EXCLUSIVE: Royal AM handed FIFA ban with immediate effect

EXCLUSIVE: Royal AM handed FIFA ban with immediate effect

SABC Sport can exclusively reveal that world football governing body FIFA have handed Royal AM a transfer ban with immediate effect.

This comes on the back of the Premier Soccer League club’s failure to settle a R12-million outstanding payment to striker Samir Nurkovic, whose contract they unlawfully terminated last year.

Nurkovic, through his lawyer Davor Lazic, requested FIFA implement a heavy sanction on the Durban-based outfit last week, having not received word from the club on whether the money owed would be paid out. 

Royal AM signed the Serbian from Kaizer Chiefs as a free agent exactly a year ago on a two-year deal, but  took the decision to terminate three months later claiming he had not pitched for work. 

The club’s attorney Leruma Thobejane insisted Nurkovic had only ever reported for duty once, before featuring in an unofficial game – the Macufe Cup in September at the Bloemfontein Stadium. 

Nurkovic was later served a 30-day notice letter to leave the team, but he moved quickly and took the matter to FIFA.

Following months of deliberations by the tribunal, a ruling was awarded in favour of Nurkovic, ordering Royal to pay the player a R12-million settlement of the two-year contract, including agent and lawyer fees with interest. 

But Thobejane told SABC Sport they would fight the case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] to prove FIFA were biased towards Nurkovic and only ruled on his “version of events.” 

After last week’s request, the public broadcaster can now reveal that FIFA have sent communication to SAFA ordering a ban on Royal AM for the registeration of players at national level, effective Monday, 3 July.

The sanction can only be lifted once the side, owned by flamboyant businesswoman Shauwn Mkhize, pays the outstanding R12-million in full.