“It wasn’t out of mutual consent.” Bad blood rages on as players status committee sides with player to force an unlikely move.

In what other industry would conspiracy be pointed out as essential in determining a player’s move to another club other than football, a world and a law unto itself in many respects?

Transfers usually involve complicated negotiations with involved parties having vested interests pushing to get the best cut of a deal on their end: the selling club, the buying club, the player involved and, usually, his agent.

But this time, it looks likely one party did not have its end of the deal given the best cut. This definitely describes why Onduparaka FC administration is at loggerheads with the FUFA players Status committee over the unlikely transfer of Mohamed Shaban to KCCA FC.

According to the German school of thought, the decision by any Club to sell a player from its first team is reduced to a microcosm of its ambition, or a lack of it.

However, considering the existing situation, the Club was denied of its right to make a decision to sell its own player, and forced into it.

You would think, a Club has a reasonable amount of say in the transfer of a player basing on the fact that they hold the registration to the player and can simply refuse to sell him if they are not in agreement with any offer made.

While in principle this is correct, it can only be held legal if the terms of the contract between the player and the Club have not in any way been violated.

When a club loses the power to decide the trade of a player, and are forced into accepting a bid which does not meet their full valuation, you realize something must have gone wrong somewhere along the way.

Mohamed Shaban will this season play alongside skipper Denis Okot at KCCA FC. (photo: KCCA FC media)

For that reason, the FUFA Players Status Committee has been the subject of discussion during the week for having masterminded the transfer of the former Kitende player to the Uganda Premier League Defending Champions.

As the stories surrounding the transfer came through, the first thing I could imagine was a conspiracy between KCCA FC and the FUFA Players Status Committee to force the move. The two parties are not the Saints after all.

But before I could conclude, I decided to get to the bottom of it and the findings are really disturbing.

Beware of sob stories – they make suckers of us all. We will only verify what we hear if we are “motivated and able” to do so. What a well-told story does is circumvent the second stage of what psychologist Daniel Gilbert says is our default way of interpreting reality: “first, we accept everything as true and only then do we reflect, question and, if necessary, correct our initial perception.”

It was a bit difficult to fall back and have a logical argument after getting the Arua based Club’s side of the story in reference to the scandals that have plagued the player’s career.

From the way, the player moved to Onduparaka to how he became the Most valuable player, plus ‘rejecting’ a move to Stellenbosch FC, it was easier to interpret Onduparaka’s sob story as true and not correct my initial perception

Muhamed Shaban was controversially awarded the best players accolade for the 2015/16 season.

Just a few months back, we had a treat to a comic moment when one coach was hired, unveiled on one day and fired the following day. The fact that one of the individuals ‘said to have masterminded the deal to that effect’ is a member of the said committee, was there not reason to believe Onduparaka’s story with such a punchline. How would I then tell it wasn’t a trick from the confidence game?

First things first. Let’s take a look back at how Onduparaka got the player and away from what is wrong and right to what was wrong in the making leading to what we can hear and read today. By the way, hat marked the start of all the player’s controversial career.

To start with the 2015/16 season, Onduparaka FC acquired the services of a ‘minor’, a 17-year-old-player, on what can best be described as a ‘verbal agreement’, before officially contracting him the following year when they gained promotion to the First Division.

Among the principle terms of the contract, as stated by the player was that the Club (Onduparaka FC) would fully fund and support him to further his education.

The other clause, as quoted by one of the members of the Player’s status Committee who preferred anonymity spells it out that; “the Club would ease the process of the player’s transfer to a club of his choice, should there be any interest by another party (Club) to acquire his services.”

As simple as it was, that seemed, but the simplicity later became the complexity of the whole matter that led to the player handing a request seeking to terminate his contract by mutual consent.


Muhamed Shaban captained Onduparaka last season before being stripped of the role this season.

Reading from the player’s time at the Club, I can ably conclude that the considerations and later the decision of the Players Status committee to hand the player a provisional license were just.

In the first place, the player’s father, Shaban Waku, intimated that he “…was more interested in his Son’s stay at Kitende than the move to the Arua based Club”. Thus, he was not involved in the initial negotiations.

Legally, the Club had held negotiations with a minor without regard for representation as is expected when dealing with players below the age of 18, even though no binding contract was signed.

The Club further failed to fulfill its commitment to further the player’s education as reflected in the player’s contract held by the Federation.

“They (the Club) promised to take me to school so I can further my education but they have never come out to do it”. He said.

Only for one Club official to respond shamelessly during the ‘crisis meeting’ that “Shaban is not school material”

In the other case, sources close to the Club and the player’s status committee revealed that from the meetings which were held between the warring parties, it was discovered that there was a difference between the contract held by the player and the Federation are different.

“… that copy was handed to the player two-weeks back in the wake of the current row.” A source close to the player revealed.

Now, that is dishonesty “that would directly tantamount to fraud and falsification charges in courts of law just in case it is thought necessary” explained by the player’s father.

The final piece that ‘broke-off a would have been meaningful end’ to the relationship between the two parties was the failed move to where it all started from. Vipers, and of course kitende. Another principle term of contract violated by the Club when they conflicted with the player’s interest.

Regardless of where the player might have gone wrong, it remains a taste of your own making if you fail to nurture a minor into becoming a responsible adult. Which if I am not mistaken remains a blame to the Club for not instilling the right discipline into the player during the transition from childhood to adulthood.

Some players clearly pour their hearts and souls into a club, while others freely admit they play the game for money, not love. Considering the circumstances surrounding his move from the Club, I can ably confirm it was just a reminder to the Club about their failed responsibility to recognize discipline as a fundamental component of growth to the players.


The former Kitende striker was Onduparaka FC’s top goal scorer last season

Looking back at how the player was whisked away from Kitende, this was Onduparaka’s own making. Karma is… Whatever it is.

I can understand the fans. What is less fun for fans to deal with is when a player actively forces a move. No supporter wants to hear that a star striker has issued a ‘want away’ instead of pledging commitment for the forthcoming season. To this I can understand the reason for the hostile environment surrounding the player’s career.

I was raised cognizant of the fact that during transfers, the final decision for any particular transfer rests with the player himself and nobody can force a player to sign or commit to a contract that he absolutely doesn’t want to. Not even when the selling club is able to be somewhat persuasive by telling him he won’t be let go or be involved in the team’s plan if he wants away.

All I can say is that the Club sapped the very motivation and ability we needed to verify claims. The tell of tales that make us empathize with them, making us want, in a sense, to fall for the con they are peddling.

That’s a lesson I have learnt from the confidence game. The more emotional, the more they make us empathize, the more we should make it certain to verify them. We shouldn’t, of course, become inveterate cynics who dismiss everyone’s pain.

However much the player maybe wrong and in whatever sense, acting responsible remains a fact that differentiates us. A common good is what best guides decision making.

I hope we are all “school material”