Chippa, agent in tug-of-war over Kwem's contract

Augustine Kwem has been a big hit for Chippa United in his debut PSL season.
Augustine Kwem has been a big hit for Chippa United in his debut PSL season.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/ BackpagePix

A tug-of-war has developed between centre-forward Augustine Kwem's agent and Chippa United.

So much that the Eastern Cape-based Absa Premiership club could lose the Nigerian player, who is one of the most influential members of the squad.

Kwem's representative Akorede Huthman, head of Gidi Sport in the UK, has recalled the player and instructed him not to partake in any activities at Chippa, claiming that he is a free agent.

Gidi Sport says Chippa have not followed the correct protocol in extending Kwem's contract without the player's knowledge.

However, the club's COO Lukhanyo Mzinzi has dismissed the claims.

"I can comfortably tell you that he does have an extended contract with us. He can go to the PSL and ask for the contract, he will get it," he said.

Huthmansaid Kwem had signed a one-year contract with the Chilli Boys which had lapsed on June 30, but that there was an option to renew or extend. But in doing so, the club would have to notify the player and Fifa of their wishes in writing.

"They (Chippa) literally forgot to trigger the option and we have not been able to reach an agreement on the extension," Huthamn said.

"So, that automatically makes the player a free agent. We have offers locally and abroad. I have stopped him from training with the club.

"This will be a dispute that will go on because I am not going to accept the extension from them because if the player goes back there he will not be comfortable again after this whole thing. I gave them (Chippa) an opportunity (to extend) and they did not take it and I will not give them that opportunity again, really."

In response, Mzinzi said the agent was bluffing, adding that Kwem is their player and if he does not return to training when the coach calls for one, he would be dealt with accordingly.

"When we signed the boy he was unknown. He was coming from the amateur leagues and could not secure a professional contract with any club.

We improved his package. We found a new luxurious accommodation for him. We improved everything about his contract and we extended it because we believed in him."

Mzinzi said Kwem had joined his teammates for Covid-19 testing last week and that they expect him to go back to training when it resumes.

Asked if the club had followed correct channels when extending Kwem's contract, Mzinzi said: "When we signed this boy he didn't even have a representative... the boy was struggling in SA.

Kwem, 22, joined the Chilli Boys from ABC Motsepe League (third-tier) outfit Sibanye FC in July last year.

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