Chippa United would not have had to be explaining themselves if they had adhered to FIFA’s ruling issued last year to pay Augustine Kwem after the Nigerian forward escalated his unpaid dues case to the world governing body.
This is the sentiment shared by Kwem’s legal representative Johnny Precious Ogbah, the head of Sports Law (Africa) at the Activity Chambers.
Following revelations of a transfer ban, Chippa issued a statement yesterday acknowledging owing Kwem but seeking to explain how they have still not paid him in full.
The Nigerian striker – now with TS Galaxy – took Chippa to FIFA over an R200 000 bill owed to him and in December the world governing body ruled that he be paid.
Since then, Chippa has only paid R80 000 in two instalments.
"There was no written agreement that the money owed to Chippa be paid in instalments, but the man approached me and pleaded to pay R40 000 every month which he paid late," says Ogbah talking to KickOff.
"The second month he paid late and now for April there was nothing received, and we are now in May. Towards the end of April, I asked him what is happening he said he will pay on the 7th and today is the 12th and he hasn’t paid.
"We were just lenient on his part and didn’t want to go to FIFA all this while to get this ban imposed.
"Last year FIFA asked them to make this payment and if they didn’t pay within 45 days, we were at liberty to inform FIFA and FIFA would have imposed the ban immediately.
"But then it was our lenience that made us not go to FIFA then but on their own part, they still haven’t paid it all.
"We have given Chippa United enough time to pay but they don’t appear forthcoming in paying off, so we have proceeded," says Ogbah in his response.
"The facts speak for themselves because this is based on the letter from FIFA which I have also copied to the PSL, SAFA and the relevant authorities.
"They say they will pay in the next week but the fact of the matter is that we don’t want to keep begging Chippa to pay so this is why we have had to take this step and they will now be forced and pay everything in time.
"With this transfer ban, they will not be able to conduct any transfer business of players without paying.
"We asked him to key in this payment when he pays his players at the end of the month, but they still didn’t meet that arrangement.
"The only reason why this ban was not imposed after 45 days of the FIFA ruling was because of the relationship that I have with Simon (Chippa Mpengesi) otherwise I would have gone ahead with this a long while ago.
"Most of the cases I have done in South Africa are against him. I did a case for George Akpabio, Ugonna Uzochukwu and James Okwuosa which they all won and were all related," he details.