Nantes to serve 1-year ban on signing new players
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — French club Nantes will serve a one-year FIFA ban on recruiting new players after losing an appeal at Switzerland’s supreme court.
A Swiss Federal Tribunal ruling published Friday said that FIFA’s disputes panel and the Court of Arbitration for Sport correctly imposed the sanction for Nantes enticing Guinea forward Ismael Bangoura to break his contract with Dubai club Al Nasr in January 2012.
Nantes, which is 15th in the 20-team French league, previously had the ban frozen pending the federal verdict.
“We can confirm that the registration ban will have to be served during the upcoming summer 2014 and winter 2015 registration periods,” FIFA said in a statement to The Associated Press.
Nantes can sell and release players but is barred from registering new signings with the French Football Federation.
The ruling upholds the original judgment that Nantes and Bangoura are jointly liable to pay Al Nasr 4.5 million euros ($6.2 million) plus interest in compensation.
The club and player had argued Bangoura could leave Dubai upon returning from the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations because his salary was unpaid.
Bangoura has already served three months of a four-month playing ban ordered by FIFA.
The Swiss federal court said the player’s separate appeal against the CAS ruling was filed too late to be accepted.
Nantes won the most recent of its eight French league titles in 2001. It was a Champions League semifinalist in 1996.
The Canaries were relegated in 2009 and spent four years in the second tier until winning promotion last season.
The Swiss federal tribunal also ordered Nantes to pay 22,000 Swiss francs ($25,000) to both FIFA and Al Nasr, and 20,000 Swiss francs ($22,800) in court costs.