Bloemfontein - Free State Cheetahs wing Lionel Mapoe faces an uncertain future after failing to return to Bloemfontein after losing his contractual dispute with his provincial team.
Mapoe, who was the subject of an arbitration hearing in Bloemfontein last weekend after he requested a move from the Cheetahs to the Sharks and his union refused, was dealt a blow last week when the hearing ruled in favour of the Cheetahs and ordered him to rejoin his team.
The wing had been training in Durban illegally with the Sharks while still under contract to the Cheetahs and has not arrived back at the Bloemfontein base of the team.
The Cheetahs will now consider “other options” according to Free State President Harold Verster, and Mapoe may find himself facing a monetary claim for the breach of contract.
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske confirmed to SuperSport.com that Mapoe had not arrived.
“He hasn’t reported as we expected and we have had no word as to when he will get here,” Drotske told SuperSport.com.
“Lionel was supposed to report to us already, but we have no idea when that will happen.”
Verster added that a letter had been issued to the player to demand he presents himself to honour his contract.
“We have sent the letter out and if he doesn’t comply, then we will have to look at other options. I can’t say at this moment what these are, but we will consider them if the situation presents itself.”
Mapoe wasn’t available for comment but his agent, Jan-Harm van Wyk told SuperSport.com he was waiting word from the Sharks as to the next step.
“There isn’t much new to report, Lionel doesn’t want to go back to Bloemfontein. I’m waiting to see what will happen next but he will probably have to present himself at the Cheetahs at some stage. The Sharks will be getting back to me soon on how they see the future now that the arbitration has been completed.”
Either way Mapoe, who was due to play again last week after overcoming injury, may well be on the sidelines until his contract runs out at the end of next year if he doesn’t sort this out soon.