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Foreign players negotiating in bad faith to blame for Fifa transfer ban woes, say PSL teams

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Several South African clubs are paying the price for misadministration, with a Fifa ban on transfers in force at TS Galaxy, Royal AM and Richards Bay.

Nkosikhona Ndaba of Richards Bay FC celebrates with goal scorer Lwandile Mabuya during the DStv Premiership 2023/24 Promotion Play-offs match against Baroka FC. Picture: Gerhard Duraan, BackpagePix

SEVERAL Premier Soccer League clubs have been forced into sorting out some expensive administration problems as they sit with Fifa transfer bans ahead of the July transfer window.

DStv Premiership outfits Royal AM, TS Galaxy and Richards Bay are among the clubs looking to sort out these issues with Fifa before the start of the month, as they look to strengthen their squad for the coming season.

The three clubs have all, separately, blamed foreign transfers for their woes.

Although the details differ, these clubs are seemingly falling into the same trap, a trend they’ll need to buck if the DStv Premiership is to make significant growth in the coming years.

Royal AM remains blocked from signing any new players until they’ve paid Serbian Samir Nurkovic (R12 million) and Ricardo Nascimento (R600,000), both cases they are said to be struggling with.

On the side of Galaxy, chairman Tim Sukazi told the SABC they were given misleading information by Ivorian player Bernard Yao Kouassi, who is the reason Fifa has slapped The Rockets with a transfer ban.

“I am not sure what we were dealing with here. There are players who seem to make a career out of being able to get away with this sort of behaviour and then take clubs to Fifa, expecting the outcome to go in their favour,” said Sukazi.

Similar sentiments were further echoed by Natal Rich Boyz owner Jomo Biyela, who suggested that some foreign players negotiate in bad faith.

The KwaZulu-Natal-based outfit is in the process of paying off Kenyan winger Ovella Ochieng, who has since departed the club.

“Sometimes they (foreign players) sign; the moment they sign, they send it to Fifa. I want to blame it on players, but it’s a lesson also to us,” he said, after his side retained their top-flight status.

“Also with us chairmen or administrators; I don’t want to be seen as a person who’s xenophobic, but we don’t have this problem with local players. That’s because we are able to sit with a local player and negotiate the exit.

“We have sorted it out, it was not even a ban that comes with millions like other teams. It was a misunderstanding – R230,000. I think the reality is that there are players who are not honest.”

The opening of the July-August transfer window should present clubs with an opportunity to positively revamp and renovate their roster, but this is not the case for several clubs that have to fork out huge sums of money to lift their bans.

Just like Bay, Galaxy appear to be well on their way to sorting out their problems, with Sukazi stating the club has no choice but to pay the R1.8 million they were ordered to pay by Fifa.

And while these bans may be lifted in the future, they have also placed huge emphasis on the need for clubs to work diligently in the way they conduct transfer business moving forward.

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