The Zimbabwe Warriors, including Khama Billiat and Knowledge Musona, have reportedly threatened to pull out of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations ahead of their final group-stage game over an ongoing wage row.
The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) and the players have reportedly clashed once again over unpaid wages, on Thursday this week, according to Zimbabwe’s Herald newspaper.
It has been claimed no agreement was reached, with Zifa offering to pay $5 500 (R78 000) of the $12 500 (R177 000) the players are said to be owed on Friday.
However, the offer was rejected, and there were threats of training being boycotted until the full amounts were settled. Both parties even went as far as threatening to quit the tournament ahead of their final group game against DR Congo on Sunday, despite the team still being in with a chance to progress to the knockout stages.
“We were called in and told of the developments about the possible withdrawal from the tournament and we told them (Zifa officials) that we were ready to go home because we believe they haven’t fulfilled our contracts,” the Herald quoted an unnamed player as saying, as cited by Reuters.
Zifa has apparently even asked the Confederation of African Football about the costs of withdrawing from the tournament, which would likely ensure further punishment and bans from future competitions.
Zimbabwe’s players and Zifa were reportedly already at loggerheads over payment issues on the evening of their Afcon opener against Egypt last week, although Zifa dismissed those reports.
Amid all the controversy, the Warriors can still qualify for the knockout stages, with a victory in their final game against DR Congo on Sunday likely to be enough after they picked up a point in their draw against Uganda.