Egypt goalkeeper El Hadary seeks Swiss move, using latest CAS ruling on transfers
SION - Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary is attempting to switch teams on the basis of a landmark ruling by world sport's highest court.
El Hadary, 35, is already training with Swiss team FC Sion, a spokesman for the top-flight club said, even though he is still contracted to Egyptian side Al-Ahly.
Sion has offered Al-Ahly US$400,000 for the player, equivalent to the remaining two years of his salary, club spokesman Lars Gansaeuer said.
The offer is in line with a decision last month by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. That ruling awarded Scottish Premier League side Hearts only the residual value of Andy Webster’s contract after the defender unilaterally broke it to join English Premier League team Wigan.
The CAS verdict was a setback to Hearts, which sought millions of euros in compensation. FIFA also slammed the decision, saying it could inflict severe damage on world soccer.
The case has been compared to the Bosman ruling of 1996 that shook up European soccer’s transfer system and allowed out-of-contract players to switch teams without the payment of a transfer fee.
FIFPro, the international players’ organization, said El Hadary may still have to wait until the end of the season. Even with the Webster and Bosman rulings in place, there are limits on when players can break their contracts, FIFPro lawyer Wil van Megen said.
Al-Ahly was not immediately available for comment. The case has sparked widespread anger in Egypt, which earlier this month successfully defended its African Cup of Nations title with El Hadary in goal.
[Copyright ap 2008]