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18.03.2005 Football News

Refund $170,000 - FIFA Orders Ghanaian Agent

By Michael Quaye for Graphic
Refund $170,000 - FIFA Orders Ghanaian Agent

A $170,000 scandal has erupted over the transfer of former Hearts of Oak player, Laryea Kingston, forcing world football governing body, FIFA, to clamp down on a Ghanaian football agent and his local club.

At the centre of the storm is Mr Victus Amenyedor, and the club he represents, Volta Warriors, who apparently stood between Laryea's former club Accra Hearts of Oak, and Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv and did same in an onward transfer to Krylia Sovetov Samara of Russia.

Fifa investigation into the matter revealed Laryea Kingston joined Tel Aviv from Hearts in September 10, 2003, for $100,000, but a day later the Israeli club and Volta Warriors signed a contract that gave both teams equal share of rights over the player, the FIFA Player Status Committee said in its ruling.

Consequently, it said, Volta Warriors agreed to pay Hearts the $100,000 which Hapoel Tel Aviv owed Hearts in the transfer of the player. Hapoel Tel Aviv was to pay Volta Warrior $52,000 and further $15,000 if the agreed amount of $52,000 was not paid immediately.

On July 1, 2004, after the expiration of the Israeli league, Hapoel failed to renew the contract of Kingston. Consequently, Volta Warriors transferred him to Krylia Sovetou Samara in the Russia league for $175,000 on August 20, 2004.

On September 10, the same year, Volta Warriors wrote to FIFA to claim $52,000 and $15,000 from Hapoel Tel Aviv for non-payment, plus lawyers' costs.

The Israeli club, however, told FIFA that they had contacted Volta Warriors to obtain the club's bank account details to make the payment into it, but had only received the private bank accounts of the Volta Warriors' owner, one Jacob Golan, an Israeli. Hapoel Tel Aviv, therefore, argued that Volta Warriors prevented the payment from being made, and as a result insisted that the debt of $15,000 no longer existed.

In addition, the Israeli club claimed 50 per cent of the $175,000 being Kingston's transfer fee to Sovetou Samara, contending that it amounted to violation of contractual terms between the Ghanaian club and their Israeli counterparts.

The Player Status Committee of FIFA thus asked Volta Warriors to refund $20,000 to Israeli club, Hapoel Tel Aviv, within a month.

Volta Warriors are also to pay five per cent interest on the amount to the Israeli side.

“IF the aforementioned sum is not paid within the aforementioned deadline, the present matter shall be submitted to FIFA Disciplinary Committee so that the necessary disciplinary sanctions may be imposed,” the ruling by the FIFA Player Status Committee, handed on March 9, said.

But Hearts are fuming with rage over the subject. Board Secretary, Ernest Thompson, told the Graphic Sports that Hearts did not deal with Volta Warriors at any point in the transfer of the player.

He insisted that by the terms of agreement that transfered Kingston to the Israeli side, Hearts were entitled to 10 per cent of any onward transfer of the player.

He said they would bring the situation to the understanding of FIFA through a report to be sent through the Ghana Football Association (GFA).

Indeed, he said Hearts, through the GFA, wrote to FIFA last year claiming their 10 per cent share of the transfer of Kingston to the Russian club but were yet to receive a reply from the complaint.