The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
FORMER Zimbabwe international striker, Musa Mguni faces a life ban from football if he fails to pay $900 000 to his former Russian club, FC Terek Grozny (now know as FC Akhmat Grozny) by Thursday.
Mguni’s move to recover funds from the club after terminating his contract in 2012 turned ugly when the club turned the case on him and world football governing body, Fifa Dispute Resolution Chamber ruled against the former Motor Action striker.
According to a letter from Fifa addressed to Mguni’s most recent club, Cyrpus side, Karmiotissa and copied to Mguni, a copy of which is in our possession, the case will be forwarded to the Fifa Disciplinary Committee if by 18 January he would not have paid $900 000 to FC Akhmat.
The letter from Fifa (ref no 160489) reads “We are opening disciplinary proceedings against the player, Mr Mguni Musawenkosi in respect of a violation of article 64 of the Fifa Disciplinary Code.
“The case will be on the agenda for the next meeting of the Fifa Disciplinary Committee on 31 January so that disciplinary measures (fine, ban on any football-related activity) may be imposed on the player.”
Narrating the ordeal from his Cyprus base, Mguni said he was forced to sign a contract, which was written in Russian, under duress and hence was not willing to fulfill it but Fifa ruled the contract was valid and the termination had been illegal.
As he was unwilling to return to the club, Fifa ruled that he should compensate the Russians.
Mguni, however, pleaded innocence saying he was a victim of circumstances, adding his woes began when he was injured during national duty in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier first round match against Burundi in Bujumbura on 29 February 2012, which the Warriors lost 2-1.
He said after sustaining the injury, Zifa did not bother to assist him with medical treatment and FC Terek, whom he was contracted to at the time refused to settle his medical bills but wanted to force him to play despite the injury.
Mguni said on his return, in October the same year, he was presented with a contract dated 3 March which he was asked to sign legitimising salary cuts the club had unilaterally made. He said he declined to sign the contract but in the last game of the season he went through a traumatic experience that forced him to put pen to paper.
“I was included in the squad despite the fact I was not playing and the night before the game in camp I was woken up at around 2am by armed guards of the club president who took to me to a room with only a table and a chair with the contract and the president said I should sign, but I refused as the contract was written in Russian.
“The president then assaulted me with clenched fists until I fell out of the chair and one of his guards pulled me up back up while holding a gun so I had no choice but to sign at the time,” he said.
Mguni said he recently wrote to Zifa but has received no joy from the association.
Efforts to get a comment from Zifa communications manager, Xolisani Gwesela were fruitless.