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By ESPN Staff

FIFA could enforce points deduction over Tevez

FIFA are to step into the Carlos Tevez row and will investigate whether West Ham should have been docked points for breaching Premier League rules.

Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, said the game's world governing body had the power to pass a final verdict on an independent commission's decision to fine West Ham £5.5million for having a third-party agreement.

Several Premier League clubs are considering legal action against the Premier League over the commission's sanction, claiming the Hammers should have been deducted points.

• Premier League insist eligibility never in doubt

Blatter told a media briefing in Zurich: 'We will look at this - and not only if we are asked, we will do it anyway.

'We will ask for the file once it has been decided how and why the decision was made.

'If we feel something was wrong in this decision then we have to open our file.'

Blatter said in terms of timescale a 'decision would have to be taken immediately.'

He added that according to FIFA's files the transfer of Tevez and Mascherano from Brazilian side Corinthians to West Ham had complied with international transfer regulations.

Blatter added: 'We will monitor this situation very carefully and once this situation is dealt with by the league and the FA we will ask for the files and have a look because we have the right and the responsibility to see how such cases are dealt with.

'The matter is linked with a club in Brazil - Corinthians - and with the ownership of this club and the ownership of the two players.

'According to our files the transfer of Tevez was done correctly according to the international transfer of players.'

Blatter said a recent ruling by the Swiss federal court against Spanish third division side Rayo Vallecano meant FIFA did have jurisdiction over individual clubs.

He added: 'Yes we have the power. The Swiss federal court has made a ruling by saying that FIFA and its associations have the right and the power to use all 14 sanctions of the disciplinary code starting with a warning and ending with exclusion of a member via relegation and deduction of points.'

In the Rayo Vallecano case, the Spanish club had been threatened with relegation if it did not pay transfer fees owed to a Brazilian club. It claimed, unsuccessfully, that FIFA did not have the power to do so.

  • Premier League insist eligibility never in doubt

    However, the Premier League today insisted there was never any doubt about Carlos Tevez being eligible to play for West Ham.

    The `Gang of Four' clubs, who are lining up to challenge the decision to allow the Hammers to escape with a fine for playing Tevez and fellow Argentina star Javier Mascherano, have raised questions about whether the striker should have been allowed to continue playing for the club once the third-party interest from Kia Joorabchian became apparent.

    But Premier League spokesman Dan Johnson denied that Tevez, whose goals were largely responsible for keeping West Ham up as Sheffield United followed Charlton and Watford into the Championship, was ever ineligible.

    Johnson did, though, concede that Joorabchian's influence was against the rules.

    He told The Sun: 'This has never been a question of West Ham fielding an ineligible player.

    'From the day they signed him, West Ham have owned his registration. That has never been an issue.

    'West Ham have never tried to conceal the fact Tevez and Javier Mascherano are owned by Kia Joorabchian and MSI. That is not against the rules.

    'The only problem we had with the deal was the existence of a clause in the agreement which would allow Joorabchian to sell the players to another club at any time.'

    Sheffield United, Charlton, Wigan and Fulham, thought to be backed by Middlesbrough, have also questioned the player's right to continue playing after an independent commission handed down a £5.5million fine over the arrangement, but Johnson insists the Premier League are also happy with Tevez's re-registration.

    'On the day of the inquiry's judgment, West Ham chose to terminate the third-party agreement with Joorabchian. They presented the Premier League with written evidence of the new arrangement.'

    Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has claimed the Premier League will write to each of 20 top-flight clubs today, explaining their handling of the affair.

    Meanwhile, the 23-year-old's performances have put him firmly in the shop window and despite retaining their status, West Ham look likely to lose their star player.

    But Joorabchian remains tight-lipped and told the Daily Express: 'I went out for dinner with Carlos last night. There was not one word about his future.

    'Three clubs had made it clear they wanted to sign him but I told them to wait until the season had finished.

    'Carlos did not want to discuss his future, he was so wrapped up in wanting to keep West Ham up.'

    But the Iranian businessman also hinted the Hammers could face a stiff challenge to keep Tevez.

    'I'll sit down with West Ham if they want to talk to me about keeping him because you never know. But there are two of the biggest clubs in the world who want him.'

    The relegation issue is due to reach the House of Commons today when a group of Sheffield MPs bring the matter before Parliament.

    Clive Betts, Labour representative for Sheffield Attercliffe is leading the motion and is due to call for West Ham to be deducted points.

    Betts told the Yorkshire Post: 'The early day motion is essentially saying that the whole of the Premiership competition has been thrown into doubt. There are very clear rules.

    'West Ham have broken those rules and they should have points deducted as a consequence.'

    A Premier League statement read: 'We have implemented our rulebook and processes to the letter in this matter and we are more than happy to give FIFA any assurances or explanations they need.'