DUBAI // The UAE Football Association (UAE FA) have chosen to drop the ball back into Al Sharjah's court over the potential transfer of Tariq Ahmed. This came a day after Al Ahli - reportedly the only bidders for the midfielder until last week - criticised football's ruling body in the country for raising the asking price despite Ahli offering Dh1million earlier this month. The Dubai club had no formal response to their bid from the FA until June 24, when they received a letter saying Ahmed's transfer fee had been valued at "Dh10m, 70 per cent of which should go to Sharjah".
Khalifa Sulaiman, chairman of Ahli's board of directors, had urged the UAE FA on Saturday to be "transparent" over the issue, saying there had been procedural flaws in the player's "auction". But Yousuf Abdullah, the general secretary of the UAE FA, was in no mood to back down from their stance yesterday, saying: "We have explained our decision to Ahli and I have nothing more to add." Abdullah, however, said that Ahli and Sharjah were free to renegotiate the price for the player, who has not been playing for his club for the past year and a half.
"Our decision was if Tariq Ahmed chooses any club - not just Ahli - the purchasing club have to pay Dh7m to Sharjah," said Abdullah. "If they want to discuss with Sharjah to reduce the price, it is Sharjah's decision. Sharjah can sell the player for free. We cannot interfere in that. "We respect the contract between Sharjah and the player, and we decided that the player still belongs to Sharjah." Reports suggested that Al Ain had come into the picture and offered Ahmed Darwish - who is valued at Dh15m - in exchange for Ahmed. Sharjah would not comment on the issue.