South African top flight side handed transfer ban for failing to pay Harambee Stars winger

South African top flight side handed transfer ban for failing to pay Harambee Stars winger

Mark Kinyanjui 08:00 - 17.04.2024

Ochieng, who was part of the 2019 squad that represented Kenya at the 2019 AFCON, was released unceremoniously by Richards Bay in 2023.

South African club Richards Bay has been hit with a transfer ban by FIFA for failing to meet financial obligations to Kenyan attacker Ovella Ochieng. 

SABC Sport reported that after conducting an investigation, FIFA found that the club did not fulfill their financial commitments to Ochieng despite a mutual agreement.

This decision comes after the separation of the two parties last season, with Ochieng making eight league appearances for Richards Bay under then-coach Vasili Manousakis, with his last game in April 2023.

According to SABC, "FIFA have updated their records to sanction Richards Bay by not allowing them to register new players internationally and have since also written to their member federation in the South African Football Association [SAFA] to do the same from a local level as well."

Richards Bay Football Club, based in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, was formed after Thanda Royal Zulu F.C. owner Pierre Delvaux sold the club's league status to AmaZulu F.C.

AmaZulu took the position in the 2017–18 South African Premier Division after finishing fifth in the 2016–17 National First Division, with Thanda Royal Zulu gaining automatic promotion.

On February 7, 2021, Richards Bay achieved its most significant win by defeating top Premier Soccer League side Kaizer Chiefs F.C. 2-1 in a Nedbank Cup last 32 match.

Currently battling to avoid relegation with seven matches remaining, Richards Bay joins Royal AM on the list of Premier Soccer League [PSL] clubs banned by FIFA.

 The club, owned by businesswoman Shawn Mkhize, also has pending payments to striker Samir Nurkovic and defender Ricardo Nascimento, with their sanction still in place since June last year.

Ochieng, who has previously played for Marumo Gallants and Township Rollers, had stints with Kariobangi Sharks and Vasalund. 

He made his international debut for Kenya in 2016, scoring his first goal against New Zealand in the Intercontinental Cup held in India, where Kenya secured a 2–1 victory.