Tottenham managing director of soccer Fabio Paratici has received a worldwide ban by FIFA that could end his time with the North London club.
Paratici was handed a 30-month ban from Italian soccer in January after his former club Juventus was found guilty of false accounting. The 50-year-old Italian was sporting and managing director at Juventus before joining Tottenham in June 2021.
His initial ban only applied to his homeland, meaning he was free to continue working at Tottenham, where he was involved in Sunday's departure of manager Antonio Conte and the start of the search for a new boss.
But a FIFA statement on Wednesday threatened to cut short his spell at Tottenham, with the global governing body saying: "FIFA can confirm that following a request by the Italian FA (FIGC), the chairperson of FIFA disciplinary committee has decided to extend the sanctions imposed by FIGC on several soccer officials to have worldwide effect." Both Paratici and Juventus have appealed against the initial decision.
Tottenham published a lengthy interview with Paratici on Tuesday in which he insisted Conte's exit was "the right decision for everyone." Paratici said the club was "focused" on backing interim manager Cristian Stellini as it tries to qualify for the Champions League by securing a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Conte's departure came after his post-match comments following a 3-3 draw at Southampton on March 18. Tottenham blew a 3-1 lead in that game and Conte slammed his players as "selfish" and unable to perform under pressure. The well-traveled manager won league titles in his previous three tenures in club management with Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan, but was unable to end Tottenham's 15-year wait to win a major trophy.
The team is currently fourth in the Premier League, but only two points above fifth-place Newcastle, which has played two fewer games.
The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust (THST), responding to the extension of Paratici's ban, on Wednesday called for Spurs chairman Daniel Levy to reassure fans about the future of the club.
"This news adds further to the extremely concerning situation at the club," the THST said in a statement. "No manager, no director of soccer and uncertainty around our star player and our end of season finish. Fans deserve to hear a clear statement of strategy from THFC so they can be reassured by the board on their plan to bring success and stability to the club."
© Agence France-Presse