The Court of Arbitration for Sport has denied FC Sion’s request to play its star offseason signings when the Swiss league begins Saturday because a long-running transfer dispute with FIFA is unresolved.
Sion wants to play former Barcelona midfielder Gabri Garcia and Guinea winger Pascal Feindouno against FC Zurich, despite serving a one-year FIFA ban on fielding newly registered players.
FIFA imposed the ban because Sion induced Egypt goalkeeper Essam el-Hadary to break his contract with Al-Ahly in 2008.
Sion says it served the suspension cumulatively in recent years, but FIFA says the ban applies throughout 2011.
CAS has dismissed Sion’s request to freeze the ban until a new appeal panel gives a ruling.