Royal AM handed second Fifa transfer ban after Ricardo Nascimento debacle

Former Royal AM captain Ricardo Nascimento. Picture: Gerhard Duraan / BackpagePix

Former Royal AM captain Ricardo Nascimento. Picture: Gerhard Duraan / BackpagePix

Published Jan 24, 2024


DStv Premiership side Royal AM find themselves in a contractual dispute with a former player yet again, which has led to the club being handed a second transfer ban in the past 12 months.

After their long-standing battle with former striker Samir Nurkovic, which saw them denied permission to make any signings and ordered to pay R12 million to the Serbian-born player, Thwihli Thwahla now find themselves in a similar predicament – this time with ex-defender Ricardo Nascimento.

The Brazilian was let go by the Pietermaritzburg-based club in the latter stages of last season with just two months of his contract remaining.

After his dismissal, the former Mamelodi Sundowns player referred his case to Fifa’s dispute resolution chamber (DRC), seeking remuneration he felt was owed to him according to his contract.

However, the club rejected his request because the option clause in his contract was not exercised, which meant he would be entitled to the salary of the remaining two months on his contract only.

The 36-year-old took the matter to the football governing body and succeeded in his appeal as Royal AM were ordered to pay a sum of R600 000 – a ruling the club has since rejected.

“At the end of April 2023, two months before the expiry of Nascimento’s contract, Royal AM terminated the contract and paid out Nascimento the remainder of the unexpired term of his employment contract – May and June 2023,” the club statement read.

“Nascimento referred a contractual dispute to (the) Fifa DRC for payment of the salary for May and June 2023, payment of the salary for the option period which was not exercised by Royal AM FC, and R120 000 bonus.

“On September 28 (last year), (the) Fifa DRC granted Nascimento an award for payment of R600 000. Royal AM lodged an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and requested the motivated decision from Fifa.

“On November 7, Fifa notified (the club of) their motivated decision, which upon perusal, Royal AM established that the award made by (the) Fifa DRC was salary for the months of May and June 2023, which Royal AM had already paid to Nascimento.

“All other claims by Nascimento were rejected by (the) Fifa DRC. In light of this revelation, the CAS appeal was withdrawn.”

However, the club were, much to their surprise, handed a transfer ban on January 15, a decision they have appealed against and they expect the ban to be overturned as soon as there is clarity between the club and Fifa.

Royal AM also offered an update on their pending case with Nurkovic, who now plays for TS Galaxy.

“It is worth noting that Nurkovic has now expressed his desire to have the matter handled expeditiously, and Royal AM is in agreement with this proposal,” the club wrote.

“Currently, we await directive from the CAS office regarding the appointed arbitrator in this matter, the procedure to be adopted and the allocation of the date of this hearing.”