Hearts, Matic in pay dispute
In a sensational twist to Accra Hearts of Oak's ongoing feud with their former coach, Slavko Matic, the club is poised to escalate the dispute by taking the matter to FIFA or the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), raising the stakes in their payment feud.
The heart of the matter lies in an unpaid salary owed to Coach Matic, which has resulted in FIFA imposing a player transfer ban on the club. While Hearts officials have signalled their readiness to settle the outstanding salary, they also demand repayment of funds they allege Matic borrowed while in his coaching role.
Matic, who left the team amid the fans frustration over disappointing results, has been pushing for the payment of his claimed $14,000 in overdue salaries since his contract termination in March. He subsequently reported Hearts to FIFA, seeking compensation for the abrupt termination of his two-year contract signed in October last year.
The coach's departure from the club was marked by a tumultuous exit after irate Hearts supporters vented their frustration over a string of poor results.
The Graphic Sports understands that the football's world governing body has already intervened by imposing a global player transfer ban on the club until the outstanding salary is settled.
However, a director of Hearts, Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe, disputes Matic's claims and insists that the club only owes approximately $4,000, not the $14,002 demanded by the coach.
He indicated that the club would settle their outstanding debt but added that the coach must also be ready to pay back money he borrowed from the club.
“The man is owing us, so we’ll pay the money then subsequently lodge a complaint to FIFA, so we get our money back.
“He borrowed money from us, but we shall pay the amount of money owed him, which is about $4000. Then the amount he is owing us, we’ll take it from him,” the firebrand Hearts director told the Graphic Sports yesterday.
Delay in payment
Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe, a former chairman of the Ghana Football Association, shed light on the delay in responding to FIFA's earlier correspondence, explaining that it was due to a technical issue. He indicated that the delay was not due to reluctance on Hearts' part, but because the email from FIFA had landed in the junk mail folder instead of the inbox.
“When the mail came, we didn’t even see it and that caused the delay and not because we were reluctant in answering the questions or answering to their remarks,” he insisted.
He said the club was a responsible club and there was no way they would act irresponsibly, if they had seen the mail.
“We got the mail last week, but it was supposed to have come about four or five weeks ago, if we’d seen it, we would reply, we’re a very responsible people.”