UFL Post: On the Rufo Sanchez issue

Rufo Sanchez is one of the most lethal ‘imports’ of Philippine Football. The former CF Madrid striker is not only fast and quick but he’s a lethal finisher when he played for Stallions FC last season.  The celebrated player was embroiled in controversy this pre-season with his switch to Global causing him to be suspended by UFL Management for a year; the decision is still pending an appeal.

Photo from rufos.com.ph (pun intended)

After reading Rick Olivarez’s post, I’ve pretty much came to the following conclusions:

1) Rufo doesn’t want to play for Stallions anymore – It’s quite obvious that he was shopping himself around to get a better contract.

2) Stallions want to sell Rufo – In football, money is a big concern especially in the UFL.  Since they have rights over Rufo, as stipulated in the team option in the contract, they have every right to sell him.

3) Global has the upper hand in getting Rufo – When Global Owner Dan Palami mentioned about the technicality in Rufo’s Stallions contract (in the Hans-On Podcast), where contract details should be sent in Person or via Registered mail, it gives Rufo legal right to choose any team since all correspondence were done through email and SMS (He was in Spain at that time).  From what I know with IT (specifically with emails), there is no technical way to prove that Rufo has read the email message sent to him.

4) Rufo may not play this year – In my opinion, Rufo may have skirted his extension by not talking with Stallion and can walk away legally from his contract.  But the striker may still get sanctions in the UFL as there was an admission of negotiations (in the spanish podcast mentioned) with other teams when he was still under contract with Stallion.  I’m guessing this would be for one year.

Since this is a very unique case and given that we have a very young league, I’m looking at it as an opportunity for the UFL to improve their protocol on contracts and contract extensions.  I believe there is a FIFA standard protocol for this or guidelines they can adopt from other professional leagues.  This may look like a step backward for the League, but a fair resolution to this will only make the league better.

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