Friday, June 30, 2006

Arsenal "not guilty" in Belgium's African player farm

English Premier League club Arsenal has been cleared by the world football body FIFA of any breach of club ownership rules over their dealings with Belgian team Beveren. The BBC Newsnight program alleged that Belgian police found Arsenal made an irregular £1 million payment to Beveren and FIFA asked the Football Association to investigate. The FA absolved Arsenal of any wrongdoing and FIFA will take no further action. "There is no evidence or indication of any infringement of the relevant regulations," FIFA said in a statement quoted by Soccer Investor. Arsenal maintained its payment to Beveren was by way of a loan "to assist in stabilising the finances of Beveren" and denied having a controlling influence over the club.

See also: FIFA probes Arsenal's deal with Beveren's Guillou (2 June) and Arsenal options 2 first-year Thai academy students (25 May)

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