Saturday, December 4, 2021

Popa roll over Zambia’s Dynamos over transfer debt

Football giants Township Rollers are hauling Zambian Super League side Lusaka Dynamos before FIFA for failing to pay the remaining fees for the transfer of versatile midfielder Mothusi “Mini” Cooper.

The diminutive midfielder left Rollers at the beginning of this year to join the Lusaka based outfit in a deal said to be worth US$20 000. Information reaching this publication is that Rollers and Dynamos had agreed for the latter to pay the agreed fee in two instalments.

The first instalments of US$10 000 were allegedly supposed to have paid between 15th December 2020 and 31st January 2021, while the remaining sum of US$10 000 expected before the end of March.

It however seems the deal got off to a bad start as the Lusaka based outfit failed to pay the initial instalment before the end of January as agreed by the two sides.

Dynamos then wrote a letter to Rollers’ President Jagdish Shah on the 5th February 2021 apologising for the delay in paying the first instalment for Cooper. In the letter, Dynamos informed Rollers that the failure to pay was ‘due to administrative bottlenecks,’ but said they were ready to move forward.

In the said letter, Dynamos committed to pay and made a proposal for payment. “We wish to commit to payment the $20 000 as follows. $5000.00 by 5th February 2021. $5000.00 by 28 February 2021 and $10 000 by 31st March 2021,” the letter reads.

Dynamos requested Rollers that after the first payment of $5 000.00 Rollers approve the transfer in the TMS and facilitate movement of Cooper’s ITC from Botswana to Zambia so that he is available for the early games, which Rollers did. 

Despite the detailed payment proposed by Dynamos, the Lusaka based outfit started giving Popa a run-around with the remaining transfer fee balance, compelling the latter to write them a letter on the 22nd July 2021 demanding the outstanding payment.

In the letter, which is signed by the team’s chief executive officer Bennett Mamelodi, Rollers protested what it deemed ‘a grave injustice with regards to your inability to perform in terms of your obligations as outlined in your letter of commitment of 5th February 2021 in respect of one Mothusi Cooper.’

Rollers went on to inform Dynamos that it is of the belief that there were ‘some ulterior and insincere motives’ when Dynamos crafted its letter of commitment.

“Rollers is of the view that the moment Dynamos got the ITC in all fairness and with respect they had no conceivable intention to pay the balance due as per the commitment,” the letter reads.

Popa then allegedly demanded that they be paid the outstanding balance the next day on 23rd July, failing which they would ‘exercise available alternative avenues of recourse and relief.’

With Dynamos not responding, Popa then allegedly appealed to the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) for intervention. The latter’s appeal to Dynamos to pay allegedly fell on tone deaf ears.

Left with nowhere else to go, Rollers then on the 28th July 2021 wrote to Dynamos informing the latter that it will be escalating the matter to FIFA ‘to seek alternative and final relief,’ to which the latter again failed to respond to.

The following day on the 29th July, Rollers then escalated the matter to FIFA requesting for the latter’s ‘urgent intervention and assistance to recover our money.’

Following the letter, Rollers then on the 11th of August (this month) wrote a petition to the FIFA players status committee seeking relief for a ‘claim of US$15000 from Lusaka Dynamos in Zambia.’

In the letter, Rollers informed the FIFA players’ status committee that its petition came as ‘Lusaka Dynamos has an undesirable reputation of not honouring payment commitments and for ignoring calls for them to honour their payment obligations.’

Rollers also alleged in the petition letter that they had it ‘in good authority’ that Dynamos also owed Cooper some money and that ‘he too was exercising his options.’

“We therefore took the decision to escalate and hopefully expedite this matter during this transfer window, so that both we as the club, and our former player should not be prejudiced and unduly deprived,” Rollers wrote.

In its petition to Lusaka Dynamos, Popa is also demanding $15 000.00 plus 10% interest for the remaining balance of the total transfer fee which was agreed on as well as pay back the money they (Rollers) paid ‘for the advance costs for these proceedings.’

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