LACK of understanding the FIFA regulations on the status and transfer of players is suicidal to a footballer’s career progression. Many a times, we have heard of Zambian players moving from one club to another without any regard to the global binding rules on such transfers.
It is not only the issue of ignorance because at times some managers do so deliberately by initiating moves when they know that the player in question still has a binding contract at another club. FIFA usually comes down heavily on such players just like we witnessed a few years ago when one of Zambia’s gifted left backs, Emmanuel Mbola almost saw his blossoming career going to waste after a long-running transfer saga.
Mbola, who was linked with a dream move to English Premiership, Tottenham Hotspur and even attended trials at Arsenal, got involved in an ugly transfer saga over his move to Armenian side, Pyunik Yerevan and later to DR Congo club, TP Mazembe.
We saw FIFA meting out stiff punishment on Mbola, whom the world football governing body banned for four months. Because of the suspension, Mbola subsequently missed out on Zambia’s successful campaign at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) where the Chipolopolo emerged winners.
Since the end of that transfer battle, Mbola has been struggling to regain the form that saw him become one of Africa’s most wanted players after the 2010 AFCON finals in Angola.
Now we hear another upcoming player, Julius Situmbeko is at the centre of some transfer controversy. Kenyan club, Gor Mahia were reportedly to have signed the skilful Power Dynamos midfielder whom they allegedly even paid a signing fee of $6,000 with another Zambian player witnessing the transaction. If it’s true that he has signed for two clubs, Situmbeko should brace himself to face the FIFA music once Gor takes up the matter with the global authority.
We are told Gor, who have been expecting Situmbeko to report for work, are now upset and want their money back since the Zambian has not showed up as per agreement.
With such unfolding embarrassing moments, FAZ, apart from sensitising the players, need to also come up with stringent measures in 2014 to ensure these desperate footballers are screened before signing contracts.
A bit of education on understanding of their contractual obligations could also save Zambia from further embarrassment. The parent clubs, some of whom put inhibiting prize tags on their footballers, also need to help in curbing the vice. Solely focusing on money instead of a player’s career should not be the reason to sell these footballers to other clubs.
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