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Sion Get 36-Point Penalty

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GENEVA (AP) — The Swiss Football Association moved to avoid suspension from world football Friday by handing FC Sion a 36-point penalty in a long-running dispute over the club's fielding of ineligible players.

The Swiss FA said its decision to penalize Sion three points for every league game in which ineligible players played was a response to FIFA's threat to suspend all Swiss clubs, including FC Basel and the national side, from taking part in international matches.

Basel is due to meet Bayern Munich in the Champions League round of 16 on Feb. 22, a rare foray into the upper echelons of international football for a club from Switzerland.

FIFA had given the Swiss Football Association until Jan. 14, 2012, to discipline Sion or face suspension over the saga that began in 2009, when world football's governing body imposed a one-year transfer ban on the club for illegally signing goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary.

Sion, which ignored the transfer embargo and signed six players in the offseason, has doggedly contested FIFA's ruling in the courts despite facing increasingly harsh penalties from football authorities.

"The Swiss Football Association has today demanded from FIFA confirmation that the suspension will not now come into effect," the league said in a statement. "FIFA's answer is still being awaited."

FIFA said in a statement that it took note of the Swiss league's action and would consider it at an Emergency Committee meeting in early January.

The penalty for Sion falls short of FIFA's demand to also forfeit most of the club's results this season, as this would automatically have resulted in opposing sides gaining the points deducted from Sion, the league said.

The Swiss Football Association said Sion now stands last in the league table, with minus five points, but can continue to play in the country's cup competition. The points deduction may be challenged at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Read more: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/dec/30/swiss-league-punishes-fc-sion-to-avoid-fifa-02/#ixzz1i1fAhTY1

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sion are starting criminal proceedings against FIFA - hope FIFA get shafted.

as far as i understand whats happened: Sion asked a FIFA representative if it was ok to play the players. The representative (mistakenly) said yes. Then on realisation (after the tims were knocked out) Sion were told they have broken the rules - despite being told they were ok. Id fight it til the cows come home.

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I think it's a shame Sion were actually in the wrong in this case (they were banned from signing players and went ahead anyway) because I would have loved UEFA to get shafted and unable to hide behind their frankly disgusting rule that punishes the teams of a country who have the audacity to legally challenge a decision of UEFA in court, unable to hide behind this rule as UEFA wouldn't be able to simply ignore the rulings as it would be Swiss courts who could enforce the rulings against swiss based UEFA.

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