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The misery of transfer windows



HD-Soccer-15Moorosi Tsiane

The football world has what is called a transfer-window during which players can move from one club to another.

In-fact, there are two such periods—the preseason and midseason windows— which fall on different dates depending on the country and its season.  

I have been following different football leagues around the world and trying to learn how things are done during these periods and I’m afraid to say I have learnt that Lesotho is still far behind regarding the movement of players.

The reason I am saying this is since Lesotho introduced club and player licensing systems four years ago, which obliged teams to contract their players, there have always been conflicts during the transfer-period.

Because players would be hoping to seek greener pastures, they end up being frustrated with team-owners refusing to release them claiming they would still be having running contracts with them.

Conflict comes when the players start claiming they are free agents, and at times, the dispute leads to them not kicking the ball competitively for long periods of time, derailing their progress and development as footballers.

It is so disappointing to always hear such bad news but the reality is these stories continue to crop-up each and every year.

The question one then asks is: who is to blame for all this? Do our teams make sure their players  understand contracts they sign or is it plain ignorance on the part of these players?

This is a very sad and frustrating situation for our footballers and also club-owners and is not good at all for the growth of our game.

I mean, how do teams expect their players to perform when they have kept them against their will?

I know teams spend the little they have on these players’ welfare and just letting them go is not an easy thing to do but I think it is a team’s responsibility to see that players understand their contracts in order to avoid such mess rearing its ugly head time and again.

I was happy when LeFA in 2014 announced from April this year, players would start to work with their intermediaries.

My belief then was this would end this unfortunate situation in our football because the fact is the contracts are so complicated that at times, these boys fail to understand them and sometimes, due to the excitement of joining a new club, the players simply don’t read the small print.

LeFA’s intervention was noble, and should be encouraged to ensure bad blood between players and clubs does not end up derailing the careers of our stars.

The contract issue has made me apprehensive of transfer-windows, but this should not be the case if we bring a bit of professionalism into the game.

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