Al Nassr, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Saudi Arabian club, has been barred from registering new players until they settle a debt with Leicester City, FIFA announced on Thursday.
In an October 2021 judgement by a FIFA-appointed judge at its players’ status committee, Al Nassr was ordered to pay Leicester €460,000 ($513,000) plus annual interest of 5%.
Leicester filed the complaint in April 2021 because of unpaid additional clauses due from the €18m ($20m) sale of Nigeria forward Ahmed Musa in 2018.
Al Nassr — which was taken under majority ownership last month by the $700 billion sovereign wealth Public Investment Fund — can still sign new players though not register them to play.
“The club Al Nassr is currently prevented from registering new players due to outstanding debts,” FIFA said Thursday. “The relevant bans will be lifted immediately upon the settlement of the debts being confirmed by the creditors concerned.”
Al Nassr’s signing of Ronaldo as a free agent in January sparked an unprecedented spree of spending by clubs in the Saudi Pro League, with four now majority-owned by PIF. The fund is chaired by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
Al Nassr signed Croatia midfielder Marcelo Brozovic this month from Inter Milan in a transfer reportedly valued at €18m ($20m).
Al Nassr is on a preseason training camp in Portugal. They have a qualifying playoff in the Asian Champions League on August 22. Al Nassr will host Shabab Al Ahli of the UAE or Al Wehdat of Jordan.
Musa departed Al Nassr in Riyadh in 2020 and spent the previous season with Sivasspor in Turkey.