Seattle Sounders and Obafemi Martins are in danger of being sanctioned by World Football governing body, FIFA, as the transfer saga involving the Nigeria and Levante striker continues to unfold in Spain.
The MLS side will reportedly continue their pursuit of the acquisition of Martins on Monday at the offices of La Liga in Madrid, but the threat of possible FIFA sanctions, involving a four-match ban, may put an end to this two-week long transfer saga.
According to Plaza Deportiva, Seattle were prepared to deposit the N606m (€3 million) plus tax that Levante with the LFP on Friday afternoon, but an 11th hour warning from Sounders and MLS lawyers over the threat of possible sanctions put their plans on hold until they are able to find an alternative plan of attack.
The aforementioned sanctions pertain to Articles 16 and 17, more specifically 17.3 and 17.5 of the official FIFA rules, Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.
Article 16 is ‘The Restriction on terminating a contract during the season,’ which states: "A contract cannot be unilaterally terminated during the course of a season.”
Seattle Sounders admitted interest in Obafemi Martins publicly via their official blog on 25th February 2013 and appeared to make contact with Martins prior to contacting Levante, which would imply “inducing a breach of contract between a professional and his club to facilicate the transfer of a player,” on the part of the Seattle Sounders.