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10.12.2004 Football News

Barreto will face the music- Fifa

By Ibrahim Daara Sannie, Our UK correspondent

World football governing body, FIFA has said that former Black Stars coach Mariano Barreto has not been left off the hook over breaching his two-year contract with the Ghana Football Association (GFA).

This comes after the Portuguese left the impression in the minds of Ghanaians that the case brought against him by Ghana Football Association (GFA) will not be pursued by FIFA.

In an interview with the Graphic Sports, Barreto proclaimed that he has not been served with any summons by FIFA to pay $10m as demanded by the GFA over breach of contract.

But FIFA has quickly pointed out that Mariano Barreto can not escape his date with destiny. The delay in serving the Portuguese coach with the summons for absconding from his post as the Black Stars coach is because of the large number of such cases facing FIFA Players' Status Department, world football governing body's arm charged with hearing such cases.

In an exclusive interview with Public Agenda from his base in Switzerland, FIFA's spokesman Nicolas Maingot said: “I can confirm that the issue regarding Mariano Barreto has been received by our FIFA Players'Status Department but the case has not been opened yet.”

It is expected that when the backlog of cases facing the committee which also deals with disputes regarding the status players has been cleared, Barreto will be given the opportunity to defend allegations levelled against him.

The Ghana Football Association contends that he breached his two-year contract by flouting the three-month notice clause prior to his resignation. Barreto quit his post to take charge of Portuguese side Maritimo who are currently 8th in the 18-team Portuguese League. His appointment as the coach of the Black Stars was mired with controversy over his CV which was allegedly doctored. He was reported to have told the GFA he was the assistant coach at Lokomotiv Moscow but was later discovered to be the physical trainer, a similar position he held at Borussia Dortmund.

He has however failed to react to the allegations. The closest he ever came to answering that allegation was when he told the BBC “I have worked in football for 20 years, with some of the world's top clubs, but some people in Ghana saw me as a dubious person.”

This is not the first time the Ghana Football Association has reported the conduct of a foreign coach to the FIFA. The Yugoslav coach Milan Zivadonovic was made to refund $10,000 to the GFA after he absconded as the coach of the Blacks Stars two years ago.

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