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Epoupa's Big Gamble - Zimbabwe Today
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Epoupa’s Big Gamble

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Cameroonian forward Christian Epoupa risks being frozen out of action for the rest of the year after Dynamos yesterday indicated they will not budge to his demands to push for a release from his contract amid indications his head has been turned by Ngezi Platinum.

Epoupa, who has been trying to force his way out of the Glamour Boys in recent days, yesterday did to report for duty again when Lloyd Mutasa and his players resumed preparations for their next assignment against Yadah Stars coming up this Sunday at Rufaro.

DeMbare had expected him back at work after it was revealed that his manager Gilbert Sengwe had been misrepresenting facts that the club owed him in excess of $16 000 in signing-on fees and oustanding salaries sponsors called a press conference at the weekend where they explained that the player was paid a total of $18 125 this year.

Since then, Epoupa and his manager have literally gone into hiding with Sengwe, who persuaded NetOne to postpone the media briefing from Saturday to Sunday, nowhere near the function when the parties addressed the media.

He, however, had attended a meeting called by the Dynamos sponsors on Friday evening where the Glamour Boys leadership were also present where the sponsors made it clear they had fulfilled all their requirements to the Cameroonian forward.

Sengwe has now been left exposed after having told the media previously that his client had changed bank accounts when his salary was being loaded into his One-Money bank card.

“Epoupa opened a new bank account with FBC Bank so that he could be able to access his money in US dollars and he notified the club twice about the account to deposit his money, but they still went on to deposit it into the old BancABC account,” said Sengwe.

“Now the player cannot even access his money because he changed passports and BancABC want the old passport for him to withdraw his money.

“Dynamos are just so unco-operative, they don’t want to sit down and talk to the player and he has since lost trust in the club executive now.”

However, revelations that NetOne have been loading the player’s salary into the OneMoney card, and so far this year they have paid more than $18 000, appeared to suggest that Sengwe might have been economical with the truth in this whole saga.

Reports have also emerged that Epoupa has been turned by interests from Ngezi Platinum Stars who have promised him a better deal than the one he has been getting at DeMbare.

Ngezi Stars also tried and failed to lure CAPS United captain Stephen Makatuka, who chose to rejoin the Green Machine on his return from South Africa.

But Dynamos president Kenny Mubaiwa yesterday said DeMbare have no plans to release the striker and they were prepared to have him sit on the sidelines until the end of his contract. That could mean that the Cameroonian will have to sit out of the game until the contract expires since he cannot play for any other club, either in Zimbabwe or outside the country, without first getting clearance from DeMbare.

Mubaiwa said they needed Epoupa to beef up their misfiring attack.

“He didn’t come today and there was no communication from him and his manager. I think his manager is now getting it wrong,” said Mubaiwa.

“This guy is employed by Dynamos and we have no plans whatsoever to release him at the moment. We expect him to report for duty like anyone else.

“If he continues with the no-show we could be forced to take disciplinary action on him.”

Epoupa has been at loggerheads with DeMbare since the season started demanding that the Harare giants pay him his dues in cash.

DeMbare, however, have insisted on loading the money into his bank card with their sponsors NetOne also releasing the funds via their OneMoney platform as per the terms of their sponsorship agreement.

Epoupa has since rejected the money and has not communicated with the club since the weekend when he and his manager failed to show up at a press conference arranged by the sponsors to clarify the matter.

There have been suspicions that the player and his manager may have set their sights on joining another local side believed to be log leaders Ngezi Platinum.

“We suspect that his manager could be giving him wrong advice. Probably he has found a new club for him behind our backs but there is still a problem because he has a running contract with us.

“Like I said before, we have no plans to release him. He is our player. We will do our own investigations and if we find out that it’s a case of double dipping from his manager, then we might be forced to take the legal options available to us,” said Mubaiwa.

Sengwe has been evading the media since the weekend.

Instead, he has now resorted to feeding the media through sources.

DeMbare continued with their preparations yesterday when they welcomed back to full training winger Emmanuel Mandiranga, Peace Makaha and Marvelous Mukumba who had missed the early part of the season because of injuries.

Epoupa was the club’s top goal scorer last year with 12 goals to his credit.

Dynamos are also yet to win a match in what ranks as one of their worst starts to the season, with a paltry two points from a possible 15.



Black Rhinos v Chapungu (Rufaro)


Mutare City v Bulawayo Chiefs (Vengere), FC Platinum v Harare City (Mandava), Herentals v Bulawayo City (Rufaro), Nichrut v ZPC Kariba (Ascot)


Triangle United v CAPS United (Gibbo), Shabanie Mine v Ngezi Platinum (Maglas), Chicken Inn v Highlanders (Barbourfields), Dynamos v Yadah (Rufaro)

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