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Players deal gone sour

5 Under-23 players fail to sign contracts

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TO RETURN HOME—Lungu

Turkey-based players’ agency International Pelican Sports has threatened to report Football Association of Malawi (Fam) to Fifa for breach of contract.

This comes after Pelican failed to sign five Malawi Under-23 players following disagreements with local clubs as the Turkey-based agency proposed to sign the players for free.

The five players, namely Blessings Mpokera, Alick Lungu (both Nyasa Big Bullets), Mphatso Kamanga (Karonga United), Fanizo Mwansambo (Bangwe All Stars) and Chawanangwa Gumbo of Ekwendeni Hammers, are expected to arrive in the country today.

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Fam and the agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to help in facilitating deals for the players.

In an interview yesterday, Pelican Chief Executive Officer Rasul Allaverdiyev, through his personal assistant Eric Obidike, said they would be forced to seek Fifa’s intervention on the matter.

“Pelican Agency will reconsider the contract signed with the Malawi Football Association in March. Termination of this agreement is on the agenda as the other party has not fulfilled its contractual obligations,’’ Obidike said.

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However, the agency refused to disclose what is contained in the agreement between Pelican and Fam.

“For now, we will wait until the players arrive in Malawi. We want to get the reaction from Malawi although we will give them a chance for dialogue,” he added.

Recently, the agency told local clubs that they would get 50 percent cut if the players are resold to other clubs.

However, at first, the agency told the clubs that it would help facilitate deals for the five players to top European teams.

Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda Tuesday said the association never breached any terms of the agreement.

“Following instructions from the clubs, it has been felt right and proper to call all the players that were undergoing trials in Turkey to join national team camp training while others return home,” Gunda said.

“What we signed was an MoU and we have not breached any agreement. It is apparent that both parties need time to reflect on a settlement that is mutually acceptable by considering all options on the table,” he added.

Mpokera, Lungu, Gumbo and Kamanga have been included in the provisional squad of 30-players preparing for Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) against Ethiopia and Guinea next month.

Bullets Chief Administration Officer Albert Chigoga said there were lessons learnt.

“Certain things could have been done better. Otherwise, it is a lesson to us as a club. We will be more cautious next time,” Chigoga said.

On his part, Karonga General Secretary Ramsy Simwaka said the Turkey-based agency lacked seriousness.

“We offered them a one-year loan at a small fee but they were offering a raw deal,” Simwaka said. While in Turkey, Malawi U-23 beat Kuwait 2-0 before they lost 3-0 to Togo in the last match in Antalya, Turkey.

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