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Blow to Sofapaka after FIFA Transfer Ban

FOOTBALL By Washington Onyango | December 9th 2021
Sofapaka FC players before KPL match against Wazito FC at Narok stadium on Sunday Nv 10, 2019. [Jonah Onyango, Standard

Football Kenya Federation Premier League side Sofapaka FC have been dealt a massive blow after Fifa banned them from signing new players.

The 2009 champions were banned after failing to pay a former player his dues.

The Wundanyi-based outfit terminated the contract of Ghanaian striker Jedinak Nana Ameyaw in January 2021, citing "continued dismal performances".

Ameyaw had a year remaining on his contract and, via the Professional Footballers Association of Ghana, appealed for the remainder of his wages to be paid.

Sofapaka's transfer ban, which was handed out by Fifa on Monday, will be lifted once Ameyaw has been paid.

"We have every intention of paying the money very soon, it's just we have had problems with funding," Sofapaka President Elly Kalekwa, told BBC Sport Africa.

Elly Kalekwa President Sofapaka F.C speaking when he received Ksh.35M from Betika company. [PHOTO:WILBERFORCE OKWIRI]

Kalekwa advised that his club would aim to settle its arrears by the end of January.

Football's world governing body - which outlaws the termination of a player's deal on the basis of poor performance - accepted Ameyaw's case earlier this year and said on Monday that Sofapaka "has not complied with its financial obligations in accordance with the decision from Fifa".

Ameyaw is claiming $12,000 (sh1.3 million)- the total value of his annual contract - plus interest, and $1,000 (sh113,000) in legal costs from the Kenyan Premier League side.

As a result of the non-payment of this amount, Fifa has banned Sofapaka from registering new players internationally and has requested that the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) implements a domestic ban on the club registering new local players.

The FKF is currently being run by a government-appointed caretaker committee.

Sofapaka become the latest Kenyan club to be handed a transfer ban by Fifa after Gor Mahia recently received a similar sanction, its second this year, after also failing to pay a former player.

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