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West Ham fined by FIFA over Sakho selection, stays in FA Cup

February 4, 2015

ZURICH (AP) — West Ham escaped being thrown out of the FA Cup after FIFA only fined the Premier League club on Wednesday for playing Senegal forward Diafra Sakho when he was deemed unavailable for the African Cup of Nations because of injury.

Sakho withdrew from Senegal’s squad before the African tournament began on Jan. 17, citing a back injury, but came on as a substitute for West Ham in its FA Cup fourth-round match against Bristol City on Jan. 25. He scored the winner in a 1-0 victory.

FIFA reprimanded Sakho and fined West Ham 100,000 Swiss francs ($108,000) — although the punishment could have been more severe for the English club.

The world governing body said West Ham had breached a regulation on releasing players for international duty, but wasn’t found to have violated a provision that would have led to the club having to forfeit the match.

“The question of further sanctions to be possibly imposed needs now to be dealt with by the entity responsible for the relevant competition, i.e. The FA, in application of its regulations,” FIFA said.

The FA said that Sakho was eligible to play in the match under its rules.

Bristol City said it is disappointed with FIFA ruling’s and is “considering its options.”

The Senegal Football Association complained to FIFA that West Ham said Sakho was “prevented from playing and traveling by plane” because of his back injury.

Senegal finished third in Group C at the African Cup and failed to advance to the quarterfinals.

“We have not breached any rules or regulations whatsoever,” West Ham manager Sam Allardyce said last week. “I am extremely disappointed in Senegal’s reaction.”

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