Saudi Professional League (SPL) club Al-Nassr have announced that they will be appealing a FIFA ruling calling on the club to pay €45 million ($53.5 million) to their former player Giuliano Victor de Paula after the player cancelled his contract for non-payment of salary, according to Saudi newspaper Arriyadiyah.
The Brazilian striker, who currently plays for Turkish club İstanbul Başakşehir, claims that he was not paid a year’s worth of wages, but Al-Nassr’s announcement revealed that the Riyadh club’s board is confident that the fine will be overturned or at the very least reduced significantly.
Having received legal advice on the matter, Al-Nassr’s point of contention is that according to FIFA’s regulation, payment of the full contract’s value is only carried out in the case of the player remaining at the club for its entire duration and not when it is canceled by one of the parties.
According to Arriyadiyah, a letter from FIFA’s dispute settlement department was sent to the club on Feb. 18 confirming Giuliano’s case against the club, but that the matter remains open to an appeal.
It is not the only time that Al-Nassr have found themselves in trouble with FIFA for financial matters in recent times.
FIFA recently slapped Al-Nassr, runner-up in the Saudi Pro League last season but currently in seventh place, with a ban that potentially leaves the club unable to strengthen their squad in the next three transfer windows.
The punishment had come after Al-Nassr signed Maicon Pereira Roque on loan from Galatasaray in 2019 and made the deal for the Brazilian defender permanent last August. The Turkish club complained to FIFA that they had not received the full transfer fee from the nine-time Saudi champions.
In December, FIFA informed Al-Nassr, in a letter seen by Arab News, that they had to pay the Istanbul club the outstanding amount of €1.1 million and an extra €300,000 in fines.
Though the due date for the payment passed last month, the club can still escape the fine if the payment is made within FIFA’s regulations.
A FIFA official told Arab News: “In all our decisions, if a club fails to pay the amount ordered by FIFA or CAS (the Court of Arbitration for Sport) within 45 days of the decision, the club serves a three-window transfer ban until payment is made.”