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Sinking Pirates eager to grab shot at redemption

Football
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By ESPN Staff

FIFA pass the buck on Tevez transfer battle

The Carlos Tevez affair took a dramatic new twist today with FIFA recommending the matter be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

World football's governing body believe their decision is in the best interests of all parties.

FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren said: 'The recommendation from FIFA to the FA and the Premier League is to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.'

West Ham were eager for FIFA to get involved in what has become a stalemate in recent weeks, with the London club refusing to sanction the Argentina striker's proposed move to Manchester United.

Tevez is registered as their player, but businessman Kia Joorabchian claims he owns the 23-year-old's economic rights and is therefore entitled to his transfer fee.

The Premier League, however, say the Hammers own the player and therefore must receive any such fee.

FIFA came to their decision following a high level meeting with FA and Premier League officials in Zurich yesterday.

Their legal team considered the case overnight before recommending the Court of Arbitration for Sport rule on the matter.

Herren said: 'Under the circumstances it was felt it would be in the best interest of all parties to take this course.

'It looks like being the fastest way of resolving this matter.

'It is not a refusal by FIFA to get involved, quite the contrary. It is a recommendation by FIFA to opt for this way.'

FIFA's senior legal counsel has been in touch with the Football Association and the Premier League to advise them of their decision.

The recommendation to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport applies to West Ham and Tevez but not Manchester United, who are not regarded as directly involved in the dispute.

The Premier League welcomed FIFA's decision.

A Premier League spokesman said: 'The Premier League and FA are grateful to FIFA for considering this issue. We are supportive of the recommendation that if all parties are in agreement the matter should be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.'