FIFA threatens to relegate Genoa over Connection bill.

World governing football body, FIFA, has threatened Italy Serie A club, Genoa, with a range of sanctions including relegation due to its supposed violation of article 64 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code over the alleged non-payment of costs ordered by the FIFA Players Status Committee on 21 April 2014.

Genoa was ordered to pay Trinidad and Tobago Pro League club DIRECTV W Connection €125,000 (TT$985,600) plus five percent interest per year and legal costs due to its failure to complete payment for 21-year-old St Lucia international Zane Pierre who joined the Italian club in 2012. The costs of legal proceedings were calculated as CHF 8,000 (TT$54,800) to FIFA and CHF 4,000 (TT$27,400) to Connection.

However, the club failed to provide proof of payment to FIFA by the deadline of 18 September 2014.

And, in a letter from FIFA Deputy Secretary to the Disciplinary Committee Gautier Aubert on 3 February 2015, Genoa was warned that failure to immediately pay its bill could mean “disciplinary sanctions (fine, deduction of points, relegation) may be imposed on the club.” The dispatch was sent to Genoa, Connection, the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (sic) and the Italian Football Federation.

FIFA vowed to open a fresh investigation into Genoa’s conduct but promised to let the matter lie if the Italian team meets its financial obligations.

The world governing body has taken firm measures against wayward clubs before with its recent 14-month transfer window ban against Spanish giants, FC Barcelona, being its most famous recent example. Barcelona was ruled to have breached FIFA’s rules against signing international players under the age of 18.

Pierre spent two years with Connection where he played primarily with the youth team and made less than a handful of senior appearances before moving to Genoa at the age of 19. However, once the Italian outfit made the initial down payment for the St Lucian and acquired his international clearance, the club never completed his transfer fee.

At present, Pierre, who reportedly had two major operations since his move to Italy, is on loan with Serie C outfit, SF Aversa Normanna. He has twice appeared on the substitutes’ bench for Genoa since his transfer to Italy but never played for his employer.

Connection, whose most famous export is Cardiff City forward Kenwyne Jones, is due an additional payment if Pierre appears in Serie A for Genoa.