Papua New Guinea football star Raymond Gunemba is one more at the spotlight in Oceania football region alongside his best partner Nigel Dabinyaba. This time, as recently Oceania Football Center stated, questions were raised under the legality of the transfer of both players to their new club Hekari United under the PNG National Soccer League regulations.
Raymond and Nigel, former Lae City FC stars were put in question when Lae City’s chairman stated both players were not officially released from their last club to join a Hekari – making so their transfer to a new club void.
In interview to Oceania Football Center, the Papua New Guinean football star explained the situation and shown why he believes he is free to sign to any club – as him and Dabinyaba had done when agreed terms with the Port Moresby-based team: “Lae City’s chairman verbally told us the players during our lunch with their new coach that if any players wanted to leave with the outgoing coach than they were free to go,” said Raymond, “secondly we all the players who walked out of Lae City FC wrote a reconciliation letter through e-mail to franchise owner and he replied back to us stating he would not accept us again to the team and wish us best of luck joining other new team,” added the experienced player. All the situation happened when certain Lae City players, including Raymond and Nigel, decided to leave the club as former head coach Peter Gunemba was sacked. In fact, the response from Lae City’s chairman is according to Gunemba’s words: “Since you all walked out without notice I have decided to release all of you […], You are all released and free to do whatever you choose,” said the Lae City boss in e-mail answer to players’ reconciliation letter. The content of the e-mails was provided by Gunemba.
In the letter, the charmain explains his decision to sack former coach Peter Gunemba and to not allow the return of the players the chose to leave the team with the coach. But, directly to the point, it is clear in the message that the ties between Lae and Raymond/Nigel were terminated according the decision of the manager. “We had tried to contact him after this episode, but he turned the back to us. He did not want to talk to us,” explained Gunemba – “That’s why I am free to choose which team I want to go now and my choice was Hekari United”, added the Papua New Guinean international.
“He did terminated us, because he was not paying us anymore so we left the team camp. So what is the difference? If he did not release us and we did not get any payment or anything from his company and we have been suffering through five months without a job,” explained Raymond – “You see, if he did not release us than we have to get something from his company, but we have been suffering from this lockdown period and now he is raising concerns about our transfer to Hekari,” added the striker.
Hekari, Gunemba and Dabinyaba concerns were around a possible breaching of the PNG National Soccer League transfer regulations, but “I think the regulation does not state the situation me and Nigel are, but if they want to make decisions they must do it using the treatment and the situation. It is all common sense,” evaluated Raymond. “Another players who were also in the group that walked out and were terminated by Lae City’s chairman just returned to Lae City – they were terminated, but they were free to move back to the team with no concerns,” also added Gunemba.
According to article 30 of Premier Division Comp Regulations 2019/20, “Any player playing for any Football Club team in NSL and has finished his agreement or is terminated from his agreement can apply back to be registered to play in the PNGFA local competition upon satisfying the conditions showing proof of termination of his agreement and a letter of release from the former franchising club. Football Clubs have no right to set conditions for the release letter for a player upon the termination of agreement of play.”
As mentioned previously by Raymond, he received his termination notification through e-mail from his former club chairman and also noticed that “the rules and regulations of NSL did not state our real situation, so NSL can see it and make the decision using their common sense and then later next season they can specify this rule in,” said Gunemba. For the reasons mentioned, the player understands he is free to join Hekari United and defend the Red Army in the remaining matches of the season in Papua New Guinean most important football league.