Kenyan premier league champions Gor Mahia have accused Kaizer Chiefs of “player-tapping” their defender‚ Godfrey Walusimbi‚ who they say has gone Awol to South Africa without their knowledge.
Gor Mahia have put a $212,426 or R3-million price tag on the defender‚ who played against Egypt and Mali for current Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic’s Uganda at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.
Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier‚ however‚ has accused Chiefs of “player-tapping” their defender.
Tapping is the process of a club attempting to sign another team’s player without seeking permission to do so. It is forbidden in Fifa’s regulations.
Rachier alleged that Chiefs’ chairman Kaizer Motaung had contacted his Mahia counterpart to apologise for the manner in which the Soweto giants had approach Walusimbi.
In a statement on Gor Mahia’s official website‚ Rachier said: “Let it be known that Walusimbi made it to South Africa to meet Kaizer Chiefs without the club’s permission or notifying the club on his travel intentions.
“It’s unfortunate that a player can just decide on his own to travel to engage another club without our knowledge.
“I got an alert from someone that he was traveling and the next thing was a call from Kaizer Chiefs [Motaung] chairman apologising for that step and requesting if we could talk on a possible move.
“I declined to discuss anything and told Chiefs’ chairman I will hold a meeting with my EC [executive committee] then we will know what step to take.
“What Walusimbi did was wrong. Kaizer Chiefs too did something wrong because that’s player tapping‚ which is against stipulated rules yet the player has a running contract. There are clear and accepted procedures if they wanted the player.”
Player tapping is covered in article 18.3 of Fifa’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.
The rule states: “A club intending to conclude a contract with a professional must inform the player’s current club in writing before entering into negotiations with him.”
Chiefs’ communications manager Vina Maphosa said he was not aware of Walusimbi having arrived in South Africa with a view to signing for Amakhosi.
“Nothing has been told to us. I don’t even know the player – I haven’t seen the player‚” Maphosa said.
“I just know that there was an interest in a player form Uganda. I don’t know if it’s the same player.
“The operations or where he is have not been brought to my attention. What was brought to my attention is that there is an interest in a player from Uganda.”
Chiefs have already been involved in one contractual standoff this transfer window for Madagascan international Andriamirado “Dax” Andrianarimanana.
Dax’s club‚ Fosa Juniors‚ alleged the player had a contract with them until 2020‚ which the player disputed. He has since been confirmed an Amakhosi signing and is currently awaiting his work permit to be cleared to play.