Fifa responds about Appiah's status

15 years ago

Fifa has rejected claims that it has prevented Ghana captain Stephen Appiah from joining a new club.

The Black Stars midfielder has been without a team since terminating his contract with Turkish club Fenerbahce in August.

Fifpro - the global body representing professional footballers - had suggested that administrative bureaucracy at Fifa was hindering Appiah's transfer to a new club.

According to Fifa, the Turkish Football Federation was instructed in June to allow any potential transfer to go through should a club make a bid for Appiah.

"The article published on the FIFPro website regarding the case of player Stephen Appiah and club Fenerbahce SK on Thursday 30 October draws incorrect conclusions.

"It is false that FIFA's supposed "administrative slowness" is hindering the player from signing a new contract with another club. In fact, neither the player nor a potential new club have presented to FIFA any request to allow the player to play for a new club. Such requests regarding the international clearance of a player are dealt with by FIFA paying due consideration to the principle of expeditious execution of proceedings and, in principle, in a period of two weeks as from receipt of a complete request by the potential new association intending to register a player. Therefore, clearly FIFA is not hindering the player from signing for a new club.

"Furthermore, it should be noted that FIFA received not less than three requests, claims and counter-claims from the club and the player in the period between 31 January 2008 and 28 April 2008. On 11 June 2008, after giving the parties time to present their positions on the matter, FIFA advised by fax to both parties to consider their labour relationship as terminated and to focus on the financial aspects of the matter. It was also advised that should the player sign a new contract with a new club, in the case that an International Transfer Certificate were needed for an international transfer, the Turkish FF should provide it, in order to not hinder the player's career.

"Having given the right to be heard to both parties, the case related to claims from both parties on a breach of employment contract will be submitted to the Dispute Resolution Chamber at the next possible meeting for a formal decision to be taken," Fifa's statement read.

The player had been at the centre of speculation linking him to Arsenal - which manager Arsene Wenger subsequently denied - and West Ham.