'Dax' transfer saga returns to bite Chiefs

Fifa has banned 'Dax' Andrianarimanana of Black Leopards for four months./Sydney Seshibedi / Gallo Images
Fifa has banned 'Dax' Andrianarimanana of Black Leopards for four months./Sydney Seshibedi / Gallo Images

The protracted signing of Andriamirado "Dax" Andrianarimanana by Kaizer Chiefs two years ago has seemingly come back to haunt them, with Fifa banning Amakhosi from signing new players for the next two transfer windows.

Chiefs signed Dax in 2018 from Madagascar club Fosa Juniors, but an apparent dispute over a transfer fee saw the matter ending up at Fifa, and the world governing body has sent out a ruling to the SA Football Association, and the player's current club, Black Leopards, banning him for four months and barring Chiefs from registering new players for the next season.

"We've received the ruling from Safa, but it's not our issue because the complaint was not against us," said Leopards spokesperson Chief Thidiela.

Chiefs spotted Dax at the Cosafa Cup in May 2018 in Polokwane, where he was player of the tournament, and announced they had concluded a deal with him, only for Fosa to demand compensation. It is understood they put a $3m (R45m) price tag on him, which Chiefs declined to pay as they reasoned the Madagascan league was not fully professional, and that the player had denied having a contract with Fosa.

Fifa later ruled the player could join Chiefs, which he did in August 2018. But Fosa insisted they were entitled to compensation as Dax was not a free agent, contrary to Chiefs' assertions.

Dax went on to play 20 times for Amakhosi last season. However, he was sent out to Leopards at the beginning of this season as Chiefs bid to free up a foreign spot after the arrival of Ghanaian James Kotei, who has since left.

While Chiefs football manager Bobby Motaung could not be reached for comment, the saga is certain to hurt Chiefs in the new season, not least should they win the Absa Premiership or qualify for the CAF inter-club competitions, should the transfer penalty stand.

A transfer ban would mean Ernst Middendorp can't strengthen the squad until June 2021, forcing Chiefs to fight on all fronts with a squad that could well be reduced, if other players leave when the season ends this winter.

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