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Asike: I left Sofapaka ‘in search of greener pastures’

Eugene Asike insists his decision to terminate his contract with Sofapaka was motivated by a desire to seek a new challenge away from the club.

The central defender was formally released by the Kenyan Premier League club earlier this week, a development that brings to an end a four-month tussle betwen player and club.

“I have served Sofapaka with dedication for the past three seasons. I am now keen on trying a fresh challenge to progress in my career and move on to the next level,” the 21-year-old exclusively told Nairobi News on Thursday.

Sofapaka, through its secretary-general Emmanual Kayoyi also appeared keen on building bridges with the Kenya international who he described in the release letter as “a great utility to any club that will acquire his services and football skills.”

SALARY ARREARS

The standoff between the player and club started in January when Asike expressed in writing his intention to terminate his four-year contract that still had a year to run, in accordance with Article 14 of the Fifa Regulations on the Transfer and Status of Players.

At that point, the former KCB player was owed salary arrears totaling three months, plus a remainder in his sign-on fee by Sofapaka.

The case eventually ended up at the KPL’s Independent Disciplinary and Complains Committee (IDCC) which found the club guilty of breach of contract in February, and ordered the club to release the player and pay him his outstanding arrears, a decision the player’s legal representative Elvis Majani has since termed as a landmark ruling.

“Never again will local football administrators expect our players to train and play on for months without paying their salaries. This ruling has set a precedent,” Majani added.

This development also clears Asike to train and sign a contract with any professional football club in the world, without seeking consent from Sofapaka, who would otherwise have received a transfer fee.