Usuthu pay up to avoid relegation

Safpu secretary-general Nhlanhla Shabalala.
Safpu secretary-general Nhlanhla Shabalala.
Image: Twitter

AmaZulu have avoided relegation by finally settling an old debt.

World football governing body Fifa ruled last month that AmaZulu be deducted six points after Usuthu failed to pay just over R1-million in compensation to Namibian footballer, Phinheas Nambandi, whose contract was terminated by the KwaZulu-Natal club in 2014.

Sowetan can confirm that AmaZulu will not face any further punishment after compensating Nambandi on Monday.

"The amount is actually in the region of R1.5m, because Fifa charged interest," confirmed Nhlanhla Shabalala, the secretary-general of the SA Football Players' Union (Safpu) yesterday.

"If they didn't pay the money - Fifa is not a joke, they (AmaZulu) stood to be relegated. If they did not comply this time, we were going to write a letter to Fifa, who were going to refer the matter to their disciplinary committee where a decision that SA Football Association (Safa) must relegate AmaZulu could have emanated," he said.

Shabalala further said that the verdict should serve as a warning to all clubs that players' contracts must be respected.

"The teams terminate contracts, because of poor performance. We've always argued that football is a team sport and you would need to take a lot of things into consideration when you are going to impose poor performance on one individual when he plays with 10 other people in the field of play.

"So how do you then single out one player and say he's underperforming and he must go," he continued.

"We've got the players' best interests at heart. We are a union that is hard at work and we are a union that does not subscribe to brown envelopes where we would be bribed in order for us to lose the principle of serving our members.

"In the last eight years, we've recovered around R15m n of monies from unfair termination of contracts," he added.

AmaZulu currently occupy last place in the Absa Premiership after the PSL complied with the Fifa ruling and docked the club six points last week.

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