WPL teams, FKF in war-of-words over player transfers


Caroline Kigut (L), Juliet Auma (C) and Fauzia Omar of Thika Queens tackles Marian Komery ...
Caroline Kigut (L), Juliet Auma (C) and Fauzia Omar of Thika Queens tackles Marian Komery of Egyptian women national team during their build up match at the Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani on October 26,2016. The match ended 1-1. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

In Summary

  • A war of words has erupted between Football Kenyan Federation and Women Premier League clubs over the irregular transfer of women footballers plying their trade in Kenya’s top-tier league.
  • Whereas the clubs are pointing an accusing finger at the federation over the transfers, the latter maintains that they are not to blame insisting that the aggrieved clubs have not raised the issue or brought the matter for dispute resolution.
  • At the centre of it all are WPL clubs Kisumu All Starlets and Thika Queens who’ve ‘lost’ their players to clubs in the Tanzanian league.
Chief Writer, Women Football

A war of words has erupted between Football Kenyan Federation and Women Premier League clubs over the irregular transfer of women footballers plying their trade in Kenya’s top-tier league.

Whereas the clubs are pointing an accusatory finger at the federation over the transfers, the latter maintains that they are blameless adding that the aggrieved clubs have not raised the issue or brought the matter for dispute resolution.

At the centre of it all are WPL clubs Kisumu All Starlets and Thika Queens who’ve ‘lost’ their players to clubs in the Tanzanian women league.

Kisumu had Bertha Omita pen a deal for Simba Queens on August 27 while Wincate Kaari of Thika Queens also followed suit penning a deal with Yanga Princess leading to hue and cry from the affected clubs who insist proper procedure hasn’t been followed.

The duo wants FKF to investigate the matter.

The federation, on the other hand, has blamed the clubs for not reporting the cases but raising the alarm when the damage is already done.

“We just saw in the media that Omita had signed with Simba Queens and how the deal was done for sure we can’t tell. They did not communicate with us even the player herself didn’t inform us. Simba only asked my manager Beryl Akinyi for a release but since they haven’t paid any transfer nor service fee we are not going to release her,” said Starlets head coach Juma Said in an earlier interview with Citizen Digital.

He added: “The player had signed a two-year contract which was due on January 2021 meaning she is currently our player. Simba need to talk to us and meet our release clause for us to offer the transfer. Things don’t go that way.”

“We are also asking FKF to assist us in dealing with the matter, they are the one offering the International Transfer Certificate hence they should chip in and save the situation.”

“I think there are people in the federation who are conducting irregular deals of selling the players with cheap price hence they benefit from the deals without the clubs benefiting. That’s wrong being that we are the ones who developed them.”

Thika Queens chairman Alfred Chege has also said that “they were not informed” of the move.

“Yanga didn’t inform us, and what I know is that Wincate is still our player. They can’t snatch her without involving us, who issued the transfer certificate? The federation should tell us in detail. We don’t know what was written in the paper she signed, we are even not sure whether she is in Kenya or Tanzania; anything can happen but the way things are being done is not okay at all.”

Reached for comment, FKF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Barry Otieno said they have ‘heard’ news of Kenya women footballers signing abroad but they can’t be of blame since the clubs themselves haven’t filed a single complaint on how the transfers were allegedly irregularly done.

“For sure there is no any club which has raised its complaint directly to the federation, they are just complaining in the media. Why? Another thing you need to know is that we don’t interfere with clubs transfers; they are the ones who do negotiation through the system and release the players.

“So Kisumu All Starlets and Thika should send their official written complaints showing the contracts to prove that certain clubs snatched their players despite her having contract with them and that’s the point we can act.

Our job is to roll out structures to govern football and not negotiating with a player. If today, for example, a Gor Mahia player decides to join Zesco we have no business in negotiation.”

“For Women Premier League we are now starting to put the players in the system and soon we will start issuing International Transfer Certificates (ITC) online but for now we haven’t received any complaint so we can’t act,” added Barry.

Contacted,  Simba Queens team manager Selemani Makanya said the player is the one who showed interest in joining them.

“Bertha is the one who called me personally asking for a chance to join us and hence we had organized some trial.  I allowed her to come on board and she really impressed the entire technical team here, that’s why we decided to sign her.

“She signed a two-year contract but we can’t divulge the contact details in terms of what we are paying her. But… atleast she is happy compared to Kenya where football activities were halted due to Covid-19 outbreak and players don’t earn anymore.”

“Before even allowing her to join our camp we asked her whether  she had consulted her parent club Kisumu Starlets and she said they were very much aware and we had no other option other than proceeding to sign her.”

“During the Simba Open Day, for our men’s team on August 22 at Benjamin Mkappa Stadium , Omita was present and she met her Kenyan counterparts Francis Kahata and Joash Onyango,” he added.

It is alleged that several other Kenyan women footballers have received offers from East Africa clubs and beyond with many of them expected to jump ship soon.

 

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Story By Geoffrey Mwamburi
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