Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Gor Mahia and midfielder Patrick Oboya are staring at possible sanctions from world body Fifa over an alleged irregular signing of the player. Two weeks ago, Fifa queried over how the player was acquired by Gor Mahia and demanded an explanation from the club. This could also be the reason, Gor Mahia have not been using the player of late in their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) matches as they wait to sort out the matter with Fifa. Prior to joining Gor Mahia, Oboya was contracted to Vietnamese Super League side Thanh Hoa where he stayed for hardly three weeks before both parties terminated the contract. He was previously at Slovakian club MFK Ruzomberok before moving to Vietnam and eventually to Gor Mahia.
The club through Assistant Secretary General Ronald Ngala said they do not know who has complained to Fifa about the signing of Oboya which he insists only went ahead after they were given the go ahead by Football Kenya Federation (FKF). “When we expressed interest in the player, we asked for his ITC through FKF who after some time felt it was alright to use the player and they duly registered him.”
“We are equally surprised by the query from Fifa and we do not understand where it is coming from. We have wrote back Them explaining that he is indeed our player and how we acquired him. “At the moment we cannot say what will happen. We just have to wait and hear what Fifa has to say to our reply,” said Ngala. Ngala was evasive on whether this is the reason the player has not been featuring in KPL matches insisting that the decision to field him is solely upto the coach.
“It is not entirely why he has been out of the squad. It could be a reason but then again, the decision to use a player is upto the coach,” Ngala explained. Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Transfer Matching System manager Nick Mwendwa, confirmed the query by Fifa but absolved the federation from blame. “Clubs normally make direct request for an International Transfer Certificate (ITC) with a log in provided by the federation. In the case of Oboya, Gor Mahia never did that,” he explained. Accepted responsibility Mwendwa, however, accepted responsibility for not following up to ensure that the club made the request but instead gave the go ahead for Gor Mahia to field the player based on a terminated contract he provided to the federation. “I gave the go-ahead for Gor Mahia to use the player when he presented a document showing that he had terminated his contract with the Vietnamese club on mutual consent.
“When such matters arise, Fifa insists that whatever action is taken favors the player and this is what I had in mind in giving him consent to play.
“However, even then Gor Mahia should still have followed up on the ITC,” he said. A source close to the player however blamed FKF, Kenyan Premier League (KPL) and Gor Mahia for allowing the player on the pitch without this vital document. “Did Gor Mahia request for the ITC? Why did KPL and FKF allow him to take to the pitch without it,?” he wondered. It is not clear what kind of sanctions could be slapped on the club if they are found guilty but this could range from losing points, a hefty fine or suspended from signing players for a particular period of time.
The player could also be suspended if it is proved that he misled Gor Mahia about his status prior to signing for them.