Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
IN what is a landmark development in Zimbabwean football, Prince Dube’s former school, Somvubu Secondary in Bubi district, Matabeleland North, has demanded to be compensated for his development training by his new Tanzanian club Azam.
Dube (23) signed a two-year contract with the ambitious Tanzanian side from Bulawayo club Highlanders.
Somvubu want to be paid for developing the player from the age of 14 from 2011 to 2014 when he signed a pre-contract with Highlanders after junior coach Melusi ‘Mabaleka’ Sibanda spotted him during a National Association of Secondary School Heads (Nash) tournament at Gloag High School.
According to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players Article 20, training compensation shall be paid to a player’s training club when he signs his first contract as a professional and each time a professional is transferred until the end of his 23rd birthday.
The obligation to pay training compensation arises whether the transfer takes place during or at the end of the player’s contract.
Annexure four of the same rules says a player’s training and education takes place between the ages of 12 and 23, with training compensation payable as a general rule up to the age of 23 unless it is evident that a player has already terminated his training before the age of 21.
“It’s our intention to ask for training compensation for the boy (Dube). He was at our annex school in 2011. While in Form 1, he dropped out in the third term, but knowing his talent, I looked for him and he was with us at the main school from 2012 until 2014, sitting for his O-Level examination in November 2014. During that time with us, we did virtually everything, paying his school fees as well as examination fees. Bosso saw him at our Nash competitions after I had invited them to watch him in action. Gumede (Ndumiso, former Highlanders’ chief executive officer and now club president), Mabaleka and myself made an arrangement to have him join Bosso 90 after writing his last paper,” said Somvubu Secondary School headmaster Khumbulani Sibanda.
Regulations say training compensation must be paid within 30 days of registration.
If Somvubu Secondary succeeds, it would be a landmark development, as it will set a precedent for other primary and secondary schools as well as junior clubs that have always been manipulated by clubs that just sign these youngsters, whilst reaping no rewards for developing the player.
“This will be an interesting case in the Zimbabwean context. We shall be following developments closely. Junior clubs and schools should not die as long as their products continue excelling at professional level if recipients remit training compensation fees. For this particular case, as long as that school can prove that the player was their pupil and also played football for them, they might get their money,” said an experienced football administrator.
He said all the school has to do now is write an official letter to Zifa seeking its training compensation fees and the national association will contact its Tanzanian counterpart, which will inform Azam about the development.