Windhoek – Just a few days after disassociating himself from stray Namibia football Premiership outfit, Orlando Pirates, former chairman Ali Akan appears to have mysteriously tiptoed his way back into the club’s corridors following fresh hints that a big fat cheque could be headed Pirates’ way.
Akan and his management team earlier this year abruptly parted ways with Pirates after the club’s operational costs and players’ remuneration packages reportedly started taking a toll on its pockets – unofficially leaving the club’s affairs and players’ welfare literally in the hands of ‘stray dogs’ as no one has since claimed ownership of the team.
Despite making it crystal clear he has nothing to do with the club anymore when recently queried about unpaid salaries of the eight players who recently took the team to the Office of the Labour Commissioner over the disputed wages – Akan was ironically – or perhaps shockingly – yesterday quoted by South Africa’s leading football magazine KickOff demanding compensation from South African club Jomo Cosmos, in his capacity as Pirates chairman – conflicting with his earlier stance.
He was quoted by KickOff magazine threatening to report both Jomo Cosmos and the South African Football Association (Safa) to Fifa over unpaid transfer fees and certain allowances birthed from the deal of South African-born goalkeeper Thabo Modiba.
Cosmos, who bought Modiba from Pirates while Akan was chairman at the time, was a few months ago found guilty of incorrectly registering the goalie with the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) without international clearance from Namibia.
Modiba two seasons ago left South Africa to play for Pirates, having previously played for local side Dolphins FC back home. He received his international transfer clearance certificate from Safa to allow him to play in Namibia.
But having returned to South Africa after signing for Cosmos last December, the player failed to receive an international transfer clearance certificate from the NFA. Cosmos then reportedly registered Modiba with the PSL while claiming to have signed him from Dolphins, rather than Pirates, which is where the problem arises.
As a result, the case was taken to Safa’s Disciplinary Committee and Cosmos were fined R200 000 for the offence and also instructed to pay the arbitration fees to Pirates, which included travelling expenses and allowance for Akan, Titus Kunamwene (from NFA) and Mabos Vries (from Pirates and NPL).
“With the assistance of the Namibia Football Association (NFA), we have written letters to Safa but are not getting any response. We have still not been paid for the travelling expenses to Johannesburg, South Africa. The player was still contracted to us when he signed for Cosmos so we deserve payment for his transfer as well,” Akan further told KickOff .
Modiba remains suspended for nine games after being found guilty of playing for Ezenkosi without an international clearance.
Contacted by New Era Sport to clear the air and explain which money and in what capacity was he challenging Cosmos on, Akan again stuck to his guns, insisting that KickOff misquoted him and also titled him wrongly.
“What I’m demanding here is money travelling and daily allowance money that was promised to me and the other two (Kunamwene and Vries), that’s all. Those accusations about me also wanting a stake in the transfer fees of the player is a lie – I am just helping the club (Pirates) get it’s money from Cosmos and for me to also get my allowance money.”
“I was just speaking to KickOff in my personal capacity and not as chairman. They quoted and titled me wrongly because they (KickOff) asked me and I told them that I was just after the unpaid allowance money promised to us, and also helping the club get its share from the player’s transfer fees. I’m out of Pirates, why are you people accusing me of greediness?” said the Kurd.