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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - FFC hit with $15K fines, while official banned

NagaWorld forward George Kelechi previously played for MCL rivals Phnom Penh Crown.
NagaWorld forward George Kelechi previously played for MCL rivals Phnom Penh Crown. Sreng Meng Srun

FFC hit with $15K fines, while official banned

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has hit the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) with a fine of $10,000 for breaching rules regarding player registration during NagaWorld’s unsuccessful AFC Cup qualifying campaign in Mongolia earlier this year.

Federation administrator Kul Sophearum has also been fined $5,000 and banned from taking part in all football-related activities for 12 months.

FFC spokesman Mai Tola told the Post yesterday that the sanctions related to the transfer documents for Nigerian player George Kelechi and another unnamed player.

Tola said: “In August 2016, NagaWorld flew to the preliminary qualifying round for the 2017 AFC Cup, but two foreign players were illegible to play by AFC officials. [In the case of Kelechi] the officials requested us to send the player’s International Transfer Certificate to the Nigeria Football Federation.

“We could not find the four-year-old document for the Nigerian player in time, so the FFC decided to send a new document to the AFC in which we stated that we had contacted the Nigerian football body because we wanted Kelechi to be registered for NagaWorld.

“However, after receiving the new document, the AFC accused the FFC of forging the document.”

NagaWorld replaced Phnom Penh Crown in the tournament after the league champions were banned by the AFC over match-fixing claims before winning their appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The FFC have said they will not appeal and will pay the total of $15,000 in fines within the stipulated 30 days.

“We admit we are guilty over the new documentand so will not appeal. We will advise our officials to not make such mistakes in the future and work carefully. This has been a lesson for us,” Tola said.

According to the AFC’s disciplinary code, the punishments given to Sophearum and the FFC are the minimum sanctions for breaching articles 62.1 and 62.2 regarding foreign player registration.

Translated by in sopheng

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