The chief executive of the Shakhtar club in Donetsk admitted on Friday that Fifa’s $42 million compensation claim would be difficult to win, although taking the case to sports’ top court sent a clear message.
Shakhtar’s Mykhaylo Mudryk, left, run with the ball next to Real Madrid’s Dani Carvajal during the Champions League group F soccer match between Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on Oct. 5, 2022. Shakhtar Donetsk’s chief executive acknowledges it will be tough to win a $42 million claim for compensation from FIFA at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Shakhtar is determined not to be overturned in the January transfer window.
The move came after the club felt it had lost control of too many players leaving Ukraine this year as other teams benefited from FIFA’s emergency transfer rules amid Russia’s invasion.
“We will not accept that our players should be sold at a discount,” Shakhtar Chief Executive Sergei Palkin told The Associated Press, a day after Shakhtar helped submit the club’s case against FIFA at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland. case.
The Shakhtar team values its most valuable asset at 100 million euros ($106 million), with Premier League leaders Arsenal most closely linked to winger Mykhaylo Mudryk.
“I don’t want European clubs to take advantage of our situation to demean our players,” Parkin said in a phone interview. “That’s the worst case scenario.”
Players who were under Shakhtar’s control when Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 – the day before the national league was due to resume after the winter break – are now playing for clubs in Brazil, England, France and Italy.
The clubs could avoid paying a transfer fee to Shakhtar, whose 2021-22 season was forfeited along with the rest of Ukraine’s domestic football team.
Instead, FIFA allowed players to suspend their contracts in Ukraine – initially until the end of last season in June, then for the entire season – and seek more game and contract stability in another country free of war.
Fifa believes its interim rules protect clubs better than simply terminating all contracts (as the FIFPRO players union has suggested) or letting players seek to cancel deals that would require them to stay in Ukraine.
The club argues that Fifa’s emergency rules ultimately cost Shakhtar tens of millions of euros (dollars) because it has no leverage in the transfer market.
Palkin said the Shakhtar team played against the “biggest and most influential organization” in football at CAS, and it suggested FIFA could help by setting up a compensation fund for Ukraine.
“It’s hard to make positive decisions,” he said. “But it’s important that our views be heard. From my perspective, it’s been good to hear.”
CAS judges are likely to rule by mid-January without full written reasons why. These can take several months to release.
In a similar case with CAS, some Russian clubs have also challenged FIFA’s transfer rules. Players and coaches can suspend their contracts with Russian clubs, which have been banned from participating in European competitions organized by UEFA this season.
The Russia case was heard by a different panel of CAS judges on Nov. 21. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
The legitimate picture should be clearer when Shakhtar’s side return to the arena in the Europa League knockout playoffs on February 16. Shakhtar host Rennes in the first leg in Warsaw, the Polish capital, and the team has played three “home” games in the Champions League group stage.
In March, the Shakhtar team restarted in the Ukrainian Premier League — playing games in empty stadiums, with no ticket sales and often interrupted by air raid sirens.
“They understand where we are and that we need capital,” Palkin said of Shakhtar’s rivals.
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