JORGE RIBEIRO/AIPS: Football in Mozambique is in chaos after the Ministry of Labour, at the start of the week, suspended all foreign players and coaches. Unless resolved quickly, Mozambique could find itself barred from international football by FIFA.

The clubs refused to play on, the government seized all the individuals’ passports and the top division was now been suspended indefinitely.

Coaches involved in the top division include Mozambican/Portuguese coaches Victor Urbano and former Benfica international Diamantino. Diamantino has bossed Costa del Sol (Maputo) since 2011 while Urbano coached HCB Songo in 2011 and 2012 before moving this season to Maputo Rail.

They can neither work or fly home since meetings between the authorities and the clubs have ceased.

A meeting of the 14 clubs in the Moçambola confirmed the clubs displeasure with the “interference” by the ministry.

Rule breaker

The clubs added: “These measures contradict the rules of FIFA that can suspend the country for government interference. The rules of Moçambola indicate that teams can register five foreigners, but only three of them can be on the field at the same time.

“This is a problem that the president of the Mozambican Football League, Alberto Simango junior, will have to address.”

A Ministry spokesman said: “We detected several illegal situations among the clubs.”

The debate over players’ contracts and foreign coaches has been in the spotlight the last general assembly of the league. The Labour Department claimed that the hiring of foreign players and coaches contravened labour laws.

Sports Minister Fernando Sumbana has suggested that Labour Minister Helena Taipo should lift the suspensions by declaring a 30-day moratorium for talks to resolve the issue.

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