Club Africain Tunisien has been imposed a transfer ban by Fifa after failing to pay former player Nicholas Opoku.
The Ghanaian, currently on loan at French Ligue 2 team Amiens, from Italian Udinese, joined the 13-time Tunisian champion in August 2017 and terminated his contract in June 2018 after repeated payment failure.
Last month, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that the Tunisian side should pay the 23-year-old athlete US $ 279,500 – including $ 117,000 relating to unpaid wages, $ 100,000 in compensation for breach of contract, the rest covering interest and legal fees.
“Fifa can confirm that a ban on registering new players internationally has been imposed on Club Africain in connection with this case,” a FIFA spokesman told BBC Sport Africa.
“The ban will take effect at the start of the next registration period.”
Club Africain will be able to re-register players if they pay their dues with Opoku, which has had a good season in France.
In his findings, Cas ruled that the former African champions failed to pay Opoku’s salary on time, imposed a “ disproportionate fine ” on the player while not responding to any of his demands for payment.
Even though Opoku terminated his contract on June 1, 2018, Club Africain sold the player to Italian Udinese for $ 960,000 on June 25, 2018.
“The Club … took advantage of the situation of imbalance to conclude the transfer agreement with Udinese … despite the fact that the player had unilaterally terminated the contract”, wrote the CAS, the highest legal body. Sport.
“Despite the payment of $ 960,000 by Udinese, the club did not pay the player’s exceptional salaries.”
Club Africain avoided relegation at the end of the Tunisian season on Wednesday, winning 1-0 at Stade Tunisien to condemn their rivals in the second division.
A victory for the home side would have resulted in the relegation of Club Africain for the first time.
In 2019, Club Africain had to rely on bailouts from their fans – including a blind man who gave up money he had saved for medicine – who helped save the financially struggling club.