Michael Olunga was sold like a sack of potatoes to Al-Duhail even though he now earns millions in salary playing for the Qatari football club.
Olunga unceremoniously left Kashiwa Reysol in January 2021 after spending two seasons with the Japanese football club.
The Kenyan striker was traveling from Japan to Kenya when he was informed that he had to go to Qatar to sign a deal with Al-Duhail.
“I played the seasons final game on January 4th and boarded a flight to Kenya but on the way, I was called to Qatar and on the next day I had signed the contract,” said Olunga while speaking during an interview with Jalang’o.
By the time news broke that Olunga had transferred to Qatar, the striker had already been integrated into Al-Duhail’s line up for the next game.
Olunga’s former club Kashiwa Reysol wasn’t comfortable with him leaving but Al-Duhail triggered his buy-out clause and they ran out of choices.
“According to FIFA, if you have a buy-out clause and another club triggers it, the club where you are has no say and the decision is solely in the hands of the player,” Olunga explained.
Al-Duhail paid Ksh769 million transfer fees to sign Olunga from Kashiwa Reysol. The Harambee Stars captain however didn’t get a coin from the transfer fee.
Olunga explained that football players do not have any rights to transfer fees paid by football clubs, they only benefit from the contract signed with the clubs.
“The club has invested in you and it needs to recoup the money like any other business,” Michael Olunga stated.
Olunga’s star begun shinning while playing for Kenyan football giant Gor Mahia. His success at K’Ogallo saw Swedish side Djugardens sign him in 2016.
Olunga made only 27 appearances for Djugardens scoring 12 times. He was signed by Chinese club Ghuizhou Zhicheng after only one season in Sweden.
The Harambee Stars striker only made 9 appearances for Ghuizhou Zhicheng scoring 2 goals before being loaned to Spanish side Girona FC. He made 14 appearances scoring 3 goals.
In 2018, the Chinese club sold Olunga to Kashiwa Reysol for an undisclosed fee. Olunga’s star only shined brighter in Japan where he scored 58 goals in 72 appearances.
While playing for the Japanese side, Olunga saw his goal-scoring streak win him the Golden Boot Award in the J1 League in 2020.
In January 2021, Olunga moved to Qatar Stars League champions Al-Duhail on a three-seasons contract.