Pa­per­work puts Ney­mar’s de­but on hold

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS -

PARIS — It’s been nearly a week since Ney­mar landed in Paris, and the world’s most ex­pen­sive player still can’t play for his new club in the French league.

The Brazil­ian su­per­star’s world-record $260 mil­lion trans­fer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Ger­main was com­pleted last week but he has yet to be granted per­mis­sion to play.

PSG wanted Ney­mar to start the sea­son last week at Parc des Princes against Amiens but his de­but was de­layed be­cause his in­ter­na­tional trans­fer cer­tifi­cate (ITC) had not been re­ceived by the French league on time.

Ney­mar was un­veiled to the PSG fans on Satur­day but could only watch from the stands as his new team started its Ligue 1 cam­paign with a 2-0 win.

He was then ex­pected to play this Sun­day at Guingamp, how­ever the French league told As­so­ci­ated Press that it had not re­ceived the ITC from the Span­ish fed­er­a­tion by a mid­night dead­line on Thurs­day.

The French league sent an ap­pli­ca­tion for the doc­u­ment last Thurs­day, fol­low­ing the pay­ment of the player’s re­lease clause to Barcelona.

The league, how­ever, said Ney­mar could still play in Sun­day’s match if PSG and the French fed­er­a­tion de­cide against re­fer­ring the is­sue to FIFA.

“If the French fed­er­a­tion does not start pro­ceed­ings with FIFA, we could still re­ceive the ITC up un­til Satur­day night,” the league said.

Ac­cord­ing to French news­pa­per L’Equipe, PSG is un­likely to ask FIFA to rule on the is­sue be­cause it could slow down pro­ceed­ings fur­ther.

FIFA told AP it “has not been con­tacted by the FFF (French Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion) in con­nec­tion with the player Ney­mar and the ITC pro­ce­dure”.

France’s soc­cer gov­ern­ing body added it “does not un­der­stand” why its Span­ish coun­ter­part “re­fuses to ac­cept the pay­ment for the buy­out clause for Ney­mar”.

Barcelona said there is nothing strange about the sit­u­a­tion and that the wait is due to the banks, which have to make the $260 mil­lion avail­able in the club’s ac­count be­fore the trans­fer is au­tho­rized.

There has been spec­u­la­tion that Barcelona slowed down the whole process as a re­tal­i­a­tion mea­sure against PSG af­ter the Qatari-owned club man­aged to lure one of its big­gest stars away from Camp Nou.

Asked about his views on the is­sue af­ter the Amiens game last week, PSG coach Unai Emery said he was not sure “Spain did ev­ery­thing” to en­sure Ney­mar would be cleared to play for his team in time.

FFF pres­i­dent Noel Le Graet said an­other rea­son for the de­lay could be the tur­moil within the Span­ish fed­er­a­tion.

An­gel Maria Villar, who ran Span­ish soc­cer since 1988, was sus­pended last month from the pres­i­dency for one year by Spain’s top sports au­thor­ity for his sus­pected in­volve­ment in cor­rup­tion.

“I don’t need to tell you that the Span­ish fed­er­a­tion is hav­ing some prob­lems at the mo­ment,” Le Graet told L’Equipe. “The trans­fer is com­plete, so this should not last.”

USA TO­DAY SPORTS

New York Mets sec­ond base­man Neil Walker breaks his bat dur­ing his team’s MLB game against the Phil­a­del­phia Phillies at Cit­i­zens Bank Park on Thurs­day. The Mets home­red four times for a 10-0 triumph.

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