FRESH details have emerged in the row between Caps United and Caps Holdings (Pvt) Limited over the use of the Caps name.
Caps Holdings, who sold their Premier Soccer League franchise to Caps United Football Club in 2002, have revived their fight to stop the Twine Phiri-owned Caps United from using the Caps brand name.
The company bounced back into mainstream football two seasons ago when they acquired the franchise of Buymore Football Club and renamed it Caps FC. They immediately sought to bar Phiriâ€™s Caps from using the name.
The Supreme Court recently dismissed Caps Unitedâ€™s application to bar the pharmaceutical company from using the name for its team, a judgment which has stimulated the latest action.
Documents obtained by IndependentSport this week shows that in 2006 Caps Holdings registered the name Caps as a trademark for its sports and entertainment activities under the Trademarks Act (Chapter 26:04).
The registration of the trademark was noted by the Supreme Court ruling.
The documents show that Caps Holdings and Caps United enjoyed a cordial relationship before the fallout.
The company assisted the club financially and even released funds for the purchase of kits. The relationship soured when Caps Holdings expressed concern over the clubâ€™s image damage by the fraudulent registration of players for the African Champions League in 2006, which led to them being booted out of the competition by CAF.
In the early stages of the initial battle for the name, Caps United apparently approached Caps Holdings for permission to use â€œMakepekepeâ€ as its new name. Caps Holdings accepted the offer. Makepekepe has been Caps Unitedâ€™s nickname since its formative years when the pharmaceutical company bankrolled the club.
Makepekepe United Football Club (Pvt) Limited was duly registered under the Companies Act (Chapter24:03) in April 27 2007. A certificate of incorporation (No 14636/2007), signed by the Registrar of Companies, was issued on May 10, 2007.
A Caps FC representative, Julius Chifokoyo, says they intend to fight on until his club becomes the sole bearer of the Caps identity. He blames Caps United of deliberately tarnishing his clubâ€™s image.
â€œWe have been victims of bad publicity which has no basis and is motivated by malice,â€ Chifokoyo said.
â€œThey have been feeding the public with information that is not factual to create a negative perception of us as a company and our involvement in football. Unfortunately they have met success in terms of having capacity to access the media. This has also influenced how the public views us and how match official handle our matches.â€
Caps FC, who are on the verge of relegation, are hoping to stay in the PSL through a merger with Shooting Stars. The club will be renamed Caps United Football Club.
â€œSome peopleâ€™s whole agenda this season was to see Caps FC being relegated so that issue of the name will fall away,â€ Chifokoyo claimed.
He cited examples of biased officiating in which his team drew four consecutive matches with the opposition equalising with penalties on each occasion. In one of the match, Caps United fielded a suspended player, Limited Chikafa, who scored the equaliser, he alleged.
By Enock Muchinjo