Mandic in spotlight as Fifa looks into Kewell's move to Liverpool

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The Independent Football

Fifa has launched an investigation into Harry Kewell's transfer to Liverpool, which was the subject of a High Court libel trial that collapsed yesterday.

Lawyers from football's world governing body are investigating the legality of the £5m move which took Kewell from Leeds United to Liverpool in July 2003. It is examining whether the clubs were in breach of Fifa regulations in dealing with Kewell's personal manager, Bernie Mandic, who is not a licensed agent. Fifa opened the investigation, which should be concluded by the new season, after it was passed documents by the Football Association, which says the incident is out of its jurisdiction.

The High Court jury heard that Mandic had dealings with both clubs after Kewell was put up for sale at the start of 2003. Notes made by Liverpool's chief executive, Rick Parry, confirmed that he had been in talks with Mandic about the player's transfer fee. The court also heard that Leeds United's chairman, Professor John Mackenzie, was also dealing with Mandic, who claimed that Leeds even proposed that the player's loyalty bonus be paid to the club via a tax haven.

Mandic said that as Kewell's manager he was not bound by Fifa rules. Instead, his brother, Nicolas, signed the deal but Fifa rules prevent clubs from using a non-licensed agent.

l In last night's Confederations Cup matches the world champions, Brazil, beat the European champions, Greece, 3-0 in Leipzig while Mexico beat Japan 2-1 in Hanover.