13 September, 2011


Just like walking in your grandparents making out, this one is going to get real ugly real fast.

As some of you may remember, Switzerland's FC Sion had illegally lured Egyptian keeper Essam El-Hadary away from Al-Ahly in 2008 while still under contract and had been subsequently punished. Part of that punishment is no player transfers may play for the club in competition.

Fast forward to Europa League qualifications this year. SPL's Glasgow Celtic were paired up with FC Sion. Because of the previously mentioned ban on transfers, FC Sion had to forfeit their matches against Celtic because they fielded illegally acquired players, thus, Celtic were awarded 3-0 wins for both home/away matches.

Needless to say, FC Sion were a little upset, so they appealed through the Court of Sports Arbitration and FIFA themselves only to be denied by both.

There is a rule in FIFA that requires all teams, both international and club, to abide by rulings of FIFA and to avoid outside arbitration. Thus, the move and subsequent win by FC Sion in a Swiss court allowing them to play in the Europa League seems contradictory.

So, they didn't get to play because of FIFA statutes, so they go around the statutes and violate FIFA rules to play in a FIFA sanctioned league. Doesn't sound like they are going to win this one.

What makes it so awkward is they have since booked travel and hotel rooms in Madrid for the Atletico Madrid v Celtic match. Not sure what they are expecting to happen as the 6-0 technical loss on aggregate would pretty much negate any chance they have of playing in, so maybe they just plan to show up and sit in the stands in full kits giving the stink eye to FIFA officials.

Photo: UEFA

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