Football: Unlicenced agents face blacklist

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The Independent Online
The world's leading agents are to publish a blacklist of those dealing in transfers without the approval of Fifa, the game's world governing body.

Licensed agents have to pay Fifa an annual pounds 100,000 bond to work in the transfer market, but while over 70 have now paid that money and joined the International Association of Football Agents, others - including Norwegian Rune Hauge, who was named in the George Graham "bung" investigation - are continuing to work despite the fact that they are breaching Fifa rules.

The IAFA are to name the offenders in an attempt to force Fifa to take action against all those using unlicensed agents. "We want to bring pressure on Fifa to punish the clubs and players," said Jon Smith, one of Britain's leading agents, at the Soccerex exhibition at Wembley yesterday.

"In our newsletter we will publish a blacklist of the names of those people who are continuing to work in transfers despite not being licencees and hopefully this will mean managers will have second thoughts about using them," he said.

Celtic were recently fined pounds 40,000 following their pounds 3.5m signing of defender Alan Stubbs from Bolton via an unlicensed agent, although Smith pointed out: "That probably just covered the club's hot-dog sale the following weekend. There are regulations and Fifa has the teeth. What it has to do now is begin to bite and once it has bitten once players and manager will begin to think twice."

Fabio Capello, who is resigning as coach of Real Madrid at the end of the season, said yesterday that he had decided to leave because he was irritated by the behaviour of the Spanish club's board.

The highly successful former Milan coach also told the Gazzetta dello Sport that he had not signed a contract with anyone else, but had made a verbal commitment to one club.

He did not say who the agreement was with, but it is widely believed that he is to return to Milan, the club he led to four league titles and the European Cup. Arrigo Sacchi, who stepped down as manager of the national team to coach Milan, with whom he too had been successful, has had a difficult relationship with the club and some of the players this season.

Capello accused Lorenzo Sanz, the president of Real Madrid, of leaking information to the Spanish press. "Every conversation we had, even between just the two of us, I found in the papers the next day. And the same thing happened with other bosses, not to mention the publication of confidential documents. If you have these indiscretions, it means that the club does not want you, that the president hopes you will leave."

Capello appealed to the supporters, who hurled insults and abuse at him on Tuesday following his announcement, not to judge him harshly. He said he had twice before been close to quitting this season and had stayed only because of the fans' support.

He denied there had been any bad feeling with the players following his decision, which had been rumoured for several months. "Real Madrid players are professionals and we are staying together until the end," he said. "Capello's problem is his own - not the team's." Real currently lead the Spanish league by eight points from Barcelona, with just seven games remaining.

While speculation continues about Capello's next stop, Real have already made attempts to woo Jupp Heynckes as his replacement next season. Heynckes, who recently announced he would not be continuing as coach of the Spanish side Tenerife next year, has been approached by the club, and with no other apparent candidates, is almost certain to get the job.

Heynckes, 51, has previously coached Athletic Bilbao in Spain and Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayern Munich and Borussia Monchengladbach in his native Germany.

The Excel-Economico Bank wants Ronaldo back in Brazil and is prepared to spend $82m (pounds 50m) to secure his return, a bank official said. The bank which sponsors Corinthians has talked with Ronaldo's management to discuss the deal which would bring the Fifa 1996 player of the year to the Sao Paulo team under a 10-year contract

The Swiss international Stephane Chapuisat is to seek French citizenship to make it easier to move among European Union countries, but will continue to play for Switzerland, the player - who is married to a Frenchwoman - said yesterday. "As soon as I have a day off, I will go to the embassy in Dusseldorf and apply for French citizenship. In June 1998 my contract with Borussia Dortmund runs out. As a Frenchman, I would be an EU citizen. This opens up new opportunities for me," he said.

French citizenship would make it easier for Chapuisat to transfer to France next year, but he said he would maintain his Swiss citizenship as well and continue to play for the national team. "I consider myself Swiss and that will not change even when I am a dual national," he said. "Playing for the French national team will never be an issue for me."

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