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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 September 2006, 17:11 GMT 18:11 UK
Fifa closes probe into Zemmama
Merouane Zemmama in action for Hibs
Merouane Zemmama has already played four times for Hibs
Fifa has closed its probe into the transfer of Merouane Zemmama from Raja Casablanca to Hibernian - unless police in Morocco prove it was fraudulent.

The Moroccan Football Federation alleges falsified documents were used to process the paperwork.

But Fifa says that this would be a criminal matter and any investigation would be outwith its competence.

So the midfielder will remain a Hibs player unless it is proven that documents had been falsified.

The FRMF last week announced that they had suspended the 23-year-old until the end of its own inquiry.

But the Moroccans have no power outwith their own country.
We were told he was fully registered, he was our player

Hibernian chairman Rod Petrie

Hibs believed that Zemmama was a free agent when he signed a five-year contract with the Scottish Premier League club.

And he has already made four appearances for Tony Mowbray's side.

But the FRMF disciplinary committee took its decision after Raja claimed that the midfielder is contracted to them until 2009.

Hibs chairman Rod Petrie previously told the Edinburgh Evening News: "The player himself denies the existence of any such contract. He is adamant he was freed.

"We are disappointed to be in dispute with another club, but that seems to have arisen after we complied with all steps and after we were told by our national association that the player was ours and ours to play."

The Scottish FA says it received clearance from their Moroccan counterparts after Hibs moved to sign the player after he impressed on trial.

"We approached the signing of Zemmama in the same way as we approach the signing of any player," said Petrie.

"Obviously the paperwork was more extensive because of the requirement for a work permit.

"We submitted the documentation to the SFA as it is up to them to obtain international clearance; that is a procedure between the national associations and is not something a club is involved in.

"We were told he was fully registered, he was our player.

"The international transfer certificate transfers the player's registration from the country he was last registered in to the SFA.

"It is part of the regulations that such a certificate is unconditional - you either get it or you do not."


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