By Norman Katende
THE national soccer governing body, FUFA, has appealed to their international counterparts FIFA over the failed release of Emmanuel Okwi by Etoile du Sahel.
Okwi wants his contract with Etoile terminated for non-payment and the Tunisian club to pay him $42,500 (sh106m) that the club owes him through unpaid wages and productivity bonus as per the contract signed before he joined the club.
FUFA Chief Executive Officer Edgar Watson wrote the letter protesting Etoile du Sahel blocking the request of the International Transfer Certificate, after SC Villa request for his release and entered a contract with him. The request had been done through the FIFA Transfer Matching System (TMS).
Watson noted that Okwi had not been paid for the recommended two months hence there was a breach of contract which gives permission to the player to leave for a club of his choice.
According to Edgar Agaba, the legal officer handling the situation, the case is now expected to be handled by the FIFA Players Status committee, together with the one of Godfrey Walusimbi.
The left back, though he has already secured an International Transfer Certificate and entered a six-month contract with Villa, is demanding for $20,000 (sh50m), which was payment for the last five months at Don Bosco before the season closed.
“We were advised by FIFA to show all the paper work and our legal fees and we have already communicated to FIFA. We are now waiting for their decision,” added Agaba.
Agaba is confident that FIFA will be working out a way to see that the players are paid.
In such cases, FIFA always deducts the money from the FIFA Assistance Programme for the member federations, who in turn are charged so that they recover the money from the offending clubs.