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No Go for Odjidja-Ofoe

Is Bill to blame? I don't think he is(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Is Bill to blame? I don't think he is(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
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Late on Friday evening, it was revealed both on the official Everton website and on Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe's twitter feed that his loan move from Club Brugge to Everton had not been ratified by FIFA. Given the praise that the Vadis has received, most notably from Belgian captain Vincent Kompany, this is a disappointment for the Blues. So, what happened?

It emerged that Everton had contacted and agreed a deal to bring Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe to the club on transfer deadline day, sometime in the evening on an initial loan with the option to make the move a more permanent one should we wish. The player also expressed his desire to come to Merseyside and his excitement of playing in the Premier League with players like Marouane Fellaini, Kevin Mirallas, Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany, Moussa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen.

The statement on the club's website simply reads:

"Fifa have today refused to ratify the loan transfer of Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe to Everton from Club Brugge.

"The decision comes despite both the Football Association and Premier League giving their full support to the loan agreement and Everton lodging the relevant signed paperwork in advance of the international transfer deadline on August 31."

From this, it is clear that the club, Premier League and TheFA played their part in ensuring that everything was in place on time before the deadline on August 31st.

Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe tweeted earlier:

"I knew there was a chance that the transfer wouldn't go through since Everton was late requesting the transfer. I would be lying if I said I didn't want to play in the Premier League, but now we need to look ahead and I know there will be more chances for a step forward if I play well for Club Bruges. There are a lot of possibilities for this club and I would like to contribute to that cause. A lot of people are doubting if I will be able to refocus which is absolutely unnecessary.People in my entourage know this, it's now up to me to prove them wrong by returning with my best game."

A very professional response which leaves all avenues open. Mature, for one of such a young age. Refreshing too.

What is further interesting is Fifa have a "TMS" in use now - the Transfer Matching System. This is a system which is electronic and according to Fifa "makes international transfers of players between clubs quicker, smoother and more transparent." President Sepp Blatter said "It increases the transparency of individual transactions...."

Apparently, it is simple, modern and streamlines the old paper based method. Everton and Brugge enter identical information, and any variations on either side block the transfer and the International Transfer Certificate isn't issued until the variation is resolved.

The details included in the TMS are:

  • Player's personal information
  • Clubs involved in the transfer
  • ALL payments including amounts, times and bank details
  • Evidence such as the player's passport, contract of employment and contract between two clubs.

A club contact has just said that they did everything they could to get the deal concluded and ratified, but they were unable to and the club are happy. A bit of an odd statement. If the club had done everything accordingly, on time, and so on, then surely you can't be happy if it falls through through no fault of our own??

Club Brugge are yet to comment on the collapse of the deal.

My thoughts are that something happened in Belgium which held up this transfer. If the deal was "struck" using the TMS then any variation no matter how small would have obviously held this up. But then surely Fifa could look at this variation and realise there is either a spelling error, or something small which can obviously be cleared up. And, if so, then it should be blatantly obvious that the deal was first struck before the deadline on August 31 and therefore can be concluded after the 11pm deadline. Don't forget, we officially signed Steven Pienaar in January on loan around 40 minutes after the transfer window closed. And no one knew we had signed Marouane Fellaini until the next morning. Mick Rathbone says in his book the medical was done in Hyde Park!

Something stinks here, and furthermore supports my opinion that Fifa needs a really good shake up. Thing is, how can it be shaken up when at the last presidential election there was only one candidate - Joseph S. Blatter.

Nevertheless, if Vadis is serious about coming to the Premier League, and we are obviously serious to have him, then there is no reason why we cant get this sorted now for him to join on the 1st January 2013.

Until then, and until Darron Gibson is recovered from injury, its Phil Neville or John Heitinga in the middle of the park!

What do you think? Comments welcome below.

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