The Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) has made a claim that Rodney Celvin, more popularly known as Bonai, has signed with the Crocs for next season, and therefore cannot join another team.
According to a report carried by Utusan Sarawak, Bonai has signed a letter of intent to join the Crocs next season, and his move to PKNS FC, as reported a few days ago by SarawakCrocs, is deemed as not professional by FAS General Secretary, Razali Dolhan.
Razali further stated that the document signed by Bonai was binding and as good as a contract, and FAS has not received any word from Bonai regarding his intention to decline the offer to stay in Sarawak FA.
He also added that FAS will take action on the matter, including withholding Bonai’s transfer certificate.
However, interestingly, a local fan page for Sarawak football claims that Bonai has disregarded FAS’ claim by stating that the documents he signed was just a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), and that it was not binding.
The page further claimed that Bonai had said that the MoU would also be automatically terminated if an official contract was not received after a month.
The page also claimed that Bonai claims that a letter to decline FAS’ offer has been also been sent to FAS and another request has been made to the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) in regards to the transfer to PKNS FC.
Our checks with officials in the know of these legal matters confirm that a pre-contract or offer letter, is indeed treated as a contract, and players are binded by document, although we are not very sure if there is a clause as stated by Bonai.
Just as reference, Bonai’s case reminds us of Gabor Gyepes incident a few years back in which saw his services were terminated prematurely by FAS after he obtained an injury during the pre-season training. During that time, Gabor explained to us that he had already accepted the letter of offer from FAS to continue as a player at FAS, and his dismissal was considered unlawful.
Gabor eventually brought the case to FIFA and eventually won the case, with Gabor himself informing us that FAS finally settled all the the due payment they owed this year.
That said, if Gabor’s case is to use as reference, and Bonai indeed signed a similar agreement like Gabor did, FAS would likely be able to pursue the case and deny the transfer of Bonai out of Stadium Negeri.