In a rare success for a player from Africa, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ruled Libyan football club Al Ahli failed to honour a contract termination agreement with a former international player.
Edward Sadomba, a striker from Zimbabwe, was supported by his union and FIFPro in the successful appeal at CAS whose verdict overturned a decision by FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC).
According to FIFPro in January 2016, Al Ahli and Sadomba signed a contract termination agreement under which the club agreed to pay him $450,000. The club then asked Sadomba to sign a document entitled “cash payment order,” which he took to be a formality to trigger a bank transfer. When he was not paid anything, the player filed a complaint to FIFA. Al Ahli said that the signed document showed that the player acknowledged receipt of the money in cash.
On appeal, the CAS dismissed the club’s argument, noting it provided no further evidence of a payment and that no club officials made themselves available to testify. The player, however, travelled from Zimbabwe to Switzerland to answer questions.
In its ruling the CAS panel found that the document the player signed was “too ambiguous to be considered as a conclusive evidence of the fact that the player actually received the amount due by the club under the termination agreement.”