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Work permit delays Flames trio’s PSL debut

Flames midfielders Gerald Phiri Jnr, Micium Mhone and striker Muhamad Sulumba’s South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) debuts are on hold due to work permit delays.

Mhone on Saturday confirmed that he was set to start for Jomo Cosmos when they line up Maritzburg United today in Johannesburg, only to learn that his permit was not out.

“I completed all police clearance procedures required for the permit and Blue Eagles’ general secretary [Ackis Muwanga] also assured me that he was talking to Fam on the same. Now, it is just a matter of waiting,” said Mhone who has scored four goals in six Cosmos pre-season outings.

Sulumba is Mhone’s Cosmos team-mate, whereas Phiri plays for BidVest Wits

Phiri’s South Africa management firm, Siyavuma Sports Group, on Saturday cast doubt on the prospect of the former Caps United attacker debuting soon.

“None of them [new foreign signings] will play as work permits for new foreigners will likely be issued at the end of the month. There are new rules here now. And an international clearance cannot be issued before the permit,” said the group in a written response.

Cosmos’ local contact, Ben Chiwaya, on Saturday insisted that the permit could probably be out within two weeks. PSL spokesperson, Lux September, asked for more time to verify the permit pre-conditions.

South Africa website www. states that work permits are in exceptional skills (such as those for footballers), quota and general categories.

The exceptional permit is “valid for three years, and an intra-company transfer for two years.” Quota permit is revised every year and is open ended whereas the general work permit is valid for the duration of the contract.

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