eastern Cape, on Monday.
He said the players stole the kit two days after their 1-2 defeat against FC AK in Eldorado Park in their season-ending match on Saturday.
"The whole thing started at OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday morning when the players refused to return the kit and other items of gear. This happened in full view of the public and it was embarrassing to say the least," said a disappointed Magqaza.
"They only returned them when I threatened not to give them their boarding passes. But they stole the kit again at the clubhouse in Butterworth on Monday and left for home. They will never receive a cent from their salaries until they return the kit. They were supposed to have been paid on Monday."
Defending their action yesterday, Cosmos' skipper Motlatsi Hloaysi said they thought that they would take the kit after playing their last match of the season.
"I have already returned my kit and I will talk to the rest of the players to do so. Honestly, we thought we will own the kit after our last match of the season," Hloaysi said.
But Magqaza is not impressed with Hloaysi's explanation.
"Why had I asked them to return the kit if it was agreed that they will take it after our last match of the season? We might have been relegated, but I will not allow players to treat this team like a kindergarten," he fumed.
Magqaza said he has not decided whether to sell the team or not.
Cosmos have been relegated from the Mvela Golden League with Western Province United and both will play in the Vodacom Promotional League in their respective provinces next term.