Thursday, December 29, 2011

FC Sion Raises Stakes with FIFA Once More

In the latest turn of FC Sion's disputes with football powers, the club has accused FIFA of blackmail and filed a complaint with a Swiss prosecutor:
Swiss football club FC Sion have filed a complaint against football’s world governing body, Fifa, with the Zurich public prosecutor.

The move, announced on the club’s website on Thursday, is the latest in a bitter struggle over Sion’s fielding of players whom Fifa has ruled to be ineligible. Fifa’s headquarters are in Zurich.
The complaint is a response to Fifa’s announcement on December 17 that it would suspend the Swiss Football Association on January 14 if it did not take action against Sion by deducting points they won against Swiss teams in games in which the disputed players were fielded.

If the suspension goes ahead, it will affect all branches of the Association. This includes not only the national team, but also FC Basel, who unexpectedly won a place in the knock-out rounds of the Champions League with a victory over Manchester United.

Sion accuse Fifa of “unacceptable blackmail” in connection with this threat, saying it is trying to force the Association to contravene its own rules and violate Swiss legislation. It cites article 181 of the Swiss legal code, which covers coercion.
FC Sion is catching FIFA at an opportune time, from their perspective, as FIFA is fighting battles on many fronts. However, a walk back by FIFA on the Swiss sanctions would provide no resolution to the long-simmering dispute of FC Sion's Europa Cup eligibility.

I'd guess that this little skirmish will be but a footnote in the larger battle of lex sportiva and lex imperium.


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