Interview: Yusif Chibsah opens up on legal tussle between Kotoko and Esperance over Kwame Bonsu transfer

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As we are much aware of the legal tussle involving Asante Kotoko and Tunisian side Esperance on the transfer of Kwame Bonsu. An issue that has thrown Kotoko in hot waters as they must pay $30,000 to Esperance by April 6th or the Ghana FA will be ordered by FIFA to relegate them to Division One League.

The issue over the past few days has triggered wrangles and controversies in Ghana. Yusif Chibsah, who is the agent of Kwame Bonsu and the facilitator of the deal has over the past few days come under critical opprobrium. Speaking to YAC Media Sports, Yusif Chibsah opened up on the reason behind the legal tussle between the two clubs.

According to Yusif Chibsah, Asante Kotoko in 2019 agreed to sell Kwame Bonsu to Esperance for $150,000. The player went through the necessary procedures with the Tunisian club, and that included Medicals. The only 2 things missing for the deal to be official or concluded was Esperance paying the full transfer fee and Kotoko releasing the player’s International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

Kotoko ordered Esperance to pay the transfer fee before they would release the player’s ITC, Esperance were unwilling to succumb to that since a player’s ITC in most transfers is released before transfer fee is paid in full.

Chibsah who has in-depth knowledge about transfers explained the process to Kotoko, the Porcupine warriors were still skeptical. They instructed that Chibsah signed an undertaking, a pledge or a promise that he would take full responsibility should Esperance not pay the money, thus he will do everything in his power to make sure Esperance pay Kotoko. Kotoko then released the player’s ITC.

Time flew, mornings turned into nights, days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. Kotoko were still yet to receive the payment of Kwame Bonsu’s transfer fee from Esperance.

For signing an undertaking, Kotoko held Yusif Chibsah responsible. Chibsah informed Kotoko that the best way they could get this done was through litigation. He introduced a Portuguese lawyer to Kotoko, a man Kotoko stopped working with prematurely.

The Porcupine warriors rather involved Offside Consult, a company owned by Mr. Ashford Tetteh-Oku, a renowned football administrator to lead the legal tussle with Espérance. Kotoko and Chibsah came to agreement that each party would pay 5% of the total transfer fee to the legal team for their services, but he from then never heard from Kotoko until recently that the issue came back to live with the rumors that he’s under obligation to pay Kotoko $150,000.

According to Chibsah, Esperance were willing to pay the transfer fee for the Bonsu until they had a hint from one of their financial team members of an issue they had with Kotoko in 2015 involving another Ghanaian player, Emmanuel Clottey. Then they became reluctant to pay.

Emmanuel Clottey in 2014 after leaving Esperance to join UAE club Al-Dhafra on loan came to Ghana and signed for Kotoko claiming he was a free player, he was by then still under contract with Esperance.

According to Chibsah, Emmanuel Clottey presented Kotoko documents in French to confirm he’s indeed a free player. Esperance took the issue up and reported it to CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sports). CAS passed judgement and Esperance, Kotoko was held joint liable because they didn’t due diligence on the player. The club was handed a hefty fine of $180,000. The money was to be paid to Esperance, Kotoko never settled the fine.

Esperance made a case that Kotoko must pay them the $180,000.00, then they also pay the $150,000 or they strike the difference and Kotoko pay them the arrears of $30,000. Kotoko didn’t agree to that and continued to insist that the facilitator of the deal Yusif Chibsah must pay them the $150,000 because he signed an undertaking, a decision Chibsah described as “didn’t make sense”.

Esperance wrote to FIFA and informed them about the issue. FIFA then ordered Kotoko to pay the $30,000 or the get demoted to Division One. The deadline day was Thursday 19th March, 2020. The Porcupine warriors still haven’t made the payment.

According to reports, the deadline has been pushed to 6th April, 2020. Kotoko will have to pay the $30,000 or they get demoted to Division One.

Yusif Chibsah who once played for Kotoko went on to sympathize with the club and also reveal his undying love for the club. He furthermore revealed how he never took a penny from the club for any move he facilitated in the past.

Below is the video of the full interview:

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