Kotoko risk relegation over FIFA fine

Author: Bernard Neequaye
Esperance's Kwame Bonsu is at the centre of controversy
Esperance's Kwame Bonsu is at the centre of controversy

Premier League giants, Kumasi Asante Kotoko, could risk exiting the Ghana top flight if they fail to pay Esperance an outstanding amount of $30,000 owed the Tunisia side by April 6 over the transfer of former player, Emmanuel Clottey.

Football’s world governing body, FIFA, has ruled in favour of Esperance who responded to Kotoko’s petition to the sport’s highest body to have the Tunisians to pay them $150,000 as  the transfer fee for Kwame Bonsu’s move to Esperance in 2019.

However, Esperance, in their defence, reported Kotoko to FIFA over their refusal to comply with negotiations between the two clubs when Clottey was transferred to the Ghanaian giants in 2015.

In Esperance’s case, theTunisian side decided to release Clottey to Kotoko before finalising transaction on the player’s move, an agreement which was faulted by the Porcupine Warriors.

However, a FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber ruling called on Kotoko to pay Esperance an amount of $180,000 for the wrongful signing of Clottey and a breach of contract within 30 days or face relegation from the Ghana Premier League.

FIFA’s ruling, however, called on Kotoko to pay Esperance $30,000  after deductions of the cost of Bonsu’s transfer from that of Clottey, who is now back in Ghana with Great Olympics.

“After deduction of the costs of Bonsu's transfer, Asante Kotoko must pay Esperance $30,000. FIFA has ordered payment of $30,000 after deduction of the costs of the Bonsu transfer from Clottey before April 6, 2020, failing which Asante will be relegated,” a FIFA statement read.

“The intervening party, Asante Kotoko, shall be held jointly and severally liable for the payment of the amount mentioned,” it added.

Meanwhile, Vice President of Esperance, Walid Arem, said his outfit needed the money and expects Kotoko to abide by the ruling.

“We don’t owe them but rather they owe us $30,000 and they have to settle us before the date stated in the letter from FIFA.

“We bought Kwame Bonsu for $150,000 and they also owe us $180,000. We need the money badly, so we’re waiting for it,” he told Nhyira FM.