Madrid: La Liga outfit UD Almeria could find their battle to avoid relegation seriously affected as the result of a decision taken by FIFA to sanction the Spanish club by the deduction of three points as the result of non-payment of a transfer fee for a former player.
The governing body of world football Friday ordered the Spanish Football Federation to deduct three points as a result of Almeria's outstanding debt of 60,000 euros (around $67,000). The money is owed to Danish side, Aalbourg, for the signing of full back Michael Jakobsen in July 2010, reports Xinhua.
The decision could be disastrous for Almeria, who, although having recovered since the appointment of Juan Ignacio Martinez as coach, are still hovering just above the relegation zone with 23 points from 24 games.
Should the points finally be deducted it would see Almeria slip two places in the La Liga table into the relegation zone, just above Cordoba CF and Granada CF.
The club has issued a statement confirming they have appealed against the decision to the Tribunal for Arbitration in Sport, which "has accepted the paperwork".
As a result the affair could drag on for several weeks and it is certain to cause further controversy. It looks likely that if Almeria avoid relegation by a margin of less than three points than any clubs affected by the decision are unlikely to let the matter lie.