"No money, no deal" - Dr Ali Elzargha
It's exactly 16 days since Marumo Gallants team manager Rufus Matsena and therapist Dina Dlomo were held as collateral in Benghazi, Libya after their CAF Confederations Cup match against Al Akhdar.
This follows money that has been owed by Marumo Gallants chairman Abram Sello to businessman Dr Ali Elzargha who is the hotel owner in Libya where Matsena and Dlomo are currently being held.
While Sello has not paid what he owes to Dr Elzargha, Marumo Gallants have raised the issue of fluctuation of prices from the regular amount they had anticipated to pay, this is despite agreeing to pay R670 000 for all costs incurred during the trip.
With SAFA and the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa intervening in the matter, a meeting with all stakeholders has been scheduled for Thursday the 6th of April 2023 including the club, Dr Elzargha, SAFA and the Department of International Relations and Corporation.
General manager for football business at SAFA, Mzwandile Maforvane is confident the meeting on Thursday will go well and an agreement that will be beneficial for both parties will be reached.
"We only have one intention, and that is to have the team officials released and be allowed to come back home to their families, whatever Dr Elzargha says we will take it as his side of the story and we will also have our side of the story presented to him.
"In the midst of all this we just want to reach an agreement and find a solution so that we can have the officials back home," Maforvane said.
Ahead of the meeting on Thursday, Dr Elzargha has reiterated that he will not let go of the pair until all his money is paid in full.
"No money, no deal, until Marumo pays me the staff will stay here. They are staying in nice rooms and they are being looked after as if they were guests," Dr Elzargha added.
Meanwhile in the midst of all this predicament, Marumo Gallants were drawn with Pyramids FC of Egypt in the quarterfinals of the CAF Confederation Cup on Wednesday night while they also defeated Royal AM 3-1 on Wednesday evening in the DSTV Premiership at the Free State Stadium.
Gallants next face Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday evening the 8th of April 2023 at the FNB Stadium, kick-off in that encounter is at 20:00.