BLOEMFONTEIN Celtic troubles are as huge as Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain.
Fifa has just confirmed that the club has been banned from signing players in the next two transfer window periods for their failure to settle their debt with former player, Patrick Tignyemb.
But again, they could face a legal lawsuit from team manager, William Mothokoa, who argues he was unfairly fired on Monday.
Mothokoa argues that he was fired by chairman, Max Tshabalala, for having asked for a salary adjustment, but the club seem to differ.
Tshabalala said Mothokoa was fired for dishonesty after failing to arrive at work for eight days and “lied” when asked for an official documentation to support his absence from duty.
The Celtic boss confirmed his club has OFFICIALLY been banned by Fifa from signing players during the next two transfer window periods.
In the letter seen by SunSport, which was directed to Safa from the Activity Chamber, the enforcement of the ban is immediate.
This is after the club failed to clear their debts with their former captain, Tignyemb.
Tignyemb joined Celtic in 2008, playing a total of 326 games for the club before parting ways with the team in 2019.
Celtic, when they parted ways with him, said he was sacked for “bad attitude”, but Tignyemb believed it was because he stood up for his teammates over payment issue.
He took the matter to Fifa, who in turn ruled in his favour.
Celtic were given time to settle the debt, but indications are that they failed to honour the order. But Fifa maintains its stance and decided to ask Safa to enforce the ban immediately.
“We write to remind you of the transfer ban placed on your affiliate club, Bloemfontein Celtic, as a result of the decision of the Fifa Disciplinary Committee in the above matter.
“Kindly recall this is statement contained in the Fifa letter of 05/05/2021... in the regards, we wish to inform the parties that a ban from registering new players internationally has been implemented by Fifa at the beginning of next registration period.Your affiliate club has still not paid the judgment sum, which means that the transfer ban has yet to be lifted. Don’t fail to implement it according to the Fifa directive,” said the letter to Safa.
Celtic will be the second Mzansi club to be banned by Fifa’s Disciplinary Chamber after failing to settle their debts.
Kaizer Chiefs were banned by Fifa after they lost their appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) following a Fifa punishment over the signing of Malagasy player, Andriamirado Andrianamimanana.
Fifa’s Dispute Resolution Chamber said the player was still under contract with Fosa Juniors FC in Madagascar when he signed for the Soweto giants in 2018. Meanwhile, axed employee Mothokoa, told SunSport that he is still awaiting a dismissal letter from the club outlining reasons for his sacking so that he can present to his creditors and legal authorities, if he were to take this matter forward.
“I got fired on Monday, just like that after such a rich history with the club,” said Mothokoa.
“I’ve worked for this club since 2017. I’ve asked for a payment adjustment and the chairman didn’t oppose to it. But time went by and nothing happened, months on end. I approached him again in March this year and he told me about waiting for a sponsor where he’s expecting money.”
He said on Monday he was called to Tshabalala’s office: “He (Tshabalala) then asked me questions and spoke about money. Then he told me he doesn’t want to work with me anymore.”
But Tshabalala said it would be against the labour acts to make salary adjustments while the club was in the middle of retrenchments. “This will never be accepted by the labour department. He knows our situation and still be failed to pitch for work. This is a dismissible offence. I got worried with his absenteeism, what if something bad happened to him? I called him numerous times but didn’t take my calls or even respond. Now he comes back and gave me lame reasons that I still don’t understand.”