Ngwenya signing held up by ITC issue

The Houston Dynamo’s signing of Joseph Ngwenya has officially hit a
snag.

The club confirmed Tuesday that its request for Ngwenya’s
International Transfer Certificate from Turkish club Antalyasapor and the
Turkish soccer federation has been rejected, as a result of a dispute between
Analyasapor and Ngwenya. 

“His former club in Turkey has rejected the ITC request at
this time,” Dynamo chief operating officer Chris Canetti said.  “It’s fair to say there is a dispute between
the club and Joe from their past relationship.”

In the past, MLS has refused to allow its teams to risk
using players who don’t have their ITC. If FIFA were to later rule against the league regarding the ITC and that
player made an appearance, FIFA could potentially issue fines against the
league or team. 

As a result, Ngwenya will not be allowed to play until the
issue is resolved.

“He absolutely won’t take the field as a member of the
Houston Dynamo or any other MLS team without an ITC,” Canetti said. “The ITC
needs to be issued. Given the fact the club won’t issue it, our hope is that
FIFA will issue it after they review the circumstances. We believe Joe has the
right to continue his career and play for the Dynamo, and that his ITC should
be granted, and we just have to wait for FIFA’s ruling.”

Houston is not in unfamiliar territory. A different snag
occurred with defender Andrew Hainault last year, when Hainault believed he was
out of contract with Czech side SIAD Most and signed with the league prior to
the start of the 2009 season.

When the team and league requested his ITC, SIAD Most
believed they still had a valid contract with Hainault.  MLS appealed to FIFA for a decision, but in
the interim an agreement was reached with SIAD Most that allowed Hainault and
the Dynamo to formally complete the transfer. 

It took more than a month, however, before the matter was finally
resolved.

“We have gone through the appropriate channels with the
league, US Soccer Federation, and FIFA to dispute the situation,” Canetti said.  “We are going to look to them to provide a
quick and reasonable resolution that will hopefully end up in our and Joe’s
favor.”

Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or
Comments can be sent via email to
dwaincapodice@gmail.com.


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