Pogatez faces six-month ban
By Slava Zaitsev & Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Emanuel Pogatetz faces the prospect of six-month worldwide ban from football.New Middlesbrough signing Emanuel Pogatetz faces the prospect of six-month worldwide ban from football.
The Austrian international, who penned a five-year deal with Boro earlier this week, has been handed a six-month ban by the Football Union of Russia (RFU).
Boro agreed terms with his club Bayer Leverkusen, but Pogatetz actually finished the season on loan at Spartak Moscow.
During his last game at the weekend, Pogatetz was sent off after just 15 minutes for what has been described as an horrific challenge on Shinnik Yaroslavl's Jaroslav Haritonskiy - who was making his full debut.
The tackle was a two-footed one on 20-year-old Haritonskiy's thigh and the challenge left him with two broken bones in his leg, including his ankle bone - while there was also two further dislocations.
The tackle horrified Russian football and the RFU's disciplinary committee have ruled quickly on the matter and judged that Pogatetz should be banned for six months.
They are now preparing to ask Fifa to implement the ban worldwide, which in theory would prevent Pogatetz from making his Boro debut until January 2006.
Uefa have confirmed to skysports.com that they would not be able to prevent the ban should Fifa implement it.
Fifa have yet to receive the request from the Russian authorities, although it seems highly likely they will and then they would need to decide whether to implement it throughout the world.
The news will come as a huge blow to Boro boss Steve McClaren, whose only hope now will be that Fifa do not decide to instruct a worldwide ban on Pogatetz's services.The RFU confirmed that they intend to send the details to the Football Association - who like Uefa would be forced to implement the decision.
"Very soon we will send all documents to the FA of England," said spokesman Artem Vagin.
"Any disqualification given to the player must be transferred to the new association.
"The previous association is obligated to inform the new one in writing about the sanctions."
The FA will receive the information when Pogatetz's international transfer registration certificate is dispatched.
Pogatetz himself has admitted he is shocked by the decision.
"It was not such a bad foul. I am of course sorry that the guy is hurt, but I did not tackle him from behind," he told Austrian radio station ORF.
"I cannot possibly believe that the consequences should be that tough."