Zifa Must Resolve Name Conflict: New Caps United

THE new Caps United Football Club has urged the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) to decisively rule on its name conflict with the other Caps United owned by Twine Phiri and Farai Jere.


Julius Chifokoyo, chairman of Caps FC which recently merged with Shooting Stars to form the new Caps United, insisted that the issue of the use of the name was dragging on longer than necessary.

“This is a storm in a teacup,” Chifokoyo told IndependentSport. “There is no story here. All what the authorities need to do is to have in front of them the Supreme Court ruling and the original agreement between Caps Holdings and Twine Phiri in 1999 when he first acquired a 50% stake in Caps United Football Club. If they do that, they will be able to see things logically and see the picture.”

Last year Supreme Court judge Vernanda Ziyambi upheld a High Court judgement that threw out Phiri’s application to have Caps Holdings barred from using the acronym Caps.

The ruling encouraged Caps Holdings who in 1999 sold their club’s stake to Phiri and then later disposed of the remaining 50%, to reclaim ownership of the popular Harare club.

Chifokoyo revealed that his club wrote to Zifa over the impasse last week. He said the association responded by saying the matter should not have gone to court in the first place.

“They said the matter should have been resolved in-house. We tend to agree. But we were not the ones who went to court. This is a simple matter which the football authorities must resolve on their own. We don’t have to spill blood.”

Chifokoyo insisted that his company never ceded the name rights to Phiri.

“What people need to do is to understand the Trademark Act and what was agreed in 1999,” he said.

“You have to understand the meaning of all the clauses in the agreement. That agreement dealt with the branding rights of the team.

Once he acquired the team, Twine was supposed to sit down and form a new company. That company could not be Caps United Football Club because it already existed.

That did not happen until Makepekepe Football Club was later formed. Even when he acquired the other 50%, that was buying the franchise, not the name. You can’t buy a franchise and take the name.”

Indications are that Phiri and Jere might resort to using the name Makepekepe United FC which, as revealed in this paper  last December, was registered in April 2007.

BY ENOCK MUCHINJO

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