Spurs: Fifa ban club’s managing director of football Fabio Paratici
Tottenham Hotspur’s search for a new manager has been plunged into uncertainty after the club’s managing director of football, Fabio Paratici, was handed a worldwide ban.
Fifa confirmed on Wednesday that it had agreed to a request from Italian football chiefs to extend globally a 30-month domestic ban issued to Paratici in January.
Paratici was suspended by Italy’s Football Association over his alleged involvement in a false accounting scandal that saw his former club Juventus docked 15 points.
“Fifa can confirm that following a request by the Italian FA [FIGC], the chairperson of Fifa disciplinary committee has decided to extend the sanctions imposed by FIGC on several football officials to have worldwide effect,” football’s world governing body said.
At best, the ban is set to restrict which aspects of the Premier League that Paratici can work on; at worst, it could demand that he steps away from his role altogether, pending an appeal.
It is a further complication to Tottenham’s search for a new manager, having effectively dismissed Antonio Conte on Sunday, three months before the end of his contract.
The move prompted concern from Spurs fan groups, who called on the club’s hierarchy to share their plans in order to assuage fears over the team’s direction.
“This news adds further to the extremely concerning situation at the club,” said the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust.
“No manager, no director of football and uncertainty around our star player and our end of season finish. Fans deserve to hear a clear statement of strategy from THFC so they can be reassured by the board on their plan to bring success and stability to the club.”
Paratici has already lodged an appeal against his punishment with the FIGC and sports lawyers said any appeal to Fifa would have to wait for matters to be resolved at domestic level.
“An appeal against the Fifa decision does not have a suspensive effect either so the ban will remain in place pending a decision on the appeal,” said Stephen Taylor Heath, head of sports law at JMW Solicitors.
“Assuming that the decision was within the powers of the chairman of the disciplinary committee to make, it is most unlikely the decision will be successfully appealed, certainly not until the Italian FA procedure has been completed.”
Conte’s assistant Cristian Stellini has been placed in caretaker charge of Tottenham for their remaining 10 games of the season, starting on Monday at Everton.