Spurs managing director Paratici handed worldwide FIFA ban


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Fabio Paratici sits on the bench during the friendly soccer match between Chelsea and Tottenham back in 2021 | AP

London: Tottenham managing director of football Fabio Paratici has been given a worldwide ban by FIFA that could end his time with the north London club.

Paratici was handed a 30-month ban from Italian football in January after his former club Juventus were found guilty of false accounting.

The 50-year-old Italian was sporting director and managing director at Juventus before joining Tottenham in June 2021.

His initial ban only applied to his homeland, meaning he was free to continue working at Tottenham, where he was involved in Sunday's departure of manager Antonio Conte and the start of the search for a new boss.

But a statement issued by FIFA on Wednesday threatened to cut short his spell at Tottenham, with the global governing body saying: "FIFA can confirm that following a request by the Italian FA (FIGC), the chairperson of FIFA disciplinary committee has decided to extend the sanctions imposed by FIGC on several football officials to have worldwide effect."

Both Paratici and Juventus have appealed against the initial decision.

Tottenham published a lengthy interview with Paratici on Tuesday in which he insisted Conte's exit was "the right decision for everyone".

Paratici said the club were "focused" on backing interim head coach Cristian Stellini as they try to qualify for the Champions League by securing a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Tottenham said they are seeking further clarification from FIFA as they believe Paratici's ban would not kick in until his appeal has been heard.

"We are urgently seeking further clarification from FIFA as to the details of the extension and its variance from the FIGC sanction," Spurs said in a statement.

"We should like to make clear that when Fabio conducted the interview on club channels yesterday neither he nor the club had any indication of this decision being made by FIFA, based on the fact the FIGC sanction was taken on 20 January 2023 and remains subject to an appeal on 19 April 2023."

Tottenham are currently fourth in the Premier League but only two points above fifth-placed Newcastle, who have two games in hand.

The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust (THST), responding to the extension of Paratici's ban, on Wednesday called for Spurs chairman Daniel Levy to reassure fans about the future of the club.

"This news adds further to the extremely concerning situation at the club," the THST said in a statement.

"No manager, no director of football and uncertainty around our star player and our end of season finish.

"Fans deserve to hear a clear statement of strategy from THFC so they can be reassured by the board on their plan to bring success and stability to the club." AFP

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