SOME Zifa registered player intermediaries are reportedly in violation of standing Fifa and Zifa regulations by charging commission of as much as 45 percent of a player’s gross signing on fees instead of the stipulated 10 percent and three percent that Zifa and Fifa stipulate.
It has also emerged that there is a powerful clique of club chief executive officers and even coaches that also demand a share of the player’s signing on fees with consequences of failure to tow the line being dire to the player.
A collapsed deal or no game time is usually the end result.
Fifa defines an intermediary as a natural or legal person, who, for a fee or free of charge, represents players and/or clubs in negotiations with a view to concluding an employment contract or represents clubs in negotiations with a view to concluding a transfer agreement.
While Fifa set the intermediary’s commission at a minimum of three percent, Article One, section three of the Fifa Regulations on Working with Intermediaries clearly states that the right of associations to go beyond these minimum standards/requirement is preserved.
Associations such as Zifa are then expected to implement and enforce at least the minimum standards in accordance with the duties assigned by Fifa clearly stated in Article 10 of the same rules that they shall monitor the proper implementation of the minimum standards/requirements by the associations and take appropriate measures if the relevant principles are not complied with.
Associations also have an obligation to impose sanctions on those intermediaries under their jurisdiction for violation of the rules and to also publish and inform Fifa of any disciplinary sanctions taken against any intermediary.
The Fifa disciplinary committee will then decide on the extension of the sanctions to have a worldwide effect in accordance with the Fifa Disciplinary Code.
Investigations by Chronicle Sport showed that intermediaries have now come up with a plan to circumvent the standing regulations such as agreeing with a player they represent to reimburse the intermediary all the costs like airfares and accommodation costs, which is against the rules and regulations.
“The issue of commission varies with situations on the ground. Let’s say an agent sends a player to China and also to Europe and total costs of air tickets is around US$4 000 and he fails to clinch a deal. Say the same player joins another team maybe in South Africa and his signing on fee is US$20 000, can I just take the mandatory 10 percent which will be far less than what I would have spent on the player? To me that is not a good way of doing business,” said an intermediary, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Another intermediary, also speaking on condition of anonymity said as long as one does not give “something” to some influential members of the club leadership structures, chances of a successful deal were minimal, adding that all this will come from the player’s signing on fee.
“You must be aware that some football coaches around the world and even chief executive officers have become so powerful and therefore it is not only your player’s talent that can secure a deal. Even here in Zimbabwe we know of coaches and club officials who are fond of doing that so this is why the commission ends up way above 10 percent,” he said.
Concerted efforts to get a comment from one of the top player intermediaries in the country Gibson Mahachi did not yield any result as his mobile number was not going through while text messages were not responded to.