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Babatunde belongs to Wanderers–Fam

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Thokozani Chimbali

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Players Status Committee has ruled that striker Babatunde Adepoju return to Be Forward Wanderers despite signing a contract with Silver Strikers.

The verdict, released Monday, ends a long transfer dispute which saw Silver appealing against Fam’s earlier sentence ordering the Bankers to pay K8 million compensation as it was deemed that the side had completed the signing of the Nigerian forward.

The Players Status Committee has since ordered Silver to pay a K2.5 million fine to Wanderers for damages.

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“The committee is of the view that the amount of damages may be payable depending on the circumstances of the case and hence the damages are decided on case by case basis.

“The committee exercised its discretion therefore award damages in the sum of K2.5 million to the Respondent to be payable within a period of 30 days,” read part of the verdict and signed by the committee’s chairperson, Felister Dossi.

Failure to pay the money, according to the ruling, Silver will not be allowed to register any player, locally or internationally, according to Article 24 of Fifa rules.

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The committee also referred Silver’s claim for K15 million transfer fee for late Tony Chitsulo back to the court. Silver were claiming the amount, with a compound interest rate, after Wanderers failed to pay K1.5 million transfer fee in 2013.

“The committee noted that the counterclaim is in respect of a judgement sum which apparently the Respondent has failed to honor. In that regard, the committee is of the view that it does not have mandate to enforce a judgement of a court hence advises the Appellant to use the judgement enforcement measures as prescribed by law,” the ruling stated.

If not satisfied with the judgement, Babatunde can appeal.

Wanderers general secretary Victor Maunde said they will not appeal the case.

“We are fine and satisfied with the verdict and we will keep the player. You may wish to know that the season is long and teams sometimes face injuries and player suspensions so keeping five or six strikers in the team is not a problem,” he said.

Silver chief executive officer Thokozani Chimbali said they were going through the verdict before issuing their stance on the verdict.

Babatunde said he will discuss with his manager before deciding on his next move.

“My manager will advise me on the way forward. If he says we should appeal I will. If he thinks otherwise I will let it go. But for now it is good that the ruling is out,” said the former Masters Security player.

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