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Richards Bay Denies FIFA Sanctions

  • April 16, 2024
  • 2 min read
Richards Bay Denies FIFA Sanctions

Richards Bay chairman Sifiso Biyela has refuted claims that the club has been sanctioned by FIFA. Recent reports alleged a ban on player signings due to their handling of Ovella Ochieng’s departure at the end of last season.

Kenyan international Ochieng, who previously played for Marumo Gallants, joined Richards Bay in December 2022 from Township Rollers. He featured in eight matches for the club but did not score any goals.

“We made a joint decision with the player regarding his release,” Biyela clarified to Sportswire. “We haven’t received any official documentation from FIFA indicating a complaint filed by Ochieng.”

“We only saw these reports in the media, and there haven’t been any summons for us to explain ourselves. We haven’t received a charge sheet or any documents whatsoever. However, we have proactively engaged our lawyers to address this matter.”

“Ideally, we would have preferred a hearing or a summons to appear before FIFA, allowing us to properly address the situation. Currently, there’s no letter of demand, charge sheet, or record of any appearance before FIFA. We’re unsure what information these media reports are based on.”

“Our lawyer is currently following established procedures to engage with FIFA,” Biyela added. “There’s a process that needs to be followed.”

A search of the FIFA website, which typically publishes legal matters like these on sections such as Legal Compliance, Football Tribunal, and Dispute Resolution Chamber decisions, yielded no results related to Richards Bay and Ochieng. But it is currently on the FIFA Knowledge bans, but Bay boss was adamant that he has not received anything.

“We genuinely don’t know anything about this,” Biyela concluded. “It would be irresponsible of me to speculate. Typically, FIFA outlines a timeframe for response before imposing sanctions. We haven’t received any such communication.”

If the allegations prove true, Richards Bay would become the second KwaZulu-Natal club sanctioned by FIFA after Royal AM’s unlawful release of Samir Nurkovic without proper compensation.

Picture courtesy of Richards Bay

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