TFF should set up rules to help clubs combat unlawful contract termination

By Nassir Nchimbi , The Guardian
Published at 11:51 AM Mar 19 2024
Zimbabwean forward Prince Dube.
Photo: Azam Fc
Zimbabwean forward Prince Dube.

EVERY soccer player in Africa wants to win titles and play in African inter-club competitions and that is why he/she strives to show his/her prowess now and then with their current clubs.

Once such a player feels he/she can hardly live up to expectations in his/her club, he/she may opt to move to another outfit.

There is a new habit has become common in the Mainland Tanzania Premier League, in which some players decide to request trades while the transfer window has already been closed.

It all started with the then Yanga midfielder Feisal Salum as he forced a move to Azam FC, and with no actions taken to solve the problem so that other players could not force these moves,

Azam FC goal-getter Prince Dube recently requested a move out of Azam FC mid-season, with Yanga reportedly being a dark suitor on the deal.

In December 2022 Salum requested a move away from Yanga- having claimed that the club did not treat him well and he was hardly happy at the club. The midfielder deposited 112m/- into the club's account to exercise his release clause.

In Salum's transfer saga, a lot of legal issues were not resolved as President Samia Hassan intervened in what was then a long-standing backlash between Yanga and the player, and a solution was found after 24 hours.

He joined Azam FC after a 100m/- transfer fee was finalized between the two clubs, as far as I know, if the Court of Arbitration for Sport received such a case from Yanga, then Salum would have remained at the club.

CAS would have looked at a few provisions in the contract that Salum sealed with Yanga, in what language was the contract written?

Was there external and internal pressure when the midfielder was signing the contract? Was he mentally fit?

Was he not playing for the club? Did the club not pay his salary? That case would have many issues to look at and everything would have gone in Yanga's favour.

With Salum's case having not been presented to CAS, Dube has lately decided to use the same approach, tactics, and reason, via his letter to his club asking to terminate his contract- noting he is not happy at the club.

One may ask himself/herself this March, no transfer window is open for Dube to move to another club.

If his club agrees to his letter he stays out until next season without playing competitive football, he can currently move to another club but he will only train.

The wise move that Azam FC has made in Dube's approach is to agree to his letter and ask for $300,000 for him to terminate his contract, which means 765m/- has to be paid by either the player of a club wishing to sign him.

Soccer fans may ask themselves the same questions they did during Salum's saga, is Dube not playing at his club despite reports that he had misunderstandings with his coach?

If he has been playing, has Azam FC lately not been depositing his salary? Has he not received his salary? Have other contract terms not been fulfilled? Has he signed his $300,000 release clause? Yes, he has.

CAS would have been presented with an easy job if Azam FC decided to take this matter to it but the outfit has been wise- it has only asked for the contract terms to be adhered to.

Azam FC is in the race for silverware in the NBC Premier League and Azam Sports Federation Cup- letting Dube go mid-season is not a good move, but- for the club's stability- I can understand why it decided to let him go.

This is not right for the player and club, once a player decides to leave halfway through the season, what does it mean?

A club does not have a window to replace the particular player, Salum's name was listed by Yanga in the team for the 2022/23 CAF Confederation Cup.

The midfielder was also listed in other competitions, where would Yanga have got his replacement with registration windows closed? CAS would have solved the case easily in favour of Yanga.

Dube has decided to use the back door to terminate his contract because he is aware that everything is possible in Tanzania, considering he has people behind him, Salum also had people behind him, and such people were later made public.

The problem is soccer stakeholders in Tanzania run football dishonestly and clubs are like cartels such stakeholders have concluded such an approach, with some of them siding with players like Dube and Salum.

One sad thing is that these players do not know that they are frustrating their careers as they will have to sit out for three to four months without playing, why should such footballers not wait until the end of the season and ask for the move to another club?

If Azam FC decides to terminate Dube's contract today, he will be without a team until June, three months from now, if he signs for another club midseason, he would not be able to play for it until August when the new season starts, which means he will be out for five and half months.

Why are players not willing to wait for the right time to make a move? Contracts should be respected, soccer enthusiasts in the country all know what Ghanaian winger Bernard Morrison did to Yanga, and now another foreign player has followed suit, what are they teaching our local players?

Although there is Salum as a local player who has done the same, where is the professionalism that these players can be glorified for?

Tanzania Football Federation has to work on the issue of players asking for either transfers or contract termination halfway through the season.

The federation ought to do so in the 2024/25 season to help clubs combat the fast-rising habit of players requesting trades while registration windows are closed.