FIFA FINES ARSENAL OVER NIGERIAN-BORN CHUBA AKPOM’S TRANSFER

Premier League side, Arsenal have been fined £34,000 by FIFA and warned about their conduct regarding player transfers following the departures of Chuba Akpom and Joel Campbell in 2018.

Akpom, who is of Nigerian descent, is still eligible to represent Nigeria. In May 2016, it was reported that he was one of three players formally approached by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

NFF President, Amaju Pinnick flanked by Chuba Akpom (L) and Ola Aina (R)

On 6 September 2016, he was selected for the England under-21s for the UEFA European Championship qualifier. But last year September, he confirmed that he intended to represent Nigeria  at international level.

According to UK’s Daily Mail, a FIFA investigation launched in January found that Arsenal inserted sell-on clauses that demanded more of a cut of future transfer fees if either of their former players later joined a British club. 

Chuba Akpom in the colours of Greek club, PAOK

Arsenal placed a sell-on clause in the contract with Greek club PAOK to ensure they would receive 40% of the fee if Akpom was sold to a British club but only 30% from any other team. 

talian side Frosinone Calcio were also required to pay 30 per cent of any fee from a British club to Arsenal, falling to 25 per cent if he went elsewhere. 

FIFA’s disciplinary committee found that Arsenal had violated rules by entering a contract enabling it to influence other clubs.

The governing body also concluded that Arsenal had failed to reveal the sell-on clause details when they entered ‘release permanently’ into the Transfer Matching System, sparking the inquiry by the global transfers and compliance department.

The FIFA disciplinary committee then found Arsenal to be in violation of the rules for entering into contracts and for failing to declare data in the TMS.

Arsenal had argued to FIFA that the transfer terms would not influence any transfer decisions by PAOK or Frosinone and said the English Football Association and Premier League were satisfied there was no breach of third-party influence rules. 

A FIFA verdict document said: ‘The committee considers that, by the mere existence of these clauses, Frosinone and PAOK FC are influenced by Arsenal in employment and transfer-related matters.

‘The committee considers that the relevant clauses undoubtedly grant Arsenal the ability to influence in employment and transfer-related matters the independence, policies and the performance of PAOK FC and Frosinone’s teams.’

FIFA added that the two clubs would be more inclined to accept an offer from outside the UK.  

Campbell left Frosinone on Thursday after making a loan move to Mexican club Leon permanent but the financial terms were not disclosed, while former England youth forward Akpom is still with PAOK.

FIFA warned Arsenal that ‘harsher sanctions’ would be imposed for any similar future infringements.