Shakhtar Donetsk CEO criticizes FIFA for ruling that allows foreign players to leave Ukraine for free until 2023 | Soccer News
Shakhtar Donetsk chief executive Sergei Palkin has accused FIFA of being “negligent” after passing a rule that allows foreign footballers to Ukraine to leave for free until 2023.
The Ukrainian champions, who play in the Champions League this season, are seeking millions of pounds in damages from the governing body over lost transfer income after players were allowed to suspend their contracts for a year in due to the ongoing Russian invasion.
Palkin says the club intended to sell these players – who include Manor Solomon to Fulham – and wanted that revenue to cover losses and debts, which includes future payments due to other clubs for previous player purchases .
FIFA says it consulted with all relevant stakeholders in Ukraine before issuing the decision, but Palkin does not believe they spoke to Ukrainian clubs, the Football Association or the country’s leagues.
“We contacted FIFA’s legal department and said ‘it’s very complicated, let’s sort it out’. But they completely ignored our letter. No response at all,” he said. Sky Sports News.
“Then we contacted the Ukrainian association and created a letter with all the clubs, sent it to FIFA and received no response.
“We had a lot of arguments, even journalists called FIFA asking ‘have you communicated with all key stakeholders’? They (FIFA) said ‘yes’. But they completely ignored the association. Ukrainian, the clubs and our Premier League.
“At the same time, they connected to the World League Forum. What is this organization responsible for? It’s ridiculous. Their neglect of the decision-making process.
“They should consult all parties, especially Ukrainian clubs. All European organizations support Ukraine. How is it possible to behave like this?
“If you robbed our players according to your rule, you (should) say ‘okay, in that case you have war, a difficult situation, (so) you don’t need to pay those debts to the clubs .
“On the one hand, they haven’t done anything. ‘You have to pay the clubs up to 50 million euros in debt. On the other hand, they have stolen our players. What should we do? They have just killed. Nobody paid attention, nobody asked us.
“This situation has empowered agents and makes them much richer than before.
“I heard from FIFA that they were trying to set up some sort of security for foreign players. Long after the war started, all foreign players were secured within a week. No one pushed the foreign players to come back in. I negotiated with all of them, they could be loaned out and sold, all were happy, even the agents were happy.
“But FIFA penetrated our financial ecosystem and destroyed everything.”
“Fulham have withdrawn from the agreement with Manor Solomon”
Fulham have agreed a one-year deal with winger Solomon, set to be announced in August, in line with this FIFA decision – and Palkin claims they have pulled out of a deal to buy him in order to secure for nothing.
“With Fulham we have almost finished everything,” Palkin told Sky Sports News. “We exchanged transfer contracts.
“We corrected all the elements of the contracts. On our side, we even signed the contract, stamped it and sent it to Fulham to sign on this side.
“FIFA issued regulation number seven, and the next day they (Fulham) sent me an email saying thank you very much, we’re out of the case, we’ll take the player.”
Fulham declined to comment on the claims when contacted by Sky Sports News.
Shakhtar are also at risk of losing Brazilian left-back Ismaily and former Manchester City striker Olarenwaju Kayode under the same circumstances – and any move elsewhere would see them come to the end of their contracts with Shakhtar.
Salomon will return to Shakhtar just six months before the end of his contract, so he could also talk to foreign clubs and agree a pre-contract for January 1, 2024. This is also the case for Brazilian striker Tete , who has been linked to Lyon.
Shakhtar have also written to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over the matter, with the decision coming nine days before June 30, giving the club just over a week to try to negotiate a sale.
A FIFA amendment said clubs could not register players joining suspended contracts until August 1 in a bid to give Shakhtar more time, but it appears to have had little impact.
FIFA insists the statute was drawn up after consultation with “key players in Ukraine and world football” and “with the aim of effectively assisting war-affected players, clubs and coaches”.
The governing body said Sky Sports News“As such, the decision is the result of a number of different meetings, including with the involvement of the European Club Association (ECA), the independent body directly representing football clubs at European level.
“The Board’s decision was taken with the aim of effectively assisting war-affected players, clubs and coaches in Ukraine, as the provisions give players and coaches the opportunity to train, play and receive a salary, while protecting Ukrainian clubs and facilitating the departure of foreign players and coaches from Russia.
“Any potential disputes arising from the Bureau’s decision will be dealt with by the competent bodies of FIFA in accordance with the applicable regulations.”