Newcastle United have been reported to Fifa by French club Sochaux over their pursuit of striker Modibo Maiga. The Ligue 1 side have accused Newcastle of breaking Article 18 in the international regulations in speaking to their player without permission. The Magpies were asked twice by Sochaux to end their interest in Maiga, who has three years remaining on his contract. The Mali international even went on strike in attempt to secure a move to Tyneside.
It’s refreshing to see that it isn’t just the Premier League players acting like children in order to get what they want. What is he thinking of going on strike? Was he told United wanted to sign him and he’s unaware that it’s actually Alan Pardew and not Alex Ferguson? And it’s great to see that Premiership clubs are also willing to tap up players in other countries. Maybe Newcastle thought it wasn’t a big enough story to get any meaningful coverage – well if it’s not Samir Nasri, Luka Modric, Cesc Fabregas, Wesley Sneijder or Carlos Tevez, who’s going to be interested?
Newcastle will no doubt get away with this blatant disregard for the rules as all the other clubs behaving in this way have done and will continue to do. The worst likely to happen to the Toon, is a token fine, probably amounting to less than Mario Balotelli carries on him when he pops out to buy a newspaper. It seems the authorities only have rules and regulations so they can be broken.
The article about this story on the BBC Sport website wrapped up with the words “More to Follow”. Well, you can be sure of that.