Gallants narrowly escape FIFA transfer ban

Ovella Ochieng in the colours of the Kenya national team
Ovella Ochieng in the colours of the Kenya national team

Marumo Gallants have escaped becoming the latest PSL club to face the wrath of FIFA due to a contract breach involving former player Ovella Ochieng that have been elevated to the world governing body.

Marumo signed Kenyan international Ovella Ochieng at the beginning of last season on a two-year contract on a salary of reportedly R30 000 which would increase by 10% in the second year.

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However, the Kenyan eventually departed the club without making an appearance or being paid his agreed salary.

Complications arose due to the club's failure to acquire the attacker's international transfer certificate after having terminated his contract with Swedish club Vasalunds IF in March last year.

Ochieng had a valid contract and valid work permit with Marumo but was paid a mere R5000 on September 27, 2021, with the club then informing him that the new coach would assess him and if happy then register him during the January transfer window.

No formal assessment by the new coach was made and December 21, Ochieng terminated his employment contract due to the club’s failure to pay and register him.

He then moved to Rollers on a salary of P20 000 (approx. R26000) agreeing on a one-year deal.

On December 28, he then filed his case with FIFA claiming four months’ worth of salaries (R115 000) plus compensation for breach of contract amounting to R546 000 with interest along with R180 000 as additional compensation.

Marumo lost the case and have since paid just over half a million rands broken down into R115 000 plus 5% interest plus a further R296 817 calculated based on the worth of the other contract that he then signed with Rollers through the period that his deal with Marumo would have run.

Ochieng was also awarded a further R132 000 in additional compensation.

The total amount awarded to the Kenyan was payable within 45 days to avoid a transfer ban being imposed for three consecutive windows.

Marumo have subsequently paid the money as confirmed by Ochieng’s legal representative Evert De Bruyn – an international sports lawyer and sports management consultant based in Gauteng.

This website is in possession of the FIFA ruling passed on April 6 by Tomislav Kasalo (Croatia).

Marumo were represented by Peter Ramano.

"This ruling should serve as a warning to football clubs that the failure to properly register a football player is no justification for the non-payment of salaries and may in itself amount to a breach of the employment contract," says De Bruyn.

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