Stars unhappy with 'R250 000 and Chiefs fee'

A MAJOR row has erupted between the Absa Macufe Cup organisers and Free State Stars after Mike Mokoena's side were overlooked for this year's tournament.

A MAJOR row has erupted between the Absa Macufe Cup organisers and Free State Stars after Mike Mokoena's side were overlooked for this year's tournament.

"We were invited by Ben Moseme (chief organiser of the tournament) to a meeting and we accepted the verbal invite to participate on the spot," said Stars' general manager Rantsi Mokoena yesterday.

"The tournament was to involve us, Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Bloemfontein Celtic at Free State Stadium on Sunday.

"The only outstanding issue was the issue of the appearance fee. Ben proposed R250000 for us but we made it clear to him that we were unhappy with this amount.

"Everything was done verbally and there was no invite in black and white sent to us.

"Our problem was that we were informed that Chiefs will be getting a R750000 appearance fee.

"A few days later we learnt through the grapevine that the tournament will feature only Celtic and Chiefs. We suspect that we were excluded because of the appearance fee issue.

"This is disturbing because it is the second time we have been snubbed from participating in a major tournament in the province after the Mangaung Cup.

"Free State Stars belong to Free State, in case other people are not aware, and we deserve to be treated like all the clubs in the province," added a fuming Mokoena.

But Moseme strongly denied that Stars' non-participation in this year's tournament had anything to do with their request for an improved appearance fee.

"It is not true that Chiefs are getting R750000 to participate in this tournament," he said.

"The problem with Stars is that they did not confirm their participation, so we decided to go ahead with Chiefs and Celtic because of inadequate sponsorship.

"I also discussed the matter with Mike (Mokoena, the Stars chairperson) and we agreed that we will organise another tournament in January involving them.

"It is not true that we snubbed Stars. We do not have enough funds to make it a four-club tournament, as has been the case all along."

Pirates administration executive Floyd Mbele said they were not invited to the tournament.

Besides the main game on Sunday, there will also be a curtain-raiser featuring legends led by Fani Madida of Chiefs and David Modise of Celtic.

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