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West Ham face FA Cup axe over Diafra Sakho-Senegal row

Striker Diafra Sakho and Premier League club West Ham United face a FIFA inquiry over Sakho's withdrawal from Senegal's Africa Cup of Nations team

Diafra Sakho
Diafra Sakho celebrates after scoring against Bristol City in the FA Cup

London, February 2 (IANS)

Striker Diafra Sakho and Premier League club West Ham United face a FIFA inquiry over Sakho's withdrawal from Senegal's Africa Cup of Nations team.

According to football's governing body, it has opened disciplinary proceedings for "a potential violation of regulations", reports bbc.com.

The 25-year-old pulled out of the squad citing a back injury, but later scored for United in their 1-0 FA Cup triumph over Bristol City on January 25.

FIFA rules state that a player cannot appear for a club if he was meant to be on international duty, but the Hammers deny any such wrongdoing.

A FIFA spokesman said: “We can confirm that disciplinary proceedings were initiated against the player Diafra Sakho and the club West Ham United for a potential violation of the Fifa regulations on the status and transfer of players.”

West Ham, however, issued a statement to clarify themselves of any wrongdoing. They said, “Diafra Sakho and West Ham United vigorously deny that they have acted in breach of Fifa regulations. They regard the proceedings as unfounded and are requesting their dismissal.”

If found guilty, West Ham face being kicked out of the FA Cup and Bristol City will take their place in the fifth round of the competition as FIFA rule states:

“The FIFA Players' Status Committee shall declare any match(es) in which the player took part to have been lost by the club concerned.

“Any points thus gained by the club in question shall be forfeited. Any match contested according to the cup system shall be regarded as having been won by the opposing team, irrespective of the score.”

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