Piers Edwards (BBC Sport Africa): Sierra Leone Telegraph: 24 February 2021:
‘They can’t treat us like animals,’ says Benjamin Acheampong, player ‘duped’ out of $1m.
The Ghanaian footballer has been deprived of over $1m in a row with Egyptian giants Zamalek dating back to 2018 and despite the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ordering the five-time African champions to pay him a similar sum two months ago- which he is yet to receive.
The forward joined the Cairo club on a four-year deal in 2017 but terminated his contract just 11 months in, saying Zamalek never paid him correctly.
“I was very, very happy to join the club,” said Acheampong, a former Ghana youth international, as he reflected on his move there in September 2017. “If you have a chance to play for Zamalek, you are a big player.”
He also says that when he joined fellow Egyptian side Petrojet on a five-month loan in 2018, he was duped into signing a document which stated he would not just forego his Zamalek salary while at Petrojet – but for all of his contract.
With the stroke of a pen, he says unwittingly, I gave up over $1m.
After returning from his loan, Acheampong says he was frozen out of first-team training and trained with juniors instead – a claim Zamalek disagree with.
On 6 August 2018, Acheampong terminated his contract. Later that month, he joined a club in Qatar but only after Zamalek insisted that the player give up his claims against the club before it would provide him with the paperwork needed by Fifa to approve his transfer.
With many transfer windows closed, Acheampong signed yet another controversial document.
CAS, the Switzerland body ruled that Zamalek should pay Acheampong $1,075,984 for both his outstanding remuneration and breach of contract.
On Thursday, Fifa’s disciplinary committee will discuss the issue, with one of its rules clarifying possible sanctions for a club that fails to comply with a ruling.
Acheampong says: “I want to encourage other guys to fight for whatever belongs to them. This is what we do to survive.”
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