The Sunday News
Fungai Muderere, Senior Sports Reporter
IN a protracted monetary benefits dispute between Castle Lager Premier Soccer League former champions Chicken Inn and South Africa’s DStv Premiership side Kaizer Chiefs over the 2019 transfer of Zimbabwe Warriors defender Teenage Hadebe from Amakhosi to Turkish side, Yeni Malatyaspor, Fifa’s tribunal recently ruled in favour of the 2015 Zimbabwean champions.
Hadebe joined Amakhosi in mid-2017 after having previously been on trial for the gold and black side in August 2016. With a sale on clause on his contract with the Super Diski side, the Gamecocks were set to financially benefit if the player was sold to another club. That being the case, the towering centre back moved from the Soweto giants where he did duty from July 2017 to mid-2019 to Turkish Super Lig side, Yeni Malatyaspor for an undisclosed fee amid reports that the South African side argued that the defender went for free.
It was a development that reportedly irked the Gamecocks family, the same predicament they fell victim to at the hands of ex-Super Diski side Mpumalanga Black Aces when their former striker Tendai Ndoro made a switch to another Soweto giant, Orlando Pirates in February 2018. Aces refuted claims they owed Chicken Inn a 30 percent share from the transfer of the striker as part of the agreement signed between the two clubs, claiming the player was “off loaded to Pirates” for free. But when Ndoro moved to Mpumalanga Black Aces from the Gamecocks in 2013, a clause was reportedly inserted in the sale agreement that if the player made a move within five years, the Bulawayo side would get 30 percent of the transfer fee.
With the Zimbabwean side destined to get another sour deal in their case against Kaizer Chiefs following Hadebe’s move to Turkey, the Bulawayo club, with a renowned lawyer, Tavengwa Hara in the executive, approached the Fifa Players’ Status Committee. The decision of the Players’ Status Chamber which was passed on 8 November 2022 and signed by the football tribunal chief legal and compliance officer Emilio García Silvero reads:
“The claim of the Claimant, Chicken Inn FC, is partially accepted. The Respondent, Kaizer Chiefs Football Club, has to pay to the Claimant, the following amount(s): USD 13,654.11 as outstanding remuneration plus 5% interest per annum as from 7 July 2021 until the date of effective payment; USD 7,724.64 as outstanding remuneration plus 5% interest per annum as from 16 January 2022 until the date of effective payment…. Full payment (including all applicable interest) shall be made to the bank account indicated in the enclosed Bank Account Registration Form.”
The tribunal also cited that in the event that Kaizer Chiefs do not pay the money within 45 days; “the respondent shall be banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, up until the due amount is paid. The maximum duration of the ban shall be of up to three entire and consecutive registration periods. The present matter shall be submitted, upon request, to the Fifa Disciplinary Committee in the event that full payment (including all applicable interest) is still not made by the end of the three entire and consecutive registration periods. The consequences shall only be enforced at the request of the Claimant in accordance with article. 24 paragraph. 7 and 8 and article. 25 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players. The final costs of the proceedings in the amount of USD 5,000 are to be paid by the Respondent to Fifa. Fifa will reimburse to the Claimant (Chicken Inn) the advance of costs paid at the start of the present proceedings.”
Chicken Inn chairman Juta Tshuma confirmed that they won the case against the South African giants, and referred further questions to Hara, the club’s secretary-general.
“It’s a victory for us as a club and we are celebrating that, but I can’t go into details about the matter,’’ said Hara.
The Makokoba bred Hadebe then left Turkey in 2021 to secure a US$1, 8 million move in the Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States where he is plying his trade with Houston Dynamo. In 2020, Highlanders received solidarity funds for the role they played in grooming Marvelous Nakamba and Hadebe. Nakamba, now playing in England, and Hadebe are Bosso junior products who got to blossom at the now defunct Bantu Rovers, a team that was owned by former Highlanders player and coach Methembe Ndlovu. — Follow on Twitter @FungaiMuderere