Ghana defender Jonathan Mensah has been handed a four-month worldwide ban over his free transfer to French side Evian following a vigorous four-year protest by his previous club Udinese of Italy, GHANAsoccernet.com can reveal.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled on the matter after the Udinese claimed in 2011 that the powerful defender was illegally transferred to the the French top-flight side Evian.
CAS ruled that Mensah was under contract with Udinese when he signed with Evian as a free agent.
The defender’s suspension starts on 29 April, CAS ruled.
This means the Ghana international will resume full football activity on 29 August.
The 24-year-old moved to Evian on a free transfer from Udinese with the understanding from his agents that he could switch clubs without any problems.
However, Udinese protested and reported the matter sports’s highest court (CAS) insisting that the Ghanaian player was their bona fide property when he sealed the move and demanded compensation.
After four years of legal tussle, CAS ruled that Mensah should be banned for four months from any football activity for his role in the transfer.
Evian, who were relegated to the second tier of French football on Saturday, were also slapped with a one million Euro fine to signing the player while he was under contract with Udinese.
The amount will be paid to Udinese as compensation.
The French club were also handed a two-year suspended sentence in the transfer market.
La suspension de Jonathan Mensah a débuté le 29 avril dernier et prend également en compte les matches avec sa sélection. @etgfc
— Sébastien Greilh (@SGreilh) May 15, 2015
The ruling by CAS has sparked some difficulty for the French Football Federation which approved the transfer by declaring Mensah a free agent without proper consultation with the Italian football authorities and Udinese, French journalist Sébastien Greilh has opined.
Even though Mensah is at the centre of the transfer, much of the blame has been placed at the door step of his agents as they did not give the player the right advice.
The ruling compounds the problems for Evian who were relegated from the French top-flight on Saturday which means they have dig deep to pay the fine imposed by CAS.
The Ghana defender is yet to respond to the ruling.
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