Though he is offically with Spain's top-tier club Atlectico Madrid now, Nigerian striker Samson Kayode Olaleye must pay the Vietnamese football club Hanoi T&T at least US$2 million if he wants to play in Europe.
Olaleye is in trouble because he received a large amount of cash from Hanoi T&T and signed a memorandum of understanding with this team, which said he would play for them after completing his contract with Dong Thap at the end of the 2011 season.
The 22-year-old Nigerian footballer was a key striker of V-League club Dong Thap in the 2010 and 2011 seasons; and is considered one of the best players in the tournament.
His excellent performance attracted the attention of some brokers who recommended him to Atlectico Madrid, who signed a contract with him as a free player a couple of weeks ago because his contract with Dong Thap had ended.
After signing with him, Atlectico Madrid lent Olaleye to Portugal's club Sporting Braga for a season and his name is now on the list of the Portuguese club although he still hasn't received a shirt number.
However, despite leaving Vietnam before the 2011 V-League season ended late last month, Olaleye can't play for Sporting Braga because the Vietnam Football Federation hasn't issued an International Transfer Certificate (ITC) to him.
On learning about Olaleye's signing with Aletico, Hanoi T&T's first reaction was to inform Vietnam Football Federation of the case and to ask the federation not to issue an ITC to the Nigerian striker unless he compensates the club for breaking the agreement.
According to Hanoi T&T, six months before Olaleye's contract with Dong Thap ended, Hanoi T&T talked with the Nigerian player through broker Tran Tien Dai.
Olaleye agreed to play for Hanoi T&T for three years with a monthly salary of $10,000. He also received $300,000 in advance for agreeing to play for the club. He and broker Tran Tien Dai signed a memorandum of understanding for those terms and more.
Despite agreeing to play for Hanoi T&T, Olaleye also nodded when another team, Binh Duong, suggested talks about his future. He didn't sign any paper with Binh Duong but he is said to have received a large amount of cash from the 2007-08 V-League champs as well.
Later, however, Olaleye seems to have conveniently forgotten his agreements in Vietnam when he signed with Spain's capital club.
Without an ITC, the Nigerian striker cannot play in Europe. That was why he returned to Vietnam last week to discuss the problem with Hanoi T&T.
Hanoi T&T President Nguyen Quoc Hoi said, "Samson Kayode Olaleye can go but things must be settled in accordance with the rules. He was wrong, so rules must be applied.
"He must pay Hanoi T&T at least two million US dollars and other additional fines. Only then can he become a free player."