Levante President Francisco Catalan has accused Fulham of incompetence following FIFA’s decision to block Bryan Ruiz’s transfer to the Valencians.
Les Granotes announced on January 30 that they had struck a deal to land the Costa Rica captain on loan until the end of the season, subject to international clearance.
However, FIFA refused to sanction the move on the grounds that the paperwork was filed after midnight of January 31, with Fulham believing the deadline was on February 2.
Levante’s subsequent appeal was rejected by the international governing body, leading Catalan to suspect that the Championship club deliberately managed their time poorly.
“Blame Levante for fighting until the last minute [to sign Ruiz],” the supremo was quoted as saying by Marca to reporters on Tuesday.
“Fulham didn’t realise that the deadline was Friday because they thought it was Monday.
“We must abide by and respect the decision of FIFA, but I just don’t understand it, although the rules are well established. I have little else to say.
“There’s little or no argument from us. Basically we didn’t adhere to the deadline and 00:01 [on January 31] was too late.
“It’s nothing we didn’t know already, but there’s the feeling of powerlessness and misunderstanding, though we respect the logic [of the decision].
“Money wasn’t a problem, I wish it was one. Fulham regarded Bryan as a key player. If there’s a delay of one minute, it’s because the documentation wasn’t submitted in time.
“The player’s conduct has been excellent, for him it was a dream to play in Spain.
“The transfer was going ahead in the evening [of deadline day] when the player requested the move, but the paperwork didn’t arrive in a timely manner.
“Neither do I want nor can I think about [the idea that Fulham deliberately sabotaged the move]. It wouldn’t be fair to the player or Levante.
“I’d be doing a disservice to football. [Fulham] didn’t manage their time well.”