Zamalek avoid points deduction, club lawyer explains situation
Zamalek lawyer Nasr Azzam confirmed that no points will be deducted from the club in the Egyptian Premier League by FIFA due to late dues to former players.
FIFA had threatened to deduct six points from Zamalek in the league last month for late dues to former players Ricardo and Agogo. The club recently received another threat from FIFA because of late dues to current player Mohamed Ibrahim’s former Portuguese club CS Marítimo.
The White Knights were also facing a deduction because of outstanding fees to Ghanaian Karim El-Hassan who joined Zamalek on a free transfer coming from Hearts of Oak in 2011 but left the team one year later.
Zamalek sent El-Hassan 300,000 USD to avoid points deduction and a ban for two transfer windows. The player is yet to receive 400,000 USD which are the remaining amount of his dues.
“We successfully stopped and postponed deduction of points or transfer window bans through the past three years by taking some legal actions and getting in contact with FIFA officials to resolve money transfer issues, though penalties were applied on other Arab clubs in cases which started after Zamalek’s cases,” the club’s lawyer Nasr Azzam said in a press statement.
In his statement, Azzam clarified a few points regarding more than 15 cases against Zamalek assuring that the club was able to reduce more than 12 million USD from late dues which are more than 75% of the debt according to Azzam.
“There are only 3.5 million USD remaining to be paid by the club after taking all the necessary legal procedures with FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“After rulings that reduced or canceled fees we started negotiating with former players to settle the outstanding amounts through installments and we managed to do so until Zamalek’s bank accounts were frozen for three years and the sixth installment for former player Junior Agogo was stopped. The club stopped making any other transfers since this transfer was stopped.
“The club followed the needed steps until the suspension was lifted in 2016 and Zamalek resumed sending late dues to players, but the bank accounts were suspended again for two months with new court rulings and the club stopped paying back their former players because of such compelling circumstances,” he explained.
Azzam further explained that following this point the club tried to go around this issue by contacting the players and inviting them to come to Egypt so they can either pay them in cash or open up local bank accounts for them and deposit their installments, which was the case with former Brazilian player Ricardo.
However, the rest of the players like Agogo refused to come to Egypt to receive their money and insisted on receiving bank transfers which stopped the club from paying them in the last two years.
“FIFA threatened to deduct six points in every case with a total reduction of 24 points in addition to a ban for two transfer windows if the club did not pay what was owned in two months since transfers stopped for two years and final court rulings regarding debt reductions were not applied,” he explained.
The lawyer concluded his statement by pointing out that the situation can be finally resolved with a few legal actions that can cancel penalties applied on Zamalek after paying players’ late dues as soon as possible.
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