x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Fifa sides with Pro League's Al Nasr in stand-off with Ismael Bangoura

Football's governing body orders wayward Ismael Bangoura to pay Pro League club for breaking four-year contract, writes Ahmed Rizvi.

Fifa sided with Al Nasr in their dispute with wayward player Ismael Bangoura, right.
Fifa sided with Al Nasr in their dispute with wayward player Ismael Bangoura, right.

DUBAI // The Al Nasr chairman Marwan bin Ghalita has hailed Fifa's verdict in the club's dispute with their former player Ismael Bangoura as a victory for UAE football, and hopes the decision will serve as a warning for players and agents in the future.

Fifa, football's world governing body, have asked Bangoura to pay Nasr €4.5 million (Dh22.5m) for breaking his four-year contract with the Dubai club. The Guinean midfielder has also been banned for four months.

Bangoura arrived at Nasr from the French club Rennes in September 2010 on a four-year deal worth €8m and scored 10 goals to help the team finish third in the Pro League.

In the opening league match of the next season against Al Ain, he picked up a red card and was given a four-match ban.

With their striker Carlos Tenorio injured, Walter Zenga was forced to bring in reinforcements and the Brazilian Rodrigo Vergilio replaced Bangoura in their line-up for the first half of the season.

The Guinean continued to train with the team, turning down requests for a move on loan, but in January, while playing for his national team at the 2012 African Cup of Nations, he signed a deal with the French club Nantes without informing Nasr or paying the penalty clause.

Nasr took their case to Fifa's Dispute Resolution Chamber, where Bangoura, who is now on loan at the Qatari club Umm Salal, alleged he had not been paid his dues for three months.

But the club produced documents to disprove that claim and finally won a verdict in their favour.

Nantes have also been punished by Fifa for their role in the episode and the French club have been banned from making any transfers for six months.

Bin Ghalita said: "We were sure about our position from the beginning and our patience has finally paid off. This is a victory not just for Al Nasr, but UAE football and all the clubs here. This verdict will now change the mindset of those who think they can come here and leave as they wish. They should learn to respect the contracts they have signed."

Bin Ghalita is now hoping for a similar verdict in their dispute with the Australian Mark Bresciano, who left the club for Qatar's Al Gharafa just before the start of the 2012/13 season without the approval of Nasr.

While Nasr celebrate their victory, Ajman have been given until next Monday to pay Dh2.9m to Tarik Sektioui over a dispute stemming from the early termination of his contract.

The Moroccan had signed a one-year agreement with Ajman at the start of the 2009/10 season, but after struggling through the first half of the campaign through injuries, he was released by the club during the winter transfer window.

Sektioui, who came to Ajman from Porto on a €1.2m deal, refused the settlements offered by Ajman and took the case to Fifa, demanding he be paid in full for the remainder of his contract - Dh2.9m.

"The decision is subject to appeal, but the club is obliged to pay this amount before the deadline to avoid any further sanctions by Fifa," said Khalifa Al Jarman, the chairman of Ajman's board of directors.

"In the coming hours, we will be processing the required amount to send it to Fifa."

Learning from their experience with Sektioui, Ajman have decided against terminating their two-year deal with the Iraqi Karrar Jassim, who has been replaced by Fawzi Bashir of Oman for the second half of the season.

They are hoping to sell him in this transfer window or after the end of the season.

Elsewhere, Issa Ali, the Al Wasl captain, is expected to move to rivals Nasr before the close of the winter transfer window and he will be training with the team ahead of their Asian Champions League play-off against the Uzbek side Lokomotiv on Saturday.

Dibba Al Fujairah have confirmed their deal with the Lebanese international defender Bilal Najjarine until the end of the season, and Al Shaab will retain Michael N'dri and release Vergilio, who has signed with Dubai, who brought in Vergilio after being disappointed with the form of Spaniard Juan Quero, who had been drafted in last month after Simon Feindouno was released following medical advice.

 

arizvi@thenational.ae

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