In a recent development, FIFA, the international governing body for football, has banned Saudi Arabian Pro League club Al-Nassr from registering new players due to their failure to honor payment obligations related to Nigerian forward Ahmed Musa’s transfer deal from Leicester City. The ban extends to both domestic and international transfers, significantly impacting Al-Nassr’s ability to acquire star players from abroad.
The dispute revolves around performance-related add-ons that Al-Nassr owed Leicester City, the former English Premier League champions, as part of the agreement for Musa’s transfer in 2018. Despite a warning from FIFA in October 2021, Al-Nassr has allegedly failed to pay €460k (£390k) plus interest to Leicester City, prompting the governing body to impose the transfer registration ban.
Ahmed Musa, who joined Leicester City following their triumphant 2015/16 Premier League campaign, struggled to replicate his previous success in England. During his stint with the Foxes, Musa managed only five goals in 33 appearances across all competitions before being loaned back to his former club, CSKA Moscow.
Following his loan spell, Al-Nassr secured Musa’s services for a reported fee of £14 million in the summer transfer window of 2018. Musa went on to make 60 appearances for the Saudi club, contributing significantly to their league victory. However, his time at Al-Nassr came to an end after two years when he was released as a free agent.
The FIFA ruling, which was initially announced in October 2021, warned Al-Nassr of the potential transfer registration ban if they failed to settle the outstanding amount owed to Leicester City. Unfortunately, it appears that Al-Nassr has not complied with the ruling, resulting in the enforcement of the ban.
This development has far-reaching consequences for Al-Nassr, as the club is now prohibited from registering any new players. The inability to make domestic and international transfers impedes their ability to strengthen their squad and acquire top talents. Consequently, Al-Nassr’s ambitions may be curtailed as they face a challenging period ahead.
Meanwhile, Ahmed Musa, despite his previous achievements, endured a challenging 2022/23 season. He failed to register a single goal or assist while starting only six games for Sivasspor in Turkey. The Nigerian captain will need to regroup and seek new opportunities to revive his career after this setback.
The FIFA ban on Al-Nassr serves as a reminder of the importance of fulfilling financial obligations in the football transfer market. Failure to honor agreements not only damages the reputation of clubs but can also result in severe consequences, such as transfer bans. Al-Nassr must now take immediate steps to rectify the situation and settle the outstanding payment owed to Leicester City to lift the ban and resume their player registration activities.
Source: The Guardian
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