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Last Updated: Monday, 9 January 2006, 15:23 GMT
Court rejects Mikel Obi case
Nigeria's John Mikel Obi
Mikel Obi disappeared from Lyn Oslo in December

A Norwegian court has rejected Nigerian John Obi Mikel's lawsuit against his club Lyn Oslo, saying such disputes were matters for sports organizations.

The court also ordered the teenager to pay Lyn US$22,500 in legal costs on Monday.

The 18-year-old has been at the centre of a contract dispute between Lyn and English club Manchester United on one side, and rivals Chelsea on the other.

Mikel signed a contract on 29 April last year, agreeing to join Manchester United.

Later, he claimed he was pressured to sign for the Red Devils, and wanted to play for Chelsea.

Mikel left Norway in May, returning after Fifa ruled in August that he was under contract to Lyn. He left Norway again last month.

Mikel and his attorneys claimed that the contract, which was crucial to the United deal, had been forged, and filed suit in November.

Lyn says the contract is genuine and valid.

The court found that, under the rules of the Norwegian Football Federation, such contract disputes must be resolved by a federation arbitration panel.

"Because of that, this case must be resolved through arbitration, which results in it being rejected by the Oslo district court," the ruling said.

Mikel and his attorneys have one month to appeal to a higher court.



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