Sunday, February 23, 2020

Gambia Star Hamza Named As One of Players Sold by Cyprus Club in Deal Forbidden by FIFA


By Sulayman Bah

Midfielder Hamza Barry is said to be one of players once sold in a type of transfer outlawed by World Football governing body, FIFA.

The 23-year-old West Ham transfer target, now plying his trade with Croatia’s Hajduk Split, was in the books of Cyprus former champions Appollon Limassol who’re being investigated by FIFA for a breach of global transfer rules.

Limassol are accused of practicing, albeit clandestinely, the third party player ownership (TPO) made criminal by FIFA in 2015 while the ousted Sepp Blatter was president.

The TPO involves usually outside companies investing into a given player with the hope of raking up massive profits in future sales.

The process was heavily criticised as ‘form of a modern day slavery’ and a major bottleneck for players seeking moves elsewhere.

However, the tables, according to FIFA, appears to have turned with football clubs now recruiting and investing in players with the aim of illegally profiting in future transfers.

It’s for this reason that Limassol is being subjected to scrutiny by FIFA.

The Cypriot outfit are accused of taking the lead as intermediaries in sanctioning the transfer of players who’re reportedly in their books but have never played for them and still go on to use the club’s name in deals.

Scorpions’ star Barry is one of latest players named to have effected a transfer using a similar route.

Anorthosis24 , a publication writing in Cypriot language, names Hamza as among five stars to have been sold using the outlawed TPO.

Barry‘s connection with Limassol reportedly began  July 1st after he departed Valletta FC of Malta and joined previous Israeli clubs Maccabi Netanya and Appoel Tel Aviv prior to switching to Croatia first on loan basis.

The midfielder did not play for Limassol but the club’s name still surfaced as the parent and selling side in the current permanent three-year deal he had signed with Hajduk Split.

The other players alleged to have used the route, according to the paper, is Cristian Manea, Valentin Viola, Luka Jovic, Simeon Slavchev.

The Gambian’s transfer valuation is quoted to be in excess of €1.5m.

Hamza, currently camping with his team in Turkey, has been reached by Foroyaa Sport yesterday for a reaction.

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