DRC saga at a stalemate
The controversy surrounding the ill treatment of Cercle Sportif Don Bosco trio seems to be far from being over and continues to haunt the players. Jerome Ramatlhakwane, Dirang Moloi and Phenyo Mongala are eager to terminate their contracts with the club and have forwarded their case to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s player’s union but no progress has been made.
Unfulfilled promises, unfavourable living conditions and breach of contract have been cited by the trio as their main reasons for wanting to leave the DRC based club. Moloi and Mongala are in Botswana after vowing to never return to DRC while Ramatlhakwane is still at the central African country. However, the striker has been frozen out of first team action since his return.
The Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB) has been handling the matter since last year December when the players first expressed their disgruntlement according to the union spokesperson Kgosana Masaseng, “No progress has been made yet. We received an email from our DRC counterparts informing us that they had received our messages but nothing else has happened apart from that. The players are frustrated. There is likelihood that they could face a longer spell in the sidelines if the case drags on but we are hopeful that it will be resolved soon.”
Masaseng revealed that they will now forward the case to the continent’s player’s union mother body, FIFPRO Division Africa to seek guidance and a quicker resolution of the matter.
FIFPRO Division Africa will hold a congress in May in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and Masaseng hinted that, “We will orally present the case to the board at the congress if the matter continues to be in its current state.”
The players’ situation is further complicated by the club owner’s reluctance to release the trio’s contracts to the FUB. The club is owned by the wealthy Katumbi family; Moise Katumbi is the overall owner of both TP Mazembe and CS Don Bosco while his son Champion Katumbi is the chairman of the latter. This reporter is reliably informed that Moise is in possession of the players’ contracts.
Katumbi, who is also the governor of the Katanga province, is believed to have a busy schedule that often leads to international trips which has made it difficult for anyone else to have access to the contracts or to approach him about the matter. Thus, the FUB has been denied access to the contracts.
He once denied Zambian player Stopilla a move to English side Reading last year; the player spent five months training with the club while Katumbi refused to allow him to complete the transfer. Botswana’s trio is at risk of facing the same fate.