Ghana's Prince Tagoe (left), seen here in a 2010 World Cup match against Serbia in South Africa, has gotten his International Transfer Certificate and is now able to play for Kelantan.
PETALING JAYA: Just last week, there was no light at the end of the tunnel for Kelantan. It looked unlikely that Ghana international Prince Tagoe would get his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) to allow him to play for them.
Tuesday brought good news though.
The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) confirmed receiving his ITC and Tagoe will indeed don the Kelantan jersey.
Kelantan FA (Kafa) signed the 26-year-old striker as a replacement for Lebanese striker Mohd Ghaddar Mohamed during the second transfer window last month.
Ghaddar’s contract was terminated following his poor form and recurring groin injury.
Tagoe’s move to the east coast hit a snag after his previous team, Club Africain in Tunisia, refused to release his ITC following a salary dispute.
FAM competitions committee chairman Datuk Seri Affandy Hamzah confirmed on Tuesday that they have received Tagoe’s ITC.
“There were no elements of sabotage by FAM as claimed by several parties. We couldn’t register Tagoe in FIFA’s Transfer Matching System (TMS) because his documents were incomplete.
“But now that the Kelantan FA have submitted his ITC, we can register him in the system and the problem is solved,” said Affandy.
Kelantan team manager Azman Ibrahim said the 2010 World Cupper might make his debut in their Super League match against Perak at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium on Saturday.
Kelantan are in the process of rebuilding after losing the core of their team that won the FA Cup last season.
They are currently sixth in the Super League standings with 22 points. They are also out of the AFC Cup competition after making an early exit in the group stages last month.
The east coast side are however in the FA Cup semi-finals.
They drew the first leg 3-3 with Premier League side Felda United in Kota Baru last week. The return leg is scheduled for May 30 at the Shah Alam Stadium.
Azman said that while Tagoe will add to new coach George Boateng’s options upfront, it is not fair to expect a miracle from the Black Star player.
“Tagoe will be a massive boost to the team but we have to remember that he’s not a magician who can provide results immediately,” said Azman.
“He will need time to gel with the team ... we have more options upfront with him onboard and we will take it one game at a time.”