Silver Strikers FC claim that Civil Sporting Club’s marksman Raphael Phiri belongs to them because he signed a three-year deal after the Bankers bought out his contract from the Civil Servants.
The Bankers general secretary (GS) Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda yesterday said they signed a contract with the player after Civil Sporting accepted a K6 million cheque as a buy-out of his contract on Friday.
Said Nyirenda: “This was after Raphael wrote Civil Sporting requesting that he should exercise his right of option to buy out the remainder of his contract and they [Civil Sporting] acknowledged receipt of the cheque.
“After that, we uploaded on the domestic transfer matching system on Friday knowing that the deadline was fast approaching.”
But Nyirenda said Civil Sporting changed their stand upon realising that the source of the money was Silver.
“Nevertheless, we argued that it happened in a deal involving a high-profile player, Neymar, when French team PSG paid on his behalf to Bercelona when he also opted to use a buy-out clause.
“The problem is that there is too much politics in the interpretation of the [transfer] rules [locally]. There are crooked mechanisms in the interpretation of the rules and if we claim to conform with international transfer rules, then we have to follow that,” he said.
The Nation has also seen a copy of a letter purportedly written by Phiri to Civil Sporting on August 10 and part of it reads: “Following the discussions that we have had before, I want to communicate that I have made a decision and I am moving away from the club with immediate effect.
“You may recall that my professional contract which runs until January 30 2021, was amended on 13th January 2018 where in addition it says; [the contract shall have a buy-out clause for at least K6 million for a local club]. I am using this clause to move away from the team.”
However, while acknowledging receipt of Silver’s cheque, Civil Sporting GS Ronald Chiwaula yesterday said they never reached an agrement with the Bankers.
“Our understanding is that a buy-out clause can be effected upon an agreement between the parent club and a player, in this case us and Raphael. And the agreement was that he is not moving,” he said.
Asked if they have returned the cheque to Silver, Chiwaula said: “They brought it towards the weekend and it is still with us, but we will be doing that today [yesterday].”
Chiwaula also wondered who gave Silver the consent to talk to the player, “because we did not and that is tantamount to player tapping”.
But Silver dismissed the claims, saying Civil Sporting granted them permission to talk to the player some time back.
“In fact, we have been talking to them since January and it was them [Civil Sporting] who provided us with the contract.”
Phiri could not be reached for comment yesterday but on Sunday he told The Nation that “after careful consideration, I have decided to respect my contract and remain with Civil Sporting.” n