Egypt and Al-Merreikh goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary has until 6 April to pay an outstanding fine to his former club Ahly to avoid facing a further suspension by the international governing body of football (FIFA).
The three-time African Cup of Nations champion's move in 2008 from the Red Devils to Switzerland’s FC Sion was deemed to have contravened FIFA rules. He was subsequently handed a four-month suspension and ordered, along with FC Sion, to pay his former club a $796,500 fine.
“We received a letter from FIFA that affirms El-Hadary and Sion must pay the fine before the 6th of April,” Ahly’s board member khaled Mortagey was quoted as saying by the club’s official website on Tuesday.
The Pharaohs’ goal keeper departed the Egyptian Premier League early this season for Sudanese side Al-Merreikh after a clash with the Zamalek club’s former coaching staff, where he had been after leaving FC Sion and Ismaiyi.
The 38-year old guard played his first official game for Al-Merreikh on 7 March in the Sudanese league after ending his suspension, but he could face a new spell on the sidelines.
“The letter said also that if they did not pay in time, both the player and FC Sion will be punished again,” Mortagey explained.
“The Swiss club may face relegation to the second-division, while El-Hadary could be suspended again until they settle the matter.
“FIFA threatened to punish both harshly this time as they are trying to escape from paying the fine,” he concluded.