Bundesliga News

FIFA affirms Leipzig's position in round one of Augustin legal fight

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

A fairly big development in the ongoing legal case involving former Leipzig striker Jean-Kevin Augustin saw a FIFA arbitration court rule in Leipzig's favor on Tuesday. 

The initial decision is not yet legally binding an appeal is expected, meaning the issue remains far from settled. 
Jean-Kevin Augustin.
Jean-Kevin Augustin.Photo: RB Leipzig
The continuing saga involving French striker Jean-Kevin Augustin reached another major milestone on Tuesday. While the Frenchman was technically permitted to leave the Bundesliga club last October on a free, RB's promised legal action produced the first major ruling some seven months after the 23-year-old's departure for FC Nantes.

To review the issue at the heart of the trade dispute, Augustin was loaned out to EFL Championship side Leeds United during the 2019/20 campaign. The loan agreement included a mandatory purchase option in the event that Leeds achieved promotion to the Premiership, which they did.

Leeds, dissatisfied with the performance of the controversy-saddled attacker, sought to take advantage of a legal technicality to get out of the obligatory purchase. The global pandemic meant that the delayed end to the season, and thereby promotion, took place in July. The compulsory purchase clause expired in June.

Since leaving Leipzig in October, Augustin has continued to struggle at FC Nantes. The Ligue 1 club actually sent him down to the youth reserves in February after he failed to make an impact. The striker's free fall has sent his market value plummeting from €25 million in 2019 to €2.5 million today. Leeds are technically on the hook for €21 million as part of the mandated purchase commitment.

"We are happy that FIFA confirmed our legal opinion in this first instance," RB commercial director Florian Scholz said in a statement.

Given the amount of money at stake, it can be assumed that Leeds will marshal serious legal resources as part of an appeal.

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