Mapoe tug-of-war unresolved
By LIAM DEL CARME, Sunday Times
The career of sought-after wing Lionel Mapoe’s is in limbo as lawyers try to determine for whom he will play.
Mapoe, who is contracted to the Cheetahs until October 31 next year, has defied an arbitration ruling to return to the province and is believed to be in Durban, where he is hoping to play for the Sharks.
His agent, Jan-Harm van Wyk, said Mapoe had “no intention of going back to the Cheetahs. The trust has broken down completely”.
The player’s disaffection stems from his remuneration package, which the Cheetahs have increased to around R150000 a year. The Sharks are apparently willing to pay him around R1-million a year.
Mapoe was dealt a blow earlier this week when advocate Bertus van Rhyn ruled at the conclusion of the arbitration process that the contract with the Cheetahs was legal.
The player, however, is refusing to budge. “He is still in Durban but it is difficult to say how things will turn out. The lawyers are discussing the matter and I’m hoping he will return to the field as quickly as possible,” said Van Wyk.
The Cheetahs are also digging in. “We have said from the outset that he has a binding contract,” said Cheetahs chief executive Harold Verster.
“As far as we are concerned the situation is quite simple. Lionel must come and play for us. The arbitration process ruled he has a legal and binding contract so we don’t have to make adjustments. We have, however, substantially adjusted his salary.
“Unfortunately, I cannot divulge how much he earns because it’s confidential.”
The case has raised moral and ethical questions. It is clear Mapoe is worth more than the Cheetahs have been and intend paying him. He was apparently paid R6000 a month in his first year, R8000 in his second and R10000 in his third.
His remuneration is now believed to have been adjusted to R13000 a month, the minimum amount for contracts in that bracket.
Mapoe would have been paid R29500 between February and May for his participation in the Super 14, although he was injured in April.
The Bulls were apparently also interested in his services but kept their distance when it became clear the Cheetahs were not prepared to release him.
The Cheetahs are weighing up their options. “We have disciplinary options that can be explored but I really don’t want to speculate about what is likely to happen,” said Verster.Tweet