HARARE – Zimbabwe’s women Sevens rugby team appears to have lost patience in their quest to get paid following last month’s Olympic qualification tournament in Tunisia.

Aggrieved players spoke anonymously to SportsCast, with one teary team member suggesting they were being unfairly treated.

“The guys (men’s team) had way better preparations than us, they had a much better chance than us to qualify,” she said.

“Unfortunately they also didn’t qualify. But they were paid all their dues. Not us. We are saying, ‘we’re girls, but please, pay us too’. It’s not a fortune, but the authorities must respect us and do what is right.”

Another member of the traveling party added: “We thought we were going to get money before we left for Tunisia and it didn’t happen. We were then told we would get paid when we got back, but it’s still the same story.”

The Lady Cheetahs are owed match fees, bonuses and allowances for the tournament.

Zimbabwe came a dismal seventh out of eight teams in the Paris 2024 qualification tournament for Africa, but a top player in the side said it wasn’t due to shortage of talent and skills.

“Its lack of preparations, simple as that,” she commented. “We need to have proper programmes, not short-cuts. You can’t prepare for a major tournament in three months.  The other nations are at another level. Look at Kenya, they were just unlucky to lose to South Africa in the final. They are the only competition to SA at the moment. Uganda has serious programmes. So is Zambia. As for us, even qualifying for these finals qualifiers in Tunisia was a huge achievement because the other nations are serious about their rugby.”


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