FIFA have confirmed to the Sheffield Star that they are still investigating the summer transfer of Michael Verrips to Sheffield United.
Withing 24 hours of Verrips’ signing for the Blades in August, his former club KV Mechelen had made a complaint to FIFA officials in Zurich.
The issue – which is still being investigated – is whether the goalkeeper was right to cancel his contract at the Belgian club. And then sign a four-year deal at Bramall Lane.
The reason Verrips walked away from Mechelen was because of a match-fixing allegation. Ahead of a Belgian top flight match in 2018, representatives from the club are said to have attempted to bribe players from opponents Beveren.
At the time of this allegedly happening, Verrips had not yet signed for Mechelen.
After being found guilty, they were given a 12-month ban from the Belgian Cup and European football. Having won the cup in 2019, they had qualified for the Europa League.
When Verrips initially joined United there were concerns that playing him could result in a fine or points deduction. At least until FIFA’s investigation was concluded.
Why can Michael Verrips play for Sheffield United?
Verrips has already made several match-day squads this season. The Dutchman actually made his debut in the 2-1 FA Cup win over AFC Fylde at the weekend.
The 23-year-old suffered concussion in that victory, ruling him out of tonight’s Premier League clash with West Ham United. But clearly the Blades have no qualms about playing Verrips.
They sought legal advice before signing the ‘keeper.
So why can he play? The reason is that Mechelen’s issue is with Verrips himself and not his current employers.
There are no problems with how the Blades conducted themselves by signing the stopper. The issue is whether Verrips is allowed to walk away from his contract.