Al-Nassr, a Saudi Arabian club, has been hit with a FIFA ban that prevents them from registering new players. The club had been at the forefront of the Saudi Pro League’s efforts to sign world-class footballers, starting with the sensational acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo on a staggering £175 million-per-year contract.
Since then, the nine-time national champions have continued to bolster their squad with European talent, including Marcelo Brozovic, a finalist in the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA World Cup, who joined them this summer.
Despite being linked with other notable players like Hakim Ziyech from Chelsea, Al-Nassr could face obstacles due to FIFA’s decision to block them from registering new signings. FIFA determined that the Saudi giants failed to pay Leicester City approximately £390,000 in add-ons, plus interest, related to the transfer of Ahmed Musa back in 2018.
In 2021, Al-Nassr was notified that they were required to settle the outstanding amount with Leicester City, as per the official ruling. However, it appears that they were unable to fulfill this obligation, resulting in the registration ban as initially warned.
Unfortunately for the club, the ban will not be limited to just one transfer window but will span three consecutive registration periods, halting their ambitions to build a star-studded team.
To lift the ban, Al-Nassr must pay the outstanding fee to Leicester City within the duration of the three consecutive bans. Failure to do so may lead to the matter being referred to FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee.
Club officials remain optimistic that the fee will be paid before it escalates to that stage. They have emphasized that the oversight occurred prior to recent structural changes following the takeover by the Public Investment Fund.
Al-Nassr aims to settle the payment, allowing them to target further signings. One player in particular, Ziyech, had been close to joining Ronaldo, Brozovic, and the rest of the team in Riyadh. However, a reported knee injury hindered his medical examination, causing complications that the player expressed dissatisfaction with.
In recent months, the Saudi Pro League has successfully secured several high-profile signings, including Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante to Al-Ittihad, while Al-Hilal is potentially set to sign Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to join Kalidou Koulibaly and Ruben Neves.