Antonio Góngora / Borja Gutiérrez
Wednesday, 6 September 2023, 07:57
In a landmark decision, FIFA has sided with Malaga CF in the so-called 'Horta Case', ruling that the Costa del Sol club is owed approximately six million euros by Portuguese side Sporting Braga.
This stems from a claim made by Malaga relating to their former player, Ricardo Horta. The Portuguese winger joined Braga in the summer of 2017 and a clause in the transfer agreement stipulated that should the Portuguese club receive an offer in excess of five million euros for the player, not only would the club be compelled to accept the offer, but Malaga would also be entitled to a sell-on fee (30 per cent if the offer was more than 10 million euros).
As it happened, Braga received a 17.5-million-euro offer for Horta from Benfica during the summer of 2022. However, with the player, now 28, having become a key member of the squad (and captain) as they pushed to qualify for the Champions League, this offer was rejected.
Now, FIFA has upheld Malaga's complaint and has demanded that Braga pay a total of 11.725 million euros in compensation, divided between the Blue and Whites and the agent who brokered the deal which saw Horta move to Braga and Juankar head in the opposite direction.
Additionally, the resolution specifies that the outstanding amount will accrue five per cent interest annually for each overdue payment. Braga must also cover the legal costs, totalling just over 23,000 euros.
The judgment further dictates that if Braga fails to pay within 45 days of receiving the notice, they will be banned from registering new players.
Braga can appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) but will first seek clarification from FIFA. An out-of-court settlement is also a possibility.
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