Keeping abreast of the the events involving Robertlandy Simon and his desired transfer to Lube Civitanova can be a daunting task. Just when things seem to be quite cut and dry, something comes out of left field to throw logic into disarray. At this point Simon has left Brazil and stated, “I believe that intelligent people always come up with a solution,” when speaking about the issue of his contract with Sada Cruzeiro.
Recap of the Events
Going back to April, Simon gave an interview stating that he was considering obtaining Brazilian citizenship since his daughter was about to be born. He then changed his position in an interview he gave to Bruno Voloch while in Miami. “I would like my daughter to be born and acquire European nationality,” he declared.
The middle blocker and opposite from Cuba’s current contract with Sada Cruzeiro runs through May 31, 2019. Their club management released a statement saying that they planned on Simon being there through the end of his contract. They also said they were surprised that there were rumors circulating about his early departure since they had heard nothing from Simon or the Lube Civitanova.
Lube issued a statement announcing they had an agreement with Simon to join the team for the 2019-2020 season. The club did not have the resources in their budget to pay the 400,000 USD needed to release Simon from his contract with Sada. The matter seemed to be put to rest, but it was actually far from over.
It was reported that Lube was trying to appeal to the Cuban Federation, who owned the rights to the player to release him from Sada Cruzeiro. Lube would then have to pay Cuba an international transfer fee. Though Cuba did not have rights to the player, so it was thought that the FIVB would make the final decision.
Before the decision was made, Simon and his wife simply left Brazil. He claimed that he had tried to approach the subject with Sada, but they were not receptive and only spoke about him having to pay the 400,000 USD to get out of his contract. Simon did not explain much about his contract, but that there were legal problems with it and lawyers would have to work to find a solution.
Simon claimed that there were legal problems with his contract. It has been revealed that he may be speaking about delinquent payments exceeding 200,000 USD. The claim has been made that this would put Sada in breach, and hence Simon could leave without having to pay a 400,000 USD penalty.
Yet another press release was issued by Sada Cruzeiro (melhordovolei.com.br) stating that it is too late in the summer to find a replacement for Simon in the transfer market:
“He recently approached the club’s board saying he would like to rescind the contract, which wanted to move to Italy. For Sada Cruzeiro it was a very hard blow, because the international market had already completed its largest signings and it would be very difficult to substitute at that time with another athlete.”
They noted that at the end of the season the talks with the player centered around him finishing his contract and extending his stay:
“In fact, he made it clear that he wanted to extend his club career to the maximum, even more so with naturalization and union with a Brazilian partner.”
Sada Cruzeiro started their preparations for the 2018-2019 season on July 4, and Simon was not there. They notified the FIVB about these developments and possible foul play by Lube Civitanova. Lube responded that they have not been dealing with Sada, but that it was the athlete’s responsibility to resolve issues with his former club before playing for them.
On July 11 it was reported by Gian Luca Pasini that Sada Cruzeiro has made a 48-hour request for a final decision on the Simon’s destination for next season. If he does end up at Lube Civitanova, it is expected that could play as opposite while Tsvetan Sokolov recovers from his knee surgery back on June 4th. Upon Sokolov’s return he should move back to the middle to split duties with Dragan Stankovic.