Errol Stevens seen in Hải Phòng jersey in 2017. — Photo nhandan.com.vn
HÀ NỘI — Hải Phòng FC have been ordered to pay a former player VNĐ5 billion (US$200,000), or face a transfer ban.
World football governing body FIFA ordered the V.League 1 side to compensate their former Jamaican striker Errol Stevens after it ruled they breached the two sides' labour contract.
The amount consists of unpaid wages and bonuses for a two-year contract Stevens signed in 2017. The club must pay within 45 days to avoid a three transfer window signing ban. The punishment could be increased to a playing ban if they avoid paying altogether.
Stevens signed a two-year contract with Hải Phòng in May, 2017. He signed four copies of the contract but was not allowed to keep a single one.
In August, Stevens asked for the contract so he could apply for a Vietnamese passport for his Việt Nam-born son, but the club refused.
On his Facebook, Stevens claimed Hải Phòng did not release him but stopped paying his salary, while refusing to release him from the deal.
This led to the Jamaican leaving the country filing the suit against the club to FIFA.
Hải Phòng president Trần Mạnh Hùng said he was surprised at the decision and that the club planned to appeal.
Hùng added that the club had sent evidence of Stevens' "wrongdoing" to FIFA, but received no reply.
The 33-year-old is now a free agent, with V.League clubs still able to sign new players for the next three days.
Before he left Việt Nam, Thanh Hoá and Quảng Nam tried to sign Stevens but both withdrew due to the ongoing case.
Stevens was one of the top scorers in Việt Nam from 2015-18, with 41 goals in 88 matches. — VNS