News Live Scores

Gift Ali snubs Tusker FC move on religious grounds

2:55 PM SGT 1/1/18
Gift Ali of Tusker.
The brewers had earmarked the gifted play-maker to come in as replacement for Mieno, who has since joined Gor Mahia

Tusker have failed in their bid to land Ugandan midfielder Gift Ali after the player released a statement on New Year's day claiming this transfer will now not happen owing to his 'religious beliefs'.

Goal can exclusively reveal that the brewers, who are all out to reclaim the league title in 2018, had earmarked the gifted play-maker to come in as replacement for Humphrey Mieno, who has since joined Gor Mahia.

Indeed, the two parties had met and shaken hands on a deal in Kampala this past week, and the player had consequently sought his release from Police FC in readiness for the transfer.

But the former Uganda U-20 captain has now pulled the plug on the move. On New Year's Day, Ali - a devout muslim - released a statement on his Facebook page with this update.

The statement was addressed to 'all my fans' and dated December 31 read in part; "It has been a very tough last few weeks for me.

"I wish to confirm that on or around December 2017, I received a very good offer from Kenyan Premier League club Tusker FC, which after consultations with my former club Police FC and manager, decided to accept.

"However, following further consultations with my immediate family in the following days, we both agreed that mainly owing to our religious beliefs, I should not take up that particular opportunity.

"I wish to thank Tusker FC for showing interest in my services and sending representatives to Kampala in an attempt to complete this deal.  In ideal circumstances, it would have been an absolute honour to play for such a big team as Tusker FC and replace Humphrey Mieno."

Although not quite common, examples of clashes between footballers and their employers have been witnessed before.

Notably, Senegal forward Papiss Cisse once refused to don a jersey during his stint at Newcastle after the club replaced Virgin Money with pay-day loan company Wonga as its sponsor. Cisse said wearing the shirt will conflict with his religious beliefs.