WE ARE GOING TO FULFILL THE PROMISE AND PAY THE PLAYERS BEFORE THE GAME – SPORTS MINISTER
UPON hearing reports of Chipolopolo players threatening to boycott training sessions ahead of Friday’s match against Congo Brazzaville, Minister Elvis Nkandu reacted by asking, “Threatening not to play for what?”
It has emerged that national team players have threatened to boycott training should government not pay the US$ 5,000 that was promised to them after qualifying to the Africa Cup of Nations (AfCON).
The media reports indicated the players are owed a further US$ 2,500 for the 1 – all stalemate against Comoros plus camping bonuses for the same game.
Nkandu seemed disappointed that there are such reports coming from the Chipolopolo camp ahead of a crucial match against Congo Brazzaville at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
Zambia face Congo on Friday before taking on Niger four days later.
“Threatening not to play for what?” Nkandu wondered, “We should not be treated like that by our own people, they are not just playing for me as a minister they are playing for the 20 million Zambians.”
Nkandu said government does not owe the players any bonuses other than the promised money which was pledged as a way of motivating the team following an AfCON qualification.
“We don’t owe the boys. The issue that they may talk about is the issue of the qualifying bonus which is not written anywhere it was just a motivation by Government, we just wanted to motivate them not that we are owing.
“Because it was a promise that we are going to give them a qualifying bonus, we are going to fulfill it. Before the game starts on Friday,” Nkandu said.