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Page last updated at 15:53 GMT, Thursday, 17 April 2008 16:53 UK

El Hadary free to play for Sion

Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary
El Hadari is finally a FC Sion player

Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary has finally been given permission to play for FC Sion.

The Swiss club were informed by Fifa on Wednesday that the Africa Cup of Nations hero was eligible to play for them.

But the two-month tug-of-war between FC Sion and Egyptian champions Al Ahly is far from over.

Fifa says the ruling has no bearing on any case Al Ahly might bring for breach of contract, against the player or the club.

Sources close to Ahly say the club is almost certain to pursue that action.

If Ahly are successful then both El Hadary and FC Sion could still face sporting or financial penalties.

El Hadary shocked Ahly when he left for Europe shortly after Egypt's successful Nations Cup campaign in Ghana earlier this year.

He claimed Fifa regulations allowed him to make the switch.

Ahly were offered around $400,000 in compensation for the remainder of the player's contract.

"The Swiss Football Association is authorised to provisionally register Essam El Hadary with FC Sion with immediate effect," Fifa said in a statement.

"This decision is without prejudice and pending the outcome of a possible contractual labour dispute between the player and Al Ahly."

Ahly will hold a board meeting in the next few days to formalise their response to the news.

Fifa says any case could take a considerable amount of time to resolve.

FC Sion say contractual discussions will continue, and that the ruling means that their original offer to Ahly was sufficient.

see also
Battle for El Hadary continues
11 Mar 08 |  African
Ahly fume over El-Hadary move
25 Feb 08 |  African
Sion unveil Egypt's El-Hadary
28 Feb 08 |  African

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