Wanyonyi’s options in AFC Leopards’ contract saga

According to Fifa regulations on transfer of players, the player had a right to terminate his contract if indeed Ingwe breached its part of the signed deal

By Otieno Otieno

Former Gor Mahia striker Timonah Wanyonyi has been in the limelight of late for all wrong reasons following claims that AFC Leopards’ issued him with a Sh200, 000 cheque that bounced.

Angered by the move, Wanyonyi has asked to be released by the club even as he has opted to stay away from training sessions and has missed two matches so far.

This is the first time in Kenyan Premier League that something like this is happening making it challenging to state what options both parties have in the matter.

However, according to Fifa regulations on transfer of players, the player has a right to terminate his contract if indeed AFC Leopards’ breached its part of the contract to pay him a sign on fee of Sh500, 000.

Article 14 of Fifa statutes states that a contract may be terminated by either party without consequences of any kind (either payment of compensation or imposition of sporting sanctions) where there is just cause.

Wanyonyi even has a right to seek compensation from AFC Leopards’ as provided for in article 17 that states: “In all cases, the party in breach shall pay compensation”.

This view is supported by sports lawyer Evans Majani, who points out that if indeed Wanyonyi had a written agreement with AFC Leopards’ requiring the club to pay him Sh500, 000 as sign on fee, then he has a right to terminate his contract.

“If indeed both agreed in written form regarding the payment of this sum and Leopards’ did not fulfill their part of bargain, then there is a breach and Wanyonyi can terminate,” Majani told Goal.

But Majani argues that it will be difficult for Wanyonyi to walk out of his contract if there is no written agreement that he be paid the sign on fee. “The standard KPL contract does not provide for a sign on fee. This is agreed on between the two parties and so it will be difficult for Wanyonyi to prove the existence of such an agreement.

“In this case, Leopards can decide to take disciplinary action against him for missing training.”

Indeed, AFC Leopards’ Organising Secretary Timothy Lilumbi confirmed that the sign on fee was never part of contract signed with the player.

“It was not part of the contract and as it is cannot be part of the agreement we had with him.  I still insist that we gave him a post-dated cheque and asked him to wait before banking.”

Lilumbi also insisted that the contract they signed with Wanyonyi does not include any third party and therefore, his father cannot come in anyway.

“We have heard reports that his father wants to terminate the contract. We never had one with him in the first place. Wanyonyi is over 18 years-old and is eligible to sign a binding contract.”