FIFA have thrown out Fulham’s appeal over their non-payment of the final £3.3million of Steve Marlet’s £11.5million transfer fee and ordered them to pay the cash by July 31.
The executive committee of world football’s governing body met in Paris on Saturday and their decision, announced this afternoon, gives the Cottagers another 30-day deadline to pay the instalment originally due in December – seven months ago.
FIFA have previously threatened Mohamed Al Fayed’s club with an international transfer embargo if they refuse to come up with the £3.314million owed to Lyon.
A FIFA spokesman said: “I can confirm the executive committee, in their capacity as the body of appeal, took their decision in the Marlet case on Saturday.
“The appeal lodged by Fulham has been rejected and the decision reached by the players’ status committee on February 21 is fully upheld.
“Fulham shall pay the amount of FF30million to Lyon within 30 days of receiving notification of this decision.”
The Marlet transfer, which was finalised in August 2001, is entwined in legal action, with Fulham, Lyon and the agents who brokered the deal – Pascal and Sebastien Boisseau – all registering papers at the High Court.
Fulham refused to comment on Tuesday but it is understood they want to resolve the legal cases before making a final decision on FIFA’s judgement.
French international Marlet is ironically now effectively up for sale – but the major sticking point appears to be his wages – which are in excess of £30,000-a-week and have built-in increments until the expiry of his five-year contract in summer 2006.