UPDATE (21 Feb): Safaa Hadi’s former club Amanat Baghdad has intervened to solve the crisis by paying the required sum to Al-Shorta, who then provided clearance for him to move to Krylia Sovetov. The deal has now gone through after the authorisation of his International Transfer Certificate.
Despite passing his medical and taking part in training at Russian Premier League side PFC Krylia Sovetov, Iraq midfielder Safaa Hadi’s much-anticipated transfer may fall through just 24 hours before the transfer window shuts.
When contacted by Al-Sumaria TV presenter Taha Aburageef, the administrative body of Al-Shorta (Hadi’s current club) responded with the following:
The Al-Shorta administration has not failed on the subject of Safaa and we allowed him from the beginning to stay in Turkey, granting him a five-day vacation. But he did not return to the club and stayed in Turkey and did not communicate with us for a whole month. Safaa’s uncle called and asked to sit with us and said that Safaa has been offered a contract from a Russian club, and our answer was never to refuse this, but according to his contract, Safaa owes the amount of 220 million Iraqi dinars that the club gave him as well as 10% of his new contract.
His response was that he did not own this amount because he bought a house for his family, and because we wanted to smooth the process, we reduced the amount to 175 million dinars and we cancelled the 10% clause. Despite that, Safaa was unable to provide the amount and his solution was to offer his car and his uncle’s car to the club instead! Frankly, according to the club, this solution is strange because it turns us into car sellers and not a club.
After he went to Russia, he sent the club a letter indicating that he was ready to pay the amount but not until the month of July! We refused this and asserted that the money is public money and behind it is a ministry and an audit and we cannot grant clearance without depositing this amount in our account. By law, when clearance is granted it means that there is no amount of money owed and we still insist that we will not stand in the way of Safaa and we have never done this; Mohanad [Ali] and Amjad [Attwan] did not face any problems. The ball is in Safaa’s court and we reject the media pressure because it is not helpful as we are subjected to a legal responsibility to the ministry. And finally those who speak about professionalism should apply it themselves and whoever has sinned must bear his mistakes.
The winter transfer window shuts on 22 February in Russia meaning there is not much time to get the deal over the line – all that’s left for Iraqi fans to do is see how this plays out over the next 24 hours. Safaa would become the first Iraqi ever to play in the Russian Premier League if the transfer is successfully completed.