FIFA bans Ronaldo’s club Al-Nassr over failure to pay Ahmed Musa transfer fees

Cristiano Ronaldo ’s Al-Nassr have been hit with a FIFA ban preventing them from registering new players.

The nine-time Saudi champions became one of the first clubs to secure a big name within the footballing landscape as they secured a deal for the former Manchester United forward.

The Portuguese is earning £173m a year in the Gulf state and his arrival has led to an influx of stars to Saudi Arabia..

He was joined by former Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema in the country, the Frenchman completing a move to Al-Ittihad, where he’s been joined by N’Golo Kante. Al-Nassr have continued their big-spending, adding Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic from Inter Milan, while Italy international Domenico Berardi and Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech are among the names to have been linked with a move to the club.

However, game’s governing body has now banned Al-Nassr from registering new players.

It follows the Saudi club’s failure to pay Championship side Leicester add-ons relating to a deal for Nigerian forward Ahmed Musa. The former CSKA Moscow forward joined the Foxes immediately after their title success in 2016 but enjoyed little success in England.

He scored just five goals in 33 outings for the Foxes before being allowed to return to his former club on-loan. He was then sold to Al-Nassr for a fee believed to be in the region of £14m in 2018.

Musa played 60 games for Al-Nassr and won the league before being released as a free agent two years later. An official ruling from FIFA claims that the Saudi side have failed to pay €460k (£390k) plus interest in performance-related add-ons.

The ruling was originally released in October 2021, with Al-Nassr being warned that they would have a transfer registration ban imposed should they fail to pay Leicester the outstanding amount.

It’s now believed that they have failed to comply with the ruling and have had a registration ban imposed upon them. That applies to both domestic and international transfers, meaning stars from abroad cannot currently be registered.

FIFA’s original ruling stated that the ban would account for three entire and consecutive registration periods – transfer windows. Al-Nassr were also warned that the matter would be presented to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee should Leicester still not be paid by the end of the ban.

Al-Nassr have since suggested that the issue surfaced before the Public Investment Fund’s (PIF) acquisition of the club.

It has been reported that the side’s new structure will ensure that a repeat will not be occurring, whilst the payment for Musa will be paid to Leicester promptly in order to lift the ban.

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