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Page last updated at 19:11 GMT, Monday, 1 February 2010

Man City's 7m deal for McDonald Mariga falls through

By Chris Bevan

McDonald Mariga
Mariga played in Sweden before joining Parma in 2007

Inter Milan have signed Parma's Kenyan midfielder McDonald Mariga after his £7m move to Manchester City collapsed when he was refused a UK work permit.

Mariga, who has 24 caps, met part of the UK criteria after playing in 75% of Kenya's games in the last two years.

But his application failed as Kenya's average position in Fifa's rankings is outside the top 70 in the same period.

City attended an appeal at Wembley on Monday morning but failed to overturn the decision about the 22-year-old.

They would have been able to request a further appeal in a future transfer window but were not allowed to register Mariga as a player in the current window, despite agreeing terms with him and a fee with his club.

A delegation from Eastlands travelled to the appeal to argue their case in front of a panel made up of representatives from the Football Association, Premier League and the Professional Footballers' Association, as well as some 'independent football experts' - usually ex-players.


But they were unable to convince the appeal board of Mariga's merits, and his hopes of becoming the first Kenyan to play in the Premier League were scuppered.

Instead, he swiftly signed a four-and-a-half year contract with fellow Serie A side Inter, where he will wear the number 17 shirt.

Mariga joined Parma on a permanent basis in the summer of 2008, after initially moving on loan from Swedish side Helsingborgs.

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