Paul Pogba, the French teenager who United signed from Le Harve this summer, is clear to play for the club after FIFA ruled on the case last night. The transfer of Pogba caused controversy when Le Harve president Jean-Pierre Louvel accused United of illegally poaching the player. The FIFA judgement means that Pogba is free to play for the club immediately.
In a case that had echoes of Gael Kakuta, whose transfer to Chelsea has seen the London club receive a two transfer window ban, Le Harve accused United of offering Pogba financial inducements to break his contract with the French club. Louvel also said that United bought Pogba’s parents a house in Manchester. Indeed, so vitriolic were Louvel’s accusations about United that the club threatened to take Le Harve to court if he refused to keep quiet.
“Manchester United is pleased to confirm that the Football Association has been authorised by Fifa to register Paul Pogba as a Manchester United player with immediate effect,” said the club in a statement last night.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and managing director David Gill each insisted that the club had offered no inducement to break Pogba’s contract or made payments to the player’s parents.
The judgement last night completely vindicates Untied’s position. The ruling makes clear that Pogba was an amateur because he did not received payments over and above normal expenses, and that because of his age (16) the player could not have signed a professional contract anyway. The judgement dismissed Le Havre’s submissions and granted international clearance.
This is the second case against United dismissed by FIFA in as many months. In September the world governing body said that United had no case to answer in the transfer of former Fiorentina player Michele Fornasier to the club.