The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
FORMER Zimbabwe international, Musawenkosi Mguni has been handed a nine-month reprieve from football ban by the Fifa Disciplinary Committee after he failed to comply with a Dispute Resolution Chamber ruling ordering him to pay $900 000 to Russian club, Club Terek Groznyi.
Mguni was found guilty of breaching an employment contract with the Russian Premiership side and the DRC ruled in May 2015 that he should pay the compensation by 18 January failure of which his case would be referred to the Fifa DC.
In a decision made on 31 January, the DC issued Mguni a final grace period of 270 days to pay FC Terek Groznyi. He was however, also fined 300 Swiss francs for failure to comply with the DRC ruling within the stipulated period.
According to the decision released on Monday: “The player is granted a final period of grace of 270 days as from notification of the present decision in which to settle its debt to the creditor, Terek Groznyi.
“If payment is not made by this deadline, the creditor may demand in writing the secretariat to the Fifa Disciplinary Committee that a ban on any football-related activity be imposed on the player for a period of three months. Once the creditor has filed this request, the ban on taking part in any kind of football-related activity will be imposed automatically without a further formal decision having to be taken by the Fifa DC.
“The ban … will be issued on Mr Mguni by the secretariat to the Fifa DC and will last three months or until the total outstanding amount has been paid to the creditor, if this occurs before the three month ban has elapsed”.
For Mguni however, the reprieve is unlikely to change the grim future he is facing as the prospect of raising the money to pay FC Terek Groznyi is an insurmountable task.
His contract with the Cypriot club, Karmiotissa was terminated late last year due to the then impending Fifa DC decision.
“I won’t be able to raise that amount so the reprieve may be welcome but my football career is almost over because my previous club said they could not take the risk of keeping me with the axe hovering over my head.
“I have written to Zifa and hope they will be able to assist me by engaging the club (Terek) through the Russian Football Union or any other ways they may be able to,” Mguni said from his Cyprus base.
The Disciplinary Committee decision indicates that if the three month period lapses without payment being made, FC Terek may demand the matter be resubmitted back to it and the DC may decide on further disciplinary measures such as extending the ban on all football-related activity.
The case arose after Mguni decided to terminate his contract with FC Terek after he was forced to sign a new contract following a long layoff due to an injury sustained while turning out for the Warriors in February 2012.
In 2013, Mguni tried to wriggle his way out of the “doctored contract” that had replaced the initial contract he signed with the club but poor legal advice saw him fall on the wrong side of football statutes as Fifa ruled that he had terminated his contract illegally.— @rasmthembo