Since the comedy which unfolded at the National Sports Stadium last Sunday, CAPS United has not been the same.
The 600 fans who had paid to watch the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match between the Harare giants and Cranborne Bullets, were treated to free drama after CAPS players refused to turn up for the game, citing outstanding winning bonuses and low salaries.
The CAPS United team bus, which is by far the only thing functioning properly at the club at the moment, arrived at the stadium with only the technical team and officials, to the disbelief of the local football fraternity.
When the match eventually kicked off, the inevitable happened- CAPS lost 0-2.
The Farai Jere-led executive responded by dismissing six players who were initially accused of being masterminds of the strike which nearly resulted in the cancellation of the game- Denis Dauda, Clive Augusto, Ronald Chitiyo, Rodwell Chinyengetere, Devon Chafa and Simba Chinani.
Jere even told the media that he did not want to see any of the six ‘culprits’ at the club, only for the Harare businessman to make a dramatic U-turn 24 hours later.
He ‘pardoned’ Chafa, Chinyengetere and Chitiyo.
What the club leadership didn’t realize in the divide and rule tactic they applied to sanitize the numerous problems at the club, is that football-wise; the damage had already been done.
They might have restored sanity at the club’s offices, that is if they have any, but on the field of play, it’s a different situation.
Today’s loss 0-3 to FC Platinum and Mandava, speaks volume of the crisis at CAPS.
With respect to FC Platinum, the result was more of emotional scars of the administrative issues manifesting in a football match, rather than the brilliance of Norman Mapeza’s charges.
How will the executive convince the players that they (the players) matter, when any action showing displeasure is treated as being rebellious?
Will the club be able to attract some of the best players in the league, under these circumstances?
How will the club leadership restore the pride associated with wearing that green and white shirt if the institution develops the reputation of treating players like that?
Was sacking players the solution?