Wednesday, February 4

Hammers fined £71,000 by FIFA

Phew. We're still in the FA Cup, but West Ham have been fined £71,000 by FIFA for playing Diafra Sakho at Bristol City. And Bristol City might yet make a claim for lost prize money. What is surprising is that with all the armies of statisticians now employed in football nobody at West Ham appears to know the exact FIFA rules, which appear to be that if a player misses a tournament through injury his club can't play him for the duration of the tournament. Though possibly we have set a precedent and it's been a grey area in the past. You'd think after Manny Omoynimni and Carlos Tevez West Ham might be extra careful about such matters. Let's hope we don't play any cup-tied players in the next round…

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