Spurs complete controversial signing of ‘free agent’ Solomon from Shakhtar

July 12 – Tottenham Hotspur have completed the signing of Israeli international Manor Solomon, heightening the controversy over FIFA’s policy of allowing foreign players contracted to Ukrainian clubs to suspend their deals amid the war with Russia.

Solomon spent last season on loan at Fulham, who had an option to purchase the winger. His contract in Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk was not due to expire until December this year. Under normal circumstances, any buying club would therefore have been liable for a sizeable fee.

Instead, the 23-year-old was able to leave as a free agent after FIFA in May extended its emergency transfer rules, allowing foreign players and coaches contracted to Ukrainian and Russian clubs to unilaterally suspend their contracts because of the war in Ukraine.

Shakhtar are pursuing legal action against FIFA for losing players for nothing as a result of that policy.

The club lost a first legal challenge against the FIFA rules when the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed an appeal seeking tens of millions of euros in damages. The Ukrainian champions then filed a complaint to the European Commission which is pending in Brussels.

Solomon played 106 times for Shakhtar, winning the domestic league title twice and scoring 22 goals. He has 35 caps for Israel, scoring seven times. At Fulham, he scored five goals in all competitions in five consecutive matches for the London side after returning from a lengthy injury.

For their part, Spurs have announced a pre-season charity friendly against Shakhtar “dedicated to the people of Ukraine”, raising funds for Shakhtar’s charitable foundation.

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