Stars players cry foul over unpaid bonuses

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By Staff Reporters 

WINDHOEK – It never rains but pours for troubled Katutura football club African Stars, after disgruntled players revealed to the media that they are yet to receive their winning bonuses despite the curtain having closed on the 2013/2014 campaign.  

The players are up in arms accusing club management of having engaged itself in the hide-and-seek game over unpaid bonuses for winning the lucrative Bidvest Cup recently.  

The unhappy bunch, who strictly requested for their identity to be withheld for fear of reprisals, say management told them to wait until after the conclusion of the MTC Premiership award giving ceremony, slated for this week Friday.

“We are actually baffled by this excuse because our sober understanding is that the NPL awards should have no bearing on the Bidvest Cup since all the winning prizes for the latter have been paid out to the respective winners,” fumed a clearly fed-up senior player.

Stars received a staggering amount of N$550 000 for reclaiming the lucrative Bidvest Cup. Some of the agitated players also poured their hearts out at the ostensible shoddy treatment meted out to them, claiming they are being treated with little respect, which is something unusually accorded to professional athletes.

The group of players named among pertinent issues discrepancies in monthly wages adding that average squad members earn more than half what the captain and other senior players take home. 

“We have families that include small babies to look after and rent to pay while most of us depend entirely on our meager monthly remuneration for survival,” adds another player with tears rolling down his cheeks from his reddish eyes.

It has since emerged that long serving goalkeeper Max Mbaeva is out of contract. The lanky shot-stopper is reportedly unhappy and is on the lookout for greener pastures elsewhere should he not be offered an improved contract. 

The club is currently embroiled in a nasty tug-of-war with football authorities NFA/NPL and has dragged the county’s football presiding bodies to the magistrate’s court. 

Meanwhile, losing finalists Citizens Football Club, who got almost half of what Stars took home, acted swiftly investing the surplus from its consolation prize of N$220 000, purchasing a modern 23-seater Sprinter Mercedes bus after paying handsome bonuses to its playing personnel.