WEST Ham have strenuously denied claims that they broke rules by fielding Senegal striker Diafra Sakho after world governing body Fifa yesterday confirmed that it is investigating the Hammers.
Sakho is at the centre of a dispute between national team chiefs and West Ham due to the club declaring him unable to take part in the current Africa Cup of Nations but then fielding him in the FA Cup at Bristol City.
The Hammers have insisted that a back injury rendered Sakho unable to travel by plane, though he proved well enough to score the winner on his comeback at Ashton Gate nine days ago. If found guilty by Fifa, West Ham could be fined and Sakho banned from domestic action, while it has been suggested that Bristol City may consider seeking compensation for lost revenue.
“Diafra Sakho and West Ham United vigorously deny that they have acted in breach of Fifa regulations,” the east London club said in a statement. “They regard the proceedings as clearly unfounded and are requesting their dismissal. At this stage, neither the player nor the club can make any further comments.”
Fifa earlier said: “We can confirm, that disciplinary proceedings were initiated against Diafra Sakho and West Ham for a potential violation of the Fifa regulations on the status and transfer of players.”