Monday, February 25, 2008
Success has a way of causing lots of joy and by virtue, lots of trouble.
It happens all the time in sports. The moment a team or player becomes successful, the opportunity for more riches or more glory is seen. It's almost as if success breeds trouble.
This is now being experienced by Egyptian club Al Ahly and Egyptian goal keeper Essam El-Hadary. He won the African Cup of Nations with Egypt a few weeks ago and immediately looked to cash in on his success, signing with Swiss club FC Sion on February 14th.
But Sion admit he's still a player for Egyptian club giants Al Ahly and they hope the 5-time African champions will let him play for them.
Al Ahly don't want him to leave. They've written to FIFA and to the Swiss Football Federation in a bid to block El-Hadary's attempts to join Sion.
They are demanding that football's world governing body protect their rights.
The goalkeeper is under contract with Ahly until 2010.
El-Hadary believes he's entitled to move under a FIFA article which lets players who are over 28 years old and have been with a club for two years to buy out the remainder of their contract.
Al Ahly board member Khaled Mortagy says that they will not let El-Hadary leave.
"There is no way the club has agreed to sell the player, because we have only three goalkeepers registered," Mortagy told BBC Sport.
"El-Hadary has an existing contract until 2010, he's already played in the second round of the league, and he's registered for the Champions League. To my knowledge there's nothing in his contract that allows him to terminate it unilaterally."
This could get dicey.
The five-time African club champions had already rejected a $400,000 offer from the Swiss Super League side in the wake of El-Hadary's thrilling play at the recent Cup of Nations.
Ahly rejected the offer on the basis that it was not good enough for the man regarded by many as the best goalkeeper in Africa.
El-Hadary is currently in Switzerland and the club is not happy over the attempts to engineer the move on his own.
"We sent a very clear letter to FIFA and the Swiss federation, refusing to send the international transfer certificate for the player," said Mortagy.
"We urged the Swiss federation to send the player back as soon as possible. Al Ahly will reserve all its rights to take all appropriate legal action against the player, the club and any other party that deprives Al Ahly from its rights."
The Egyptian goalkeeper is not expected to stay in Switzerland for long.
He will be using his stay there to put himself in the shop window for a bigger European club.