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FIFA fails to avert Belgian club v country court battle

Written by: Staff
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CHARLEROI, Belgium, Mar 20 (Reuters) World soccer's ruling body FIFA has failed to avert a courtroom battle with Belgian first division club Charleroi and the case will go ahead later today.

Charleroi, backed by the G14 group which represents 18 of the top clubs in Europe, will enter court this afternoon (1330 GMT) to seek compensation after one of its players was injured on international duty.

A FIFA spokesman said the case would go ahead after a meeting in Zurich late on Friday between FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Charleroi chairman Abbas Bayat failed to find an agreement.

The Belgian side are seeking compensation after Moroccan Abdelmajid Oulmers was ruled out for eight months after playing in a friendly against Burkina Faso in November 2004.

Charleroi say the loss of the player hindered their chances of success in the domestic league and cup.

FIFA says there is no link between the injury of Oulmers and where Charleroi finished in the league last season, fifth.

The G14 have joined Olympique Lyon in a similar action over defender Eric Abidal who broke his foot during a France friendly.

The clubs pay the wages of players, which exceed 175,000 dollars a week for the top performers.

Under FIFA rules they must release any player called up by a national association for international matches, both qualifying games for the leading continental tournaments and friendlies.

REUTERS PDS KP1906

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