Lausanne — Ghana defender Jonathan Mensah has been banned
for four months by FIFA in a breach-of-contract case.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport said its appeal panel
upheld Mensah's suspension imposed by FIFA last July in a case dating to 2011.
He is also liable for compensation to former club Udinese.
However, FIFA said Tuesday that Mensah — who played at the
past two World Cup tournaments — is eligible to play for Ghana next month. It
hosts Mauritius in the opening match of a 2017 African Cup of Nations
FIFA judged that Mensah was still contracted to Udinese when
he joined French club Evian Thonon Gaillard four years ago claiming to be a
Under FIFA rules, Mensah will serve about one month of the
ban until the French season ends. The sanction is not spent during the
offseason and does not apply to national team friendlies or qualifiers.
Mensah will become a free agent and is unlikely to stay with
Evian, which has been relegated from the top division.
He will serve the final three months of the ban from the
official start of his next club's new season.
The 24-year-old Mensah played in all three Ghana matches in
Brazil last June, including a 2-1 loss to the United States. He was a member of
the Under-20 World Cup-winning team in 2009.
CAS said the case has not ended for Evian, which FIFA could
order to compensate Udinese and ban from signing players.
"The sporting sanctions that were imposed on Evian
Thonon Gaillard ... are suspended and referred back to the (FIFA) Dispute
Resolution Chamber," the court said.
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