LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Premier League side Leeds lost a multimillion-dollar pandemic-related transfer dispute Friday with German club Leipzig.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport removed from office an appeal by Leeds against a FIFA ruling that ordered the English club to pay Leipzig 6.7 million euros ($6.6 million) for French striker Jean-Kévin Augustin.
CAS said the money was due as the first installment of a 21 million euro ($20.6 million) deal, but was affected when the coronavirus pandemic ended the 2019 season- 20. The season ultimately ended several weeks later than expected.
Leeds were in the Second Division in January 2020 when they signed the former France Under-21 striker on loan from Leipzig. The deal required Leeds to sign Augustin on July 1, 2020, for 21 million euros ($23 million) if the team were promoted to the Premier League.
However, English football came to a halt in early March as the COVID-19 outbreak spread and Leeds finished first in the league in July despite Augustin barely playing.
European football contracts usually expire on June 30 and FIFA, which oversees transfer rules, gave emergency advice in the pandemic that “contracts should be extended until the season actually ends”.
Leipzig took their case to FIFA when Leeds argued that Augustin’s loan deal had expired before promotion was won, so he did not need to be signed permanently.
The CAS said that “the purchase obligation was triggered at the end of the 2019-20 season, even though the season ended later than expected due to the disruption caused by the outbreak of the COVID pandemic. -19”.
Augustin was not wanted at Leipzig and had a spell at French club Nantes before moving to current club Basel in Switzerland.
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