Why FIFA banned Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr from registering new players? explaining Saudi Pro League side’s transfer restriction

Amidst the flurry of transfers, an increasing number of players are making their way to Saudi Arabia, with new rumors coming almost every other week. The Saudi Pro League came into the limelight when Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al Nassr after an uncordial exit from Manchester United. The likes of Karim Benzema and N’ Golo Kante have followed the Portuguese Magnifico’s footsteps. 

The reported salaries of these players in the Saudi Pro League are astronomical compared to what they were earning in Europe. However, Cristiano Ronaldo’s club faced a setback as FIFA banned them from registering new players due to outstanding debts. Let us look into the details of the statement released by FIFA.

FIFA’s ban on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr explained

The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo gathered the spotlight on the Saudi club Al Nassr. However, despite signing one of the best players of the generations, Al-Nassr failed to win the Saudi Pro League, finishing behind Al Ittihad.

In addition to their already star-studded lineup, the club signed Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic from the Champions League finalist Inter Milan. Although there were strong rumors linking the Saudi club to other players like Hakim Ziyech, FIFA has imposed a ban on registering new players. 

FIFA stated the outstanding debts as the reason for the proposed temporary ban on impending signings. In their official statement, they said, “The club Al-Nassr is currently prevented from registering new players due to outstanding debts. The relevant bans will be lifted immediately upon the settlement of the debts being confirmed by the creditors concerned.”

Al Nassr intends to pay Leicester to lift FIFA Ban

In 2018, Al Nassr reached an agreement with the English club Leicester City to sign Nigerian attacker Ahmed Musa. During his three-year stint in the Gulf nation, the Nigerian played 62 games in Al Nassr colors, scoring 14 goals, before leaving in 2020. Currently, Ahmed Musa is playing for the Turkish side Sivasspor. The Saudi club has gotten into trouble due to the financial irregularities seen in this deal.

Al Nassr

Debts related to this transfer deal have surfaced, and in 2021, FIFA ruled that Al Nassr still owed a sum of  $515,000 to the English club. In April 2012, the issue came into the limelight after Leicester City filed a complaint because of unpaid additional clauses by Ronaldo’s Al Nassr. The governing body has also warned the Saudi club that any failure to comply would result in them being banned for three consecutive registration periods.

Although the Saudi club has not officially responded to the statement released by FIFA, several reports suggest this issue will not significantly impact the club’s transfer plans. With some of the prominent European names joining the Saudi Pro League, the league table is likely going to get a tad spicy.


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