Football Association of Malawi Players Status Committee has ordered Silver Strikers to pay Be Forward Wanderers K2.5 million in compensation for breach of contract over the failed signing of Babatunde Adepochu earlier this year.
The Central Bankers had requested to engage and seek the services of Adepochu from the Nomads, from which an agreement was reached to transfer the player to Area 47 for a fee of K8 million.
The Bankers wasted no time by tying the former Masters Security forward to a three-year deal, with a cheque for the agreed amount deposited into Wanderers account on 5th February 2020.
According to the FA, Wanderers issued a clearance for the player and went further to advise the association to register the player into the system.
However, in a twist of events, the Area 47 side issued an instruction to the Bank not to allow Wanderers to cash in on the cheque, forcing the player to be sent back to his parent club.
The decision forced the Lali Lubani side to lodge an official complaint to the FA, complaining that Silver Strikers breached the agreement which was struck between the two teams, adding that bringing back the player to their side had extra repercussions of wages and other benefits.
And weeks after Wanderers complained, the FA proceeded to seek Silver’s side of the story from which the Bankers admitted to have issued the cheque but said it was issued by mistake hence the decision to reverse the transaction.
According to FAM, the Bankers were quick to deny that there was an agreement between the two clubs, saying as per FIFA’s rules and regulations on player transfers, any transfer is subject to medical assessment.
However, on 26th March 2020, the FA released its verdict on the matter by ordering Silver Strikers to compensate Wanderers K8 million for the breach of the contract.
The decision didn’t go well with the Central Bankers who lodged an appeal to the Player Status Committee against the FA’s first ruling.
In one of the grounds of appeal, the Bankers questioned the FA as to why the association did not take into account that the K8 million cheque was mistakenly issued.
According to the appellant, there was no transfer agreement between the two parties.
The Area 47 side further questioned the FA for ordering the compensation as if there was a verbal agreement between the two sides.
According to the Bankers, Article 1 (3) (b) of the FIFA Rules and Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players states that player transfer contracts shall be in writing since compensation payable for termination of contract without just cause may be stipulated in the contract.
However, the FA has turned down all the six grounds of appeal from the Bankers and ordered them to compensate the Nomads K2.5 million for the breach of contract within 30 days from the date of ruling.
The Committee has further warned the Bankers that failure to pay the fine within the 30-day period will see them banned from registering any new player, either nationally or internationally until the fine is paid.
The Committee, which was chaired by Felister Dossi, has also ruled that the Adepochu will remain a Wanderers player and he will be allowed to be registered regardless of closure of registration period.
The Committee has further advised the player to pursue the matter in regard to the signed agreement with Silver Strikers.