Hammers hit back as FIFA launch inquiry into Sakho
West Ham have called for FIFA's "unfounded" disciplinary case against them and Diafra Sakho for a "potential violation" of regulations over the striker playing for his club during Senegal's African Nations Cup campaign to be thrown out.
The world governing body yesterday confirmed proceedings had been opened following a complaint by the Senegal national association after Sakho came off the bench to score the only goal in West Ham's FA Cup fourth-round victory over Bristol City on January 25, despite having been ruled out of international duty with a back injury.
The English Premier League club maintain correct procedures were followed, with Senegal kept fully informed at every stage of the player's treatment, but in the wake of the dispute subsequently decided to leave Sakho out of the squad for Saturday's match at Liverpool, which they lost 2-0.
A statement from West Ham said: "Diafra Sakho and West Ham United vigorously deny that they have acted in breach of FIFA regulations. They regard the proceedings as clearly unfounded and are requesting their dismissal. At this stage, neither the player nor the club can make any further comments."
Hammers manager Sam Allardyce had defended the decision to play Sakho at Ashton Gate, the forward having been driven down from London owing to medical advice barring him from travelling by plane. However, the club later decided not to select him for the Premier League match at Anfield.
Senegal crashed out at the group stage of the tournament in Equatorial Guinea. Should the case be proven then Sakho could face a domestic suspension and West Ham a fine from the world's governing body.