Football

FIFA face Belgian test case

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Football´s most important legal test case since the Bosman ruling has begun in a Belgium court with FIFA lined up against Europe´s richest clubs.

The Belgium first division side Charleroi are claiming £426,000 (615,000 euros) compensation for one of their players injured in an international friendly and are being backed by G14, the group of 18 elite clubs including Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal. If FIFA lose, it will hand much more power to the clubs who believe they should be paid while players are on international duty.

Charleroi´s lawyer Jean-Pierre Deprez told the court the club´s chairman Abbas Bayat had been pressurised by FIFA to drop the case but FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren told PA Sport: "The meeting took place in the presence of the general secretary of the Belgium FA and UEFA president Lennart Johansson. We strongly reject any allegation that pressure was applied or that threats were made."

© Copyright Press Association Ltd 2006, All Rights Reserved.

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