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Unresolved: O'Leary calls on FIFA to rule on row with Dubai club

David O’Leary has held his breath for long enough, his case for compensation from Al Ahli will be presented to FIFA.

Image: Nigel French/EMPICS Sport

DAVID O’LEARY WILL present his dispute with the UAE club, Al Ahli, to FIFA.

The former Leeds United and Aston Villa boss spent almost a year in charge of the Dubai outfit before being sacked in April of last year.

O’Leary had two years remaining on his contract, but is yet to receive any compensation from the club.

The League Managers Association (LMA) in England is backing O’Leary and will help him present the case and the CEO of that organisation, Richard Bevan, had this to say:

“David O’Leary has been left with no option but to place his contractual dispute with Al Ahli before the players’ status committee/dispute resolution chamber of Fifa.

“The LMA is committed to protecting, and, where necessary, enforcing the legal rights of its members, and to ensuring that clubs honour their contractual obligations in the all too frequent event of a manager’s dismissal. Our commitment to this goal is the same whether our member works at home or abroad.

“The LMA will do everything in its power to support the principle that due and proper process is observed by all parties where contracts are concerned, and we look forward to an early hearing date so that this matter can be resolved as soon as possible.”


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Graham Noakes, the FA’s head of professional football, had originally been presented with the matter, but as Dubai is well out of his jurisdiction he has escalated proceedings to football’s world governing body.

“Following application from Mr O’Leary’s advisors,” said Noakes, “the FA has referred this matter to Fifa, which has the authority to intervene in disputes of this kind.”

O’Leary, 53, had played 68 times for the Republic of Ireland including the winning penalty in Ireland’s 1990 World Cup win over Romania.

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Sean Farrell

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