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FUFA-Vipers fight over the release of Wanji, Mandela to Villa

FOOTBALL | Fufa Players’ committee decision to release two Vipers SC youngsters Pius Wanji and Ashraf Mandela to SC Villa has sparked another bitter row between the federation and the Kitende-based club.

Vipers president Lawrence Mulindwa has warned that the club will take alternative legal routes
to address what he called an injustice.

The two players opted to find another team outside Kitende where they would get enough playtime after falling behind in the pecking order at the league champions.

According to Mulindwa, he blessed the idea and asked the players to get teams they preferred and then

“The players approached us that they needed to get more playing time elsewhere and we agreed. Wanji said that he wanted to go to URA and Mandela to Nyamityobora. The clubs wrote to us and we agreed to loan them under some conditions,” Mulindwa said.

On the contrary, the duo later approached the Players status committee complaining that the club was forcing them to go to clubs they had not consented.

They had already decided to join SC Villa and reports had it that they were already training with the team as the case was still on.

No case

Mukatabala, the head, and his committee set Wednesday 19 as the day for hearing and making a ruling on the case.

A day before, there was a bitter spat on social media between Mukatabala and Vipers official Haruba Kyobe with the former accusing the later of threatening Wanji and Mandela to drop the case against
Vipers.

On Wednesday, the two players appeared before the committee but Vipers shunned the meeting and instead submitted a written defence which the committee scrutinized but found it insufficient.

Vipers refused to send a representative to attend the hearing but submitted a written defence. They wrote that Nyamityobora requested for the loan of Mandela Ashraf and URA FC requested for the loan of Pius Wangi.

And that Vipers sat with these players and the players agreed to these loans,” Mukatabala told theCrime24 sport.

“However, Vipers did not provide proof of this and, more importantly, did not attach Loan Consent Forms. These are forms, which are mandatory for a loan deal to be valid. And are signed by both clubs
and a player when a loan deal is done.”

The players also denied agreeing to and signing the said loan deals.

After weighing both defences, the committee ruled that Vipers was guilty of contradicting Article 20(4) of the Fufa Regulations on Status and Transfer of players.

The rule states that, “A contracted player will only be loaned upon his consent.”

Article 20.5 further guides that: “Where a club forces a player to look for a new club to be released on loan, the contract with former club shall be rendered null and void. Fufa shall register the player
as free agent.”

Mulindwa threatens

The Vipers president still believes that the decision was made in bad spirit, citing the fact that Paul Mukatabala has vested interest in SC Villa.

He said that the committee must be disbanded and a new one installed.

“I think there is a problem somewhere and this committee has to be cleaned up. There is a lot of conflict of interest because I don’t see how [Paul] Mukatabala who is a coach and an associate of SC Villa, can be part of the players’ status committee,” Mulindwa said.

The former Fufa president believes the federation or some elements inside are trying to step on his toes which he has warned that if the injustices continue, he will go to court.

“I don’t want that arrogance and someone who shows that he has power. Which powers do you have? We can cut off those wings. The players’ contract has been signed without our consent. This is an investment that we have put our money in. There must be mutual respect between the club and federation. We don’t want to go to courts but we shall be forced to,” Mulindwa said.

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