CAS sets date for FC Sion's Hadary transfer ban appeal

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LAUSANNE: The Court of Arbitration for Sport has set a date for FC Sion s appeal against a one-year transfer ban imposed by FIFA.

CAS said Wednesday it will hear the Swiss club s case on Dec. 9. A verdict is expected several weeks later.

The case will be studied closely by English club Chelsea, which is also challenging a FIFA transfer ban for luring teenager Gael Kakuta from French club Lens.

FIFA ruled in June that Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary broke his contract with Al-Ahly in January 2008 before joining Sion, and banned Sion from trading players until after the 2009/10 season.

It also suspended El-Hadary for four months, and ordered the player and Sion to pay Al-Ahly ?900,000 ($1.3 million) in compensation.

At the request of Sion and El-Hadary, CAS froze the punishments until the arbitration panel delivers its verdict.

The court s interim ruling allowed Sion to operate in the offseason transfer market, and for the 36-year-old El-Hadary to play in World Cup qualifying matches. He has since joined Egyptian club Ismaili.

Chelsea and Kakuta also have asked CAS to freeze their bans until the appeal process is completed.

The court is set to give its interim decision next month. No date has been set for the main appeal hearing.

FIFA ruled in September that Kakuta, a France youth international then aged 16, broke his contract with Lens to join Chelsea in 2007.

It banned Chelsea from signing players until January 2011 and Kakuta from playing for four months.

FIFA ordered Chelsea and Kakuta to pay Lens ?780,000 ($1.15 million) in compensation, and the London club to pay Lens a ?130,000 ($192,000) training fee. -AP

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