Hammers fined for selecting Sakho but avoid FA Cup ban

Frank Dalleres
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WEST Ham have escaped disqualification from the FA Cup but been handed a £71,000 fine and a warning in relation to their dispute with Senegal over striker Diafra Sakho.

Senegal complained to world governing body Fifa after the Hammers fielded Sakho in the fourth round, having informed them that he was not fit to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations, which is still ongoing.

Sakho, who is West Ham’s top scorer this season with 10 goals, came off the bench to head the winner at Bristol City.

The club contested Senegal’s complaint, insisting that the 25-year-old’s back injury had rendered him unable to travel by air to the tournament in Equatorial Guinea and kept him out for four games, but that he had recovered sufficiently to return to action on 25 January.

Senegal were knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations at the group stage, just two days after Sakho’s goalscoring return at Ashton Gate. West Ham face a trip to West Brom in the fifth round a week on Saturday.

Fifa said yesterday that both club and Sakho had been found to have broken rules but that the player had only received a reprimand.

The Football Association is not expected to take further action and expel the Hammers or demand that the tie be replayed.