The sale

In December Molde sold Datro David Fofana to Chelsea for a reported 13 million euro, a new record for a transfer from a Norwegian club. But was Fofana Molde’s player? Or did the club steal the attacker from his Ivorian club Abidjan City FC? 

By Lars Johnsen

“Molde stole our player,” Marco Taddei Né, president of Abidjan City of Côte d’Ivoire tells Josimar.

After two seasons with Molde FK in the Norwegian top flight, runners-up in 2021 and champions in 2022, Datro David Fofana’s transfer to Chelsea was stamped on 2 January 2023. Six days later he made his debut for the London club in the third round FA Cup game away to Manchester City as a second half substitute.

According to reports in the Norwegian press, the transfer will cost Chelsea around 13 million euro – a new record for a transfer from a Norwegian club. The young striker signed a contract until 2029 with an option to extend for a further year. 

Abidjan City claims the player was never Molde’s to sell, a view also shared by the Ivorian football federation (FIF) after a contract-validity decision in November. On 30 December the club filed a case with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

One million euro
According to Marco Taddei Né, Datro David Fofana signed a five-year contract with the Ivorian club in 2017, as an amateur. Later, in 2019, he signed a professional contract with the club. The player was 16 years old when he was offered the professional contract, so Fofana’s mother also had to sign for it to be valid.

“In 2019 Molde asked our permission to talk to the player,” Taddei Né says.
Fofana was on loan from third divis...

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