Chelsea have told Goal.com that the Ã¢â€šÂ¬17 million fine issued to Adrian Mutu by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), after the player failed a dope test and was subsequently sacked by the Londoners in 2004, has Ã¢â‚¬Å“vindicatedÃ¢â‚¬Â their decision, but refused to dignify with comment rumours that they will call on FIFA to suspend the Fiorentina man indefinitely if he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t pay up.
The CAS ruling in July related to MutuÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dispute with Chelsea after the club sacked him when he tested positive for cocaine in 2004.
After years of legal wrangling, CAS eventually ruled that Mutu had committed a breach of contract by taking cocaine, and that under FIFAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s laws for compensation he was responsible for the transfer fee Chelsea wrote off their accounts when they sacked him. The final damages, following an unsuccessful appeal, were set at Ã¢â€šÂ¬17m (Ã‚Â£14.6m).
There has been great anger throughout Italy at the severity of the punishment, and reports in the peninsulaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s media this morning claimed that unless Mutu paid his Ã¢â€šÂ¬17m compensation by Monday that Chelsea would call on FIFA to suspend the Romanian. This would in turn push Mutu into retiring from football altogether at the age of just 30.
Comments flooded in on Goal.com when we reported on the story earlier, the large majority siding with Mutu and rebuking Chelsea.
Goal.com contacted Chelsea to hear their side of the story. The London club, however, dismissed the reports.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“There is nothing to comment on,Ã¢â‚¬Â Chelsea Director of Communications, Simon Greenberg, told Goal.com.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have said everything we needed to say about Mutu when the decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) came through.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“[The stories about Mutu being suspended and retiring] are complete speculation. We are not going to comment on matters that are in the Italian newspapers.Ã¢â‚¬Â
When told about the anger of many Goal.com readers regarding the situation, Greenberg stressed: Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have not experienced any anger on the Mutu situation from readers, fans, or anyone Ã¢â‚¬â€œ right from the start when he was sacked for breaking the law and using Class A drugs.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If you are reporting what is in the Italian papers that is up to you.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Greenberg also claimed that the punishment was out of ChelseaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hands, although he did maintain that the sentence Ã¢â‚¬Å“totally vindicatedÃ¢â‚¬Â their decision, while also slamming the Italian media for their speculation.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe this is a negative story at all because the powers are with FIFA. The decision is with FIFA. There is no decision that Chelsea could take. The Italian media actually donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand the story,Ã¢â‚¬Â he reasoned.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The powers of applying the punishment lie entirely with FIFA and not with Chelsea.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We believe that our actions have been totally vindicated by the decision of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber and CAS.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Italian media have no idea about what Chelsea have asked FIFA to do, or not to do, or indeed what FIFA are going to do or not going to do. It is pure speculation.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our position is very clear on Mutu. Our last statement was following the CAS ruling, and the statement was that we believe our actions throughout this whole case have been totally vindicated by the decisions of FIFA and CAS,Ã¢â‚¬Â Greenberg concluded.
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Carlo Garganese, Goal.com