Zola Deal Set To Drag On
The supposed deal bringing Tranmere Rovers striker Calvin Zola to Crewe Alexandra is set to drag on.
The Congo born striker is thought to have agreed a terms at Crewe and the move is set to be completed for a reported fee of around £200,000. However, it will all be held up as Crewe seek a work permit for the 23 year old.
Zola, who arrived in the UK as a 16 year old with Newcastle United, has previously had trouble in gaining a visa to remain in the country. He missed six months of his time at Tranmere after his mother was denied asylum by the home office and he was forced to return to Congo.
He's never had a problem gaining a work permit but the Alex will be forced to argue his case. The Home Office website states the criteria for professional footballers wishing to get a work permit.
A player must have played for his country in at least 75% of its competitive 'A' team matches he was available for selection, during the two years preceding the date of the application; and the player's country must be at or above 70th place in the official FIFA world rankings when averaged over the two years preceding the date of the application.'
With neither applicable to Zola, with Congo ranked 93rd in the rankings, it means the application will have to go before an independent panel. The panel will then make a reccomendation to the UK Border Agency based on...
'The panel's terms of reference are:
-To consider whether the player is of the highest calibre.
- To consider whether the player is able to contribute significantly to the development of the game at the top level in United Kingdom.'
So it's going to be a long haul this transfer, and if Zola is denied a work permit then the deal will certainly be scrapped as the club will not be able to apply for a new work permit till June 1st 2009.