Football: Barcelona look to Fifa

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The Independent Online
Barcelona have made a last-ditch effort to stop Ronaldo moving to Internazionale by invoking a Fifa rule that would prevent his unnegotiated transfer to a non-Spanish club.

Inter had looked likely to pay the 4.5bn pesetas (pounds 19m) stipulated in Ronaldo's contract as the price needed to release him from his obligations with Barcelona. It is normal practice in Spain for players to sign contracts including such withdrawal clauses, but the world governing body recognises such contracts only for transfers within Spain.

The Inter president, Massimo Moratti, said: "We are surprised. I have put the matter in the hands of able lawyers in Italy and Spain. I hope to understand the situation better."

Ottmar Hitzfeld has resigned as coach of Borussia Dortmund, just over a week after the club won the European Cup. Hitzfeld is to take on the role of sports director at the club.

Geoff Chapple yesterday ended his 13-year management reign at Woking by leaving the GM Vauxhall Conference club to take charge of the Icis League Premier Division team, Kingstonian. Chapple has steered the Surrey side to three FA Trophy wins in the last four years.