Penalty for fleeing
EGYPT'S top goalkeeper Essam El-Hadari has been fined 900,000 euros and slapped a four-month suspension by FIFA.
El-Hadari, 37, left his Egyptian club and signed another contract with FC Sion of Switzerland in February 2008, right after the player returned from winning the 2008 Africa Nations Cup with the national team in Ghana.
The past 14 months have witnessed acrimonious back and forths especially by Ahli after the player fled suddenly, leaving the club in a big goalkeeping dilemma, which the club continues to suffer from.
The Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) settled the brouhaha with its decision on 16 April. El-Hadari had asked the DRC for another chance to present additional documents up until 30 April. FIFA refused.
The suspension starts in August, meaning El-Hadari can still play in the FIFA Confederations Cup which takes place from 14 to 28 June. The player can also take part in two World Cup qualifiers against Algeria on 10 June and Rwanda on 5 July. However, he will not be able to take part in the second round of the World Cup qualifiers.
Ahli officials were relieved by the decision though they claim that the 900,000 euros to be paid to them by FC Sion is small compensation for the African club of the century which they insist lost a lot when the player left the club.
El-Hadari is set to appeal against both the suspension and the fine while Ahli will seek to increase the fine. However, according to the president of the DRC, Tunisia's Selim Aloulou, the suspension will not be reduced to less than three months.
Ahli officials are warning the Egyptian Football Association not to interfere in the DRC decision or attempt to reduce the suspension and the fine for the sake of the national team.
El-Hadari is being used more and more as a substitute for first-string goalkeeper Nicolas Beney who is at his peak and who has led Sion to the final of the Swiss FA Cup.
On the national level, El-Hadari has started losing what remains of his popularity with the fans and the media after making many inflammatory remarks directed at Ahli officials, their players and the media.
The DRC is FIFA's deciding body that provides arbitration and dispute resolution on the basis of equal representation of players and clubs and an independent chairman. The DRC adjudicates on a regular basis in the presence of a varying composition of members.
In total, the DRC includes 10 player representatives and 10 club representatives whereas decisions are regularly passed in a composition of five (two player representatives, two club representatives, and one chairman). The relevant decisions are published on FIFA.com. DRC proceedings are free of charge.
The DRC is designed for employment- related disputes between clubs and players that have an international dimension as well as for disputes between clubs related to training compensation and solidarity mechanism.