Tuesday July 18 2017

Understanding Uganda’s football transfer system

By Andrew Mwanguhya

Kampala. The transfer period, call it ‘silly’ season, is in full flight across the globe with multi-million dollar moves being completed in Europe and elsewhere.
And of course with no major international football tournaments to fill your pages currently, there is no escaping full coverage of the rumours, negotiations, deals, and alleged deals.

Now, Uganda’s football calendar runs from July 1 to June 30 the following year, with - like most Fifa member associations – two transfer windows to allow players change clubs.
Uganda’s transfer windows formally run from July 1 to September 21, and January 1 to 31 respectively but clubs can arrange or agree to sign players prior to the said periods before eventually completing registration with Fufa within the allocated time.

Indeed several players such as Kezironi Kizito - from Vipers to Kenya’s AFC Leopards - have since left the country after the involved clubs’ requests matched on the International Transfer Matching System (ITMS). Kenya’s window opened on June 1.
Uganda’s July window formally opened some 17 days ago, and clubs and players are already pacing about looking to seal deals.

Some footballers have actually changed addresses like Taddeo Lwanga from SC Villa to Vipers, and reportedly, Tom Masiko from KCCA also to Vipers among others.
But according to Fufa’s director of competitions - a department in charge of player registrations - Ali Mwebe, no activity involving clubs locally or foreign players coming in has officially been recorded in their system.
“The problem is that we are used to doing things last minute,” Mwebe told this newspaper, “Clubs have up to September 21 to complete registration of 28 players each but we would have loved the process to have started early so that we avoid last minute rush.

“For now all I can say is that whatever you are hearing is just rumours. We believe that those players are just on trials.”
According to Fifa statutes on player transfers, free agents can change clubs at any time, while a player, whose contract has only six months left, is allowed to initiate contact or talks with interested suitors.
However, that player can only feature for his new club when the immediate transfer window is open.
A case in point is Sadam Juma’s transfer from Express to KCCA in May. KCCA had all but sealed the league title, and Express had nothing left to play for.

But the champions were still involved in the Uganda Cup and Caf Confederation Cup.
Fufa interpreted rules that since Caf window for registering new players in the Confederation Cup was open, Juma could be added in time for KCCA to face Fus Rabat.
However, Caf decreed that Juma could only represent KCCA on the continent or elsewhere after Uganda’s transfer window of July 1 opened.

But just what are the mechanics involved in transferring a player?

How a club begins the process of completing a player signing
In order to register a player, according to Mwebe, clubs have to send Fufa all the documents relating to the transfer, including the contract, the transfer agreement, international clearance (ITC) if transferring from abroad, as well as any transfer levy that may apply.

“For local transfers, what happens is that the buying club will log into Fifa Global Connect system – each club has its log-in credentials – and requests to transfer a certain player,” explained Mwebe.
“Then the would-be selling club gets a notification that this and this club wants to buy your player. Should both clubs and the player agree to a deal, the two clubs submit via an online system all the documents relating to the transfer, including the contract and the transfer agreement among other things.
“We at Fufa then review and if the selling club and the buying club all agree in their submissions; we approve the deal and register the player.”

What if the transfer involves a player moving from a domestic club to a foreign team?
“An International Transfer Certificate (ITC) has to be issued by the federation of the country where the player is transferring from, and this has to be after the two clubs’ documentations match on Fifa’s International Transfer Matching System (ITMS).” The ITMS was developed following a two-year study commissioned by Fifa in 2005 to address concerns in the transfer market. Before ITMS, there was an absence of reliable data on the transfer market, which led to limited oversight on movements such as total transfer activity, monetary flows and the global transfer of minors according to fifatms.com.

“With the ITMS, now things are better,” emphasised Mwebe. “Now, let’s say Mamelodi Sundowns wants player X from KCCA, Sundowns will log into the ITMS and nominate KCCA to release that player.”
Sundowns will have done their homework on that player and will have included the offer for the said player, comprising of all contract details.

“Now if KCCA decline the offer or talks, the attempted transfer stops right there.
“But if KCCA agree to all the terms, the system will match the two correspondences between Sundowns and KCCA. At this point, the South African FA will be notified and it will now request for an ITC from us. Fufa would then ask KCCA about the move and should KCCA say yes, we approve and give the player the ITC.” Fufa gets a copy of every contract a footballer playing in the top league has signed.

Daily Monitor was able to look at some contracts of over 400 players (contained in a huge blue file) from the 16 teams from last season.
Several intermediaries are involved in these deals but only seven are registered with Fufa.

Players who have moved to foreign clubs
Name From To
Edrisa Lubega Proline Floridsdorfer (Austria – loan)
Ahmed Bulega Police Anse Reunion (Seychelles)
Steven Sande Maroons Kakamega Homeboyz (Ken)
Farouk Mudoola Busia Fisheries Muhoroni Youth (Ken)
Hassan Kikoyo Lwenza Muhoroni Youth
M. Arakaza SC Villa Kakamega Homeboyz
Robert Achema SC Villa Western Stima (Kenya)
Oromchan Villa Bul Western Stima
Joseph Mukisa Bul Western Stima
Bagala Sulaiman Lweza Western Stima
Ivan Kiweewa The Saints Bandari (Kenya)
Umaru Kasumba SC Villa Sofapaka (Kenya)
Rogers Aloro The Saints Sofapaka
Ali Feni URA Sofapaka
Keziron Kizito Vipers SC AFC Leopards (Kenya)
Finigue Moussa Villa Zwekapin United (Myanmar)
Allan Owiny URA Thika United (Kenya)
Hamis Kiiza URA Al Hilal Elobied (Sudan)