Monday, 9 June 2008

United rattled by Real

In a statement on the Manchester United official website, the English club has announced that it has made a formal complaint to FIFA over the alleged involvement of Real Madrid in the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo. The brief statement reads:

On 27 May, Manchester United made clear its intention to report Real Madrid to FIFA if it continued to involve itself in the future of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Unfortunately, Real Madrid has not kept its own counsel and the Club feels it has no alternative but to make a formal complaint to the world governing body, which it has done today.

The precise content and nature will remain confidential.

FIFA spokesman Pekka Odriozola confirmed the complaint had been made: "it is too early to say how the matter will be dealt with. We will first have to look at the precise nature of the complaint before seeing what steps will be taken."

Though there are few people who doubt that Real Madrid have been "sniffing around" the Portuguese star, it is doubtful whether any complaint to FIFA can be made to stick, as there is unlikely to be anything signed between the player and the club and proving any other type of contact is potentially difficult. However, given that both Manchester United and FIFA are keeping the contents of the complaint confidential at this time, it is possible that evidence that is compelling enough has been unearthed.

Depending on how this pans out, it may spark 'tit for tat' complaints between clubs. Sir Alex Ferguson, for one, has been criticised for his alleged approach of Owen Hargreaves while the player was still under contract at Bayern Munich in 2006, although a transfer was eventually agreed between the two clubs in the summer of 2007.

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