Nyasa Big Bullets FC have sought Football Association of Malawi’s (FAM) guidance on the controversy surrounding their striker Muhammad Sulumba’s transfer fee from South African club Polokwane City.
This follows an admission reportedly made by the club’s former top official that he pocketed R70 000 (about K3.5 million) from Polokwane which was not declared to the club.
Speaking during a press conference in Blantyre yesterday, Bullets finance committee chairperson Fleetwood Haiya said: “On the surface, this appears a potential criminal case in nature, but we have thought it wise to seek the football governing body’s intervention on how we should proceed.
“Of course, we have a commitment letter from the said official to refund the money, but we still need to seek FAM’s guidance because there were conflicting statements from both parties [Polokwane and the former official].”
He cited verbal claims by Polokwane chairperson Johnny Mogaladi and those made by the former BB official that they agreed on a R200 000 [about K10 million] transfer fee, as an example of inconsistencies.
“When we contacted the Polokwane owner, he claimed to have made a R70 000 advance payment and that, therefore, the balance was R130 000 from the agreed R200 000. But when we got hold of the transfer fee agreement, we established that the agreed transfer fee was actually R240 000 and not R200 000.
“It was at this point that the former official admitted to have received the part payment and made a commitment to refund the advance payment that he got,” he said.
Haiya also said the other unclear area is whether the [R240 000] transfer fee was paid in full or not.
He showed journalists a copy of the contract which states that the transfer fee was supposed to be paid within seven days of signing the agreement.
The agreement was signed on July 19 2016, “and basic arithmetic means the transfer fees should have been paid by July 26.”
“Another issue is, of course, an attempt that was made by three former officials to push for Sulumba’s clearance with FAM without the club’s knowledge. We thank FAM for their professionalism; otherwise we could have been caught off-guard.”
FAM transfer matching systems (TMS) manager Casper Jangale confirmed having been approached by Bullets on the matter.
“We are looking into the issue. The first thing will be to find out what were the agreed terms and then bring the two parties together. We will also see how we can sort out the transfer issue so that the player can still join the South African club,” he said.
Bullets sponsors Nyasa Manufacturing Company’s (NMC) managing director Dimitri Kalaitzis said: “We are extremely disappointed with the manner in which Sulumba’s deal has been managed and we would also like to plead with the players to follow procedures on transfers whenever an opportunity comes up because they are bound by their contracts.”
Sulumba, who arrived in the country on Monday, said he has put all the controversy behind him.
“Maybe time was not ripe for me to move, I will wait for God’s time because He is the only one who knows my destiny.
“As for the future, I would like to continue from where I stopped with Bullets,” he said.