Sion deducted 36 points over ineligible players

 

Sion have today described the decision of the Swiss Football Association
(SFV) to dock them 36 points over the fielding of ineligible players as
a "cowardly act".

The SFV were threatened with expulsion from all competitions by world football's governing body FIFA if they failed to punish member club Sion, who were kicked out of the Europa League by UEFA earlier this season after fielding players they had signed during a transfer embargo imposed by FIFA in 2009.

FIFA told the SFV there would be a blanket ban on Swiss football if action was not taken by January 13.

Sion have now been docked three points for each of the 12 Swiss league and cup matches any one of the six ineligible players appeared in. They had been third in the Swiss top flight with 31 points prior to the sanction.

The club have the right to appeal against the sanction in the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and a statement released by the club following the SFV decision read: "FC Sion was informed by the press of the decision of the Central Committee of the Swiss Football Association to bow to the blackmail of FIFA and collaborate on the injustice facing the club, by pronouncing a deduction of 36 points in the Super League championship.

"This process condemns the team irreparably to relegation. This decision is mainly an intolerable affront to equity in sports, but it is no surprise to (Sion), who did not expect any courage on the part of the SFV in the face of FIFA.

"Considering this cowardly act of the SFV, FC Sion is even more determined to defend its interests and ethics in sport of football by compliance with court decisions, both civil and sports."

The SFV said in a statement on their official website http://www.football.ch earlier today: "The central board of the SFV has withdrawn 36 points from Super League club FC Sion. The board has therefore met the requirements of FIFA from December 17, 2011."

FIFA had demanded on December 17 that "all matches in which the relevant players participated shall be declared forfeit or three points shall be deducted respectively".

The announcement - subject to ratification from FIFA - means Basle will remain in the Champions League and ends any hope of a reprieve for Manchester United, who were knocked out by the Swiss side.

Sion had already been expelled from the Europa League group phase by UEFA earlier this year, with Celtic admitted in their place, a decision which was upheld by CAS earlier this month.

Earlier today it emerged Sion had lodged a "criminal complaint" against FIFA's executive committee over their ultimatum to the SFV and it now appears highly likely they will launch a legal challenge to the huge points deduction.

Their latest statement claims the SFV are in breach of their own statutes, which Sion say allow only for a maximum 12-point penalty for any misdemeanour.

They repeated their stance that they had done nothing unlawful and attached images of the six players' Swiss Football League accreditation cards to demonstrate that they had, in the club's view, been correctly and legitimately registered.

"FC Sion will make every effort to ensure that officers in charge of sports bodies respect the fundamental right of everyone to go to court without being subject to reprisals," the Sion statement continued.

The Swiss club were put under a transfer embargo in 2009 over the signing of Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El Hadary, but proceeded to sign six players in the summer.

FIFA said today that an emergency committee would study the SFV documents relating to the sanction early next month.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her