• Premier League

West Brom deny breaking FIFA rules in Yacob transfer

ESPN staff
May 31, 2013
Claudio Yacob played 30 times for WBA in his debut season in the Premier League © PA Photos

West Bromwich Albion insist they have not broken any FIFA regulations regarding last summer's transfer of Claudio Yacob.

Albion have responded to accusations made by two unlicensed agents, Daniel Villagran and Oscar Bianco, that they have not been paid for their alleged role in Yacob's free transfer from Racing Club to the Hawthorns.

Lawyer Ariel Reck, representing the duo, has contacted the FA asking them to look into the deal "for the use of unlicensed agents in connection with the registration of the player for the club."

Any breach of FIFA regulations on the use of licensed agents carry the potential of a points deduction, a transfer ban and even a demotion to a lower league, but Albion are confident they have acted within the law.

A statement from the club read: "As with all of our transfer dealings, the negotiation process regarding the signing of Claudio Yacob complied fully with all FIFA and FA rules and regulations.

"All negotiations were conducted and concluded directly with a FIFA-registered agent."

A report by CNN claimed Bianco and Villagran had a key role in the transfer, claiming the pair had accompanied Yacob to England for negotiations and to Naples to arrange an Italian passport, which allowed him to play in England without a work permit.

It's understood that the Baggies accept the pair travelled to England with Yacob, but the club insist they did not act as agents in negotiating the transfer and another licensed agent, Xabier de Beristain Humphrey, was named as the agent on official documentation.

Accusations made by Reck are potentially embarrassing for the FA, with new director of elite development Dan Ashworth part of the scouting and negotiations which lured Yacob from Buenos Aires.

But FA spokesman Scott Field refused to confirm or deny that an enquiry was taking place into the Yacob deal. It's FA policy not to discuss any involvement in transfer or financial matters unless charges are brought.

Yacob is currently back home in Argentina amid further claims that he faces being sued by his former agent Marcelo Simonian, who claims he has been denied his share of the commission on the transfer.

Simonian reportedly claims he conducted negotiations with West Brom early on in the transfer process, but Yacob's contract with the Baggies was signed after their relationship ended.

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