No Silva bullet leaves Leicester in tough spot

It is uncertain whether Portugal midfielder Adrien Silva, 28, will have to wait until January to represent Leicester.
It is uncertain whether Portugal midfielder Adrien Silva, 28, will have to wait until January to represent Leicester.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Leicester remain committed to trying to find a way to complete the £22 million (S$38.7 million) transfer of Adrien Silva from Sporting Lisbon, after it emerged that the Premier League club missed the deadline to register the Portuguese by 14 seconds.

Fifa has refused to accept Silva's registration on the basis that the paperwork relating to the transfer arrived late - the electronic system in place records exact timings and, in the case of the 28-year-old midfielder, shows that the documents landed at the Football Association (FA) 14 seconds after the deadline.

That paperwork was then forwarded to Fifa as part of the protocol for international transfers.

Leicester hoped that the deal would still be ratified but it emerged on Wednesday evening that the transfer had not been approved by football's world governing body, raising questions about the player's short-term future and whether he would have to wait until January to represent the Midlands club.

A Leicester spokesman told the BBC: "We are working with Adrien and Sporting to overcome some issues relating to the player's registration and exploring all options to find a resolution."

It has turned into a messy, complex situation, with Leicester refusing to concede defeat. But they know they must handle it sensitively and carefully, especially as there is a player caught in the middle who is powerless to do anything.

As things stand, there is an argument that Silva is not technically a Leicester player - although Sporting may argue otherwise.

The FA is trying to support Leicester as much as possible, mindful of the fact that the club come under its jurisdiction. With that in mind, it approached Fifa on Leicester's behalf to seek guidance, yet it received little encouragement.

  • 14 

    Seconds by which Leicester missed the transfer deadline.

A Fifa spokesman said: "We can confirm that Fifa has been contacted by the Football Association in connection with the registration of the player Adrien Silva and the club FC Leicester City.

"Fifa has replied accordingly providing reference to applicable regulations."

The bottom line is that the paperwork did not get to the FA on time and none of the parties involved would dispute that fact. Whether there are mitigating circumstances that could open up the possibility of some sort of appeal or legal challenge is unclear.

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2017, with the headline 'No Silva bullet leaves Leicester in tough spot'. Print Edition | Subscribe