Blatter: dock points from clubs that ‘poach’ players

Sep 10, 2009

The Fifa president’s intervention comes as Manchester United are accused over illegally inducing another Italian teen to join them

The Fifa president Sepp Blatter has joined in the controversy over player 'poaching', suggesting yesterday that clubs which are found guilty of illegally inducing young players to join them from the clubs that nurtured their talent should be docked points in their own leagues.

"The best thing [to punish clubs] is to take points away. Take racism, if there is a fine of £100,000 or £200,000, you will always find someone that pays the fine. But if you take away points then this will be an example," the 73-year-old Swiss administrator said. "The national associations must have the courage to do so and then you will stop that. You have to touch them were it hurts. Take away points and you will see it is finished."

Blatter also said that his organisation was looking at "many, many" more cases than just the Gael Kakuta (above) situation which led to Chelsea's transfer ban being imposed until 2011.

"I can tell you there are clubs who are, a little bit, looking in their books and some of them have already announced that such and such a player has 'no contract with us, he's still an amateur', just to make sure that he will not be under the jurisdiction of a congress decision to protect young players," Blatter told journalists at the launch of the Football Association of Wales's new training facilities.

Meanwhile, Manchester United, already fighting accusations from French side Le Havre that they illegally induced Paul Pogba to join the Old Trafford side, could face a formal complaint from Serie A's Fiorentina over the signing of their 16-year-old defender Michele Fornasier.

Fifa revealed that they had "contacted by Fiorentina with regard to the potential transfer of the player, Michele Fornasier, to Manchester United. However, so far no formal investigation was opened since the relevant documentation still needs to be completed. Only then will we be in a position to evaluate possible future steps to be taken."

Fornasier, the Italian Under-16 captain, signed for Manchester united earlier this year, but the club are confident of their legal position as the player would have been barred by Italian law from signing a contract with Fiorentina before he was 18.

Sign up for our daily newsletter