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'Tanta SC target Avire will continue to suffer unless he tones down ego' – Kalekwa

10:01 WAT 31/01/2020
John Avire of Sofapaka
Batoto ba Mungu president maintains the Harambee Stars striker will never play for the Egyptian club unless he follows rules

Sofapaka president Elly Kalekwa has warned striker John Avire he will never play for Tanta SC unless he talks to them to process the transfer.

Avire, who featured for Harambee Stars during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals, has been trying to force a move to the Egyptian side since late last year but Sofapaka have stood the ground, saying he still belongs to them.

Earlier this week, Tanta wrote to Sofapaka and the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) seeking to have the player’s International Transfer Certificate (ITC) sent to them so that the player can start playing in the league.

However, FKF and Sofapaka declined, saying Avire must follow the right procedure by engaging the parent club for him to secure a move to Egypt.

Kalekwa has now told Goal Avire will continue to suffer and will never play for the Egyptian club unless he tones down his ego and talk to Sofapaka with regards to the transfer.

“[Avire] is simply wasting his time and nothing will change,” Kalekwa told Goal on Friday.

“He will never play for any team outside Sofapaka until we talk and agree with him on the way forward.

“Football is business and Avire knows the same, he was contracted with Sofapaka for two years and now he has absconded duty for almost a year.

"Fifa rules stipulate to recover the months he has been out, the contract will roll over to another year, so [Avire] will remain our player until he comes to us.

“He should stop wasting his time in Egypt, we will not give him a release letter, he needs to follow the transfer rules and the Egyptian club should stop misleading the player he will play for them. It will never happen, not now and not in the future.

“The player should calm down and face us, first of all, he sneaked out to Egypt without Sofapaka’s permission which is already a grave mistake and now he wants to force a transfer without having proper papers, he will continue to suffer and his career is now at stake, we will only help him if he talks to us.”

The tussle between Sofapaka and Avire hit the headlines last July when the player left for Egypt after the Afcon finals.

The action led to the indefinite suspension of FKF CEO Robert Muthomi, who is believed to have authored the letter which facilitated the issuance of Avire’s visa to Egypt.

Avire’s contract with Batoto ba Mungu is expected to end in December 2020.