The South African Football Players Union (SAFPU) has given the South African Football Association (SAFA) until Tuesday to investigate allegations that Premier Soccer League (PSL) club Golden Arrows forced player Clifton Miheso to sign a contract at gun point or face the consequences.
SAFPU is threatening to take the matter to football governing body FIFA if SAFA does not make an undertaking to look into the allegations by Tuesday.
SAFPU secretary Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe said Miheso‚ who was employed by Arrows at the time of the incident‚ confirmed the incident to him and he has also opened a case at a police station in Durban.
Gaoshubelwe added that if SAFA fails to give SAFPU a commitment and a timeline of how they are going to investigate this matter‚ which has serious international relations implications as Miheso is a Kenyan national‚ they will turn to FIFA and the SA Labour Department for assistance.
SAFA chief executive Dennis Mumble said he was copied in a letter addressed to Arrows that contained the allegations and but they were not asked to intervene.
“We have received a copy of a letter that was addressed to Arrows and in that letter we have not been asked to act at all. They are seeking clarification from Arrows on the alleged incident. It is difficult for me to comment on an issue that I don’t have full details on but we don’t promote serious things where people are threatened with guns. If this incident indeed happened‚ we condemn it in the strongest possible terms” Mumble said.
Arrows chairperson and PSL CEO Mato Madlala insisted that Miheso was not forced to sign a contract against his will.
“No one was forced to sign a contract and I don’t want to say much about this issue‚” Madlala said.
While SAFPU said Miheso confirmed the incident to them‚ Arrows posted a handwritten letter on their website saying it was signed by the player and he said he was not forced to sign the contract.
“This is to state my disappointment on the news claiming that you had me threatened. This is all incorrect‚ in fact‚ I am grateful to you and everything you have done for me. The termination agreement I signed is correct and I was not forced to sign it. I did this willingly and I have been paid everything due to me. I wish to state my apologies for everything” reads the letter.
Gaoshubelwe insisted that the player said he was forced to sign the contract.
“I am in constant contact with the player and the last time I spoke to him was on Thursday. He confirmed to me that he was forced to sign a contract and I believe he is talking the truth. We want SAFA to give a firm commitment and timeline that they will investigate this matter.
If they don’t have the capacity or the will to investigate the matter, we will have no choice but to seek help from FIFA. SAFA are the custodians of football in the country and they must act when things like this happen because it has international relations implications. The problem we are facing in our football is that you have a painful situation where a CEO (Madlala) of a club who occupies a similar position at the PSL‚ which in this case has led to a contradicted stability.” said Gaoshubelwe.