“We will follow FIFA’s verdict in this case,” Pham Nguyen Hong, director of Thanh Hoa Province Culture, Sport and Tourism Department and chairman of Thanh Hoa Football Federation, said.
After being sacked by Thanh Hoa for underwhelming results at the start of V. League 2020, Lopez brought the arbitration to FIFA. The 47-year-old coach claimed Thanh Hoa had violated the two-year contract he signed with the club previously by not compensating him following its termination.
After nearly a year, FIFA awarded the case to Lopez and his assistant, forcing Thanh Hoa to pay them $187,000. The club will have to complete the payment within 45 days or be banned from signing any new players, domestically or internationally and in the worst case, demoted.
Thanh Hoa will not bring this case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), since their winning chance is thin. If the club fails to make a case, they would have to pay another $30,000 in court fees. Previously, they filed an appeal against Senegalese player Idrissa Sega Cisse but lost. As a result, Thanh Hoa still had to pay Cisse $58,420 in compensation and $20,000 in court fees.
Thanh Hoa is currently waiting on Lopez to provide them the necessary details in order to complete the transaction.
The club’s new sponsor stated it would not pay for this case since it happened before it came on board. Therefore, the responsibility belongs to Thanh Hoa Football Federation.
Before coaching Thanh Hoa, Lopez had managed many academy squads for Italian clubs like Atalanta and ACF Fiorentina as well as clubs in Eastern Europe and Asia.