Arsenal are to continue considering their options following the injury sustained by Robin van Persie while on Holland duty – with FIFA appearing to have ruled out pursuing legal action for compensation against the Dutch federation.
Van Persie suffered ankle ligament damage during the friendly against Italy on November 14 and is not expected to return to action until April next year.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had called for the club to be able to take some redress, claiming the Dutch federation (KNVB) misdiagnosed the injury and indicated Arsenal would be seeking compensation.
However, FIFA have confirmed to Press Association Sport that Arsenal are, like all teams, bound by the obligations of an agreement with UEFA and club representatives that it is their responsibility to fully insure players.
FIFA’s ’Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players’, annexe 1, states: “Clubs releasing a player in accordance with the provisions of this annexe are not entitled to financial compensation.... The club with which the player concerned is registered shall be responsible for his insurance cover against illness and accident during the entire period of his release. This cover must also extend to any injuries sustained by the player during the international match(es) for which he was released.”
Wenger – speaking ahead of tonight’s Barclays Premier League game at Burnley - had played down suggestions Arsenal were seeking £20m from the Dutch federation, but maintained something had to be done.
He said: “I have never spoken of any number, I just want to say that we cannot just sit there and lose all our players for the season and say ’thank you very much’.
“We have to look for any compensation that we can get.”
The issue of compensation for players being injured on international duty is a complex one.
A landmark case involving Belgian club Charleroi and FIFA over a player injured in a friendly international was discontinued after the G14 group of clubs which was supporting Charleroi was superseded by the European Club Association.
An agreement has been reached with FIFA and UEFA to pay compensation to clubs for players injured in World Cup or European Championship finals matches, but there is nothing formal in place for qualifiers or friendlies.
Some associations, like the Football Association, take out insurance to cover players on international duty. West Ham are reported to be seeking recompense from the FA following the enforced retirement of Dean Ashton, who suffered a serious ankle injury in an England training session in 2006.