FIFA handed the win to Cisse after putting out a 10-page report of the arbitration, which said his claim is “admissible and partially accepted.” Accordingly, the club will have to pay Cisse $58,420 in compensation.
Thanh Hoa filed an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after FIFA’s decision. The cost for this case will be $2,000 plus 1.5 percent of the disputed money ($58,420), according to CAS regulations.
Cisse came to Thanh Hoa for trial and signed with the club in November 2019 with a monthly salary of $8,500, plus a contract fee of $85,000 per year, half of which would be paid at the start of the season and the rest following the 25th round of the season.
Although Cisse said he had successfully completed his medical exam on Nov. 5, 2019, Nguyen Van De, the club’s president at the time, decided to end the contract with the 31-year-old on Jan. 7, 2020, stating his thigh injury would not heal in time for the new season.
According to Cisse, De met him on Dec. 31, 2019 to convince him to sign a mutual termination agreement but the player refused to do so. Then a week later, De told him that he is not allowed to train with the team or access team facilities. He also claimed he only received $3,000 of his November salary, and that his December 2019 and January 2020 salaries were still outstanding.
The club said they had terminated Cisse’s contract after his medical examination in November. They also claimed Cisse had breached the contract by submitting a complaint to Vietnam Football Federation and accused him of only attending a few training sessions since November 2019. They also quoted part of the contract, which reads:
“In case for any reason the Player does not maintain the level of playing skillfulness and/or physical conditions to the satisfaction of the Club, the Club on the sole basis of the opinion of the Club’s Professional Council and Training Board has the right to unilaterally reduce the salary, the bonus and other compliments or terminate this Contract without having to compensate the Player for such early contract termination.”
However, FIFA’s dispute resolution chamber concluded “the validity of a contract may not be subject to successful medical examinations and that a club wishing to employ a player has to exercise due diligence and carry out all relevant medical examinations prior to entering into an employment contract.” Therefore, the chamber decided the contract had been “tacitly terminated by the parties’ actions.”
Of the $58,420 Thanh Hoa have to pay Cisse, $42,500 equates to 50 percent of the contract fee ($85,000) he was supposed to receive when the season began, $5,500 for November salary, $8,500 for December and $1,920 for January, calculated until the date of contract termination.
FIFA also stated Thanh Hoa would have to pay Cisse within 45 days or they shall be banned from signing any new players, domestically or internationally for a maximum of three transfer windows or until the due amount is paid.
Thanh Hoa FC are also involved in another arbitration with Italian coach Fabio Lopez after sacking him without contract compensation last year. Lopez said FIFA has ruled him as the winner of this case and the expected amount that Thanh Hoa would have to pay him and his assistant is around $200,000.