Fifa wins landmark decision over Spanish club

ZURICH - Fifa claimed on Tuesday it had won a legal victory with wide-ranging implications after a ruling by the Swiss high court.

ZURICH - Fifa claimed on Tuesday it had won a legal victory with wide-ranging implications after a ruling by the Swiss high court.

World soccer's governing body said the judgment by Switzerland's Federal Tribunal rejecting a Spanish club's appeal against a Fifa ruling was "a landmark decision and one with global implications".

"It also endorses and reaffirms the federation's independence and authority," Fifa said.

The unnamed Spanish club had taken its case to the tribunal over sanctions the Federation of International Football Associations threatened the club with after a transfer dispute.

Fifa told the Spanish club to pay a Brazilian team around $479 330 (about R3,3 million) or face a fine of $20 000, as well as points deductions and demotion to a lower division.

Fifa officials refused to disclose the identity of the club.

The Spanish club argued that Fifa was forcing it to comply with a ruling it contested by imposing heavy sanctions. The tribunal ruled that the Spanish club had agreed to abide by Fifa's rules when it became a member, and would therefore have to accept any punishments provided for in those rules.

The case comes as Fifa finds itself in disputes with a number of clubs and national federations over alleged government interference in the sport's autonomy. - Sapa-AP

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