West Ham have given permission for the transfer of two of their players. Saïd Benrahma was supposed to head to Lyon, Pablo Fornals wanted to wear the jersey of Real Betis. None of them, however, initially changed their address before the end of the winter transfer window. Until the problems with the computer, which arose on the part of the English club, became clear. FIFA and the respective associations finally approved the negotiated transfers.
Lyon said in a statement on Friday that West Ham had not even attempted to take the steps needed to confirm Benrahm’s transfer in the FIFA Transfer Matching System, where transfers must be reported in order to be approved. At the same time, both clubs had to reach an agreement, and the player himself had already signed a contract in the French port city.
“Following this incomprehensible behavior, it was not possible to apply for an international transfer certificate before the transfer deadline,” Lyon said in a statement. “Olympique Lyonnais deeply regrets the situation and the decision, which shows a deep lack of respect on the part of West Ham towards this institution and the player,” he added.
However, the French team is not giving up on its dream reinforcements. “The club reserves the right to initiate all appropriate steps necessary to later confirm the transaction and, if necessary, hold West Ham accountable,” it is also stated in the statement.
The London club has not publicly defended Lyon’s claims. In an email to Reuters, he confirmed that the transaction was not completed on time, but did not give a reason. “Looks like there were some last-minute problems with the paperwork. But I only found out about it late last night.” West Ham coach David Moyes said at a press conference on Friday.
Problems also at Fornals
A similar situation met Fornals, who agreed on a transfer with Real Betis on Thursday afternoon. He should already have a signed contract until June 2028 – just like Benrahma, but he has to wait for the transfer to be confirmed.
While the team from Sevilla, Spain prepared all the documents for FIFA, West Ham were supposed to have problems with the computer systems and did not do so. “We did our work on time and in the right way. We are optimistic, although we have to be careful about these things.” said Betis CEO Ramón Alarcón in an interview with journalists.
“I think there is a good chance that Pablo’s transfer will be approved. However, I cannot confirm anything at the moment.” Hammers coach Moyes also told reporters optimistically.
All’s well that ends well
Unpleasant events eventually resulted in a happy ending for all parties involved. FIFA practically recognized that the technical problems on the side of the Hammers should not affect the expected transfers and sanctioned them, even though they simply did not have certain documents in their hands in time. So both Lyon and Betis immediately, with a day’s delay, presented new reinforcements to the fans. According to transfermarkt.de, Saïd Benrahma will play in Ligue 1 for 6 million euros, Pablo Fornals moved to LaLiga for 8 million euros.
The article was originally published for Livesport Zprávy.