Chinese Super League club Beijing Guoan could face a 10 point deduction from the Chinese Football Association (CFA) over their January signing of Cédric Bakambu from Villarreal.
The Congolese international signed for Beijing Guoan during the January transfer window, after the Chinese club reportedly triggered a €40m buyout clause in his Villarreal contract.
Now, according to Marca, the Chinese FA are looking to punish the club for failing to pay a 'luxury tax' on the signing.
And now it's official: the CFA releases an update regarding transfers and luxury tax, stating that the buy out fee is to be treated as a regular transfer fee, and the luxury tax will be applied on it. Same thing goes for "loan changes to transfer". Is @Bakambu17 deal in risk? pic.twitter.com/wRpcEHhGeu— Roy Tadmor (@RoyTLuo) February 12, 2018
Rules were bought into the Chinese game a year ago, which requires clubs to pay a tax, set at 100%, if the transfer exceeds a set limit of €5.8m. The signing of Bakambu, would therefore require Beijing to pay €40m on top of the €40m they have already paid out for the player.
However, the club thought that they had found a loophole to the rule, when they got the player himself, or his representatives, to pay the release clause themselves, meaning that he was officially a free agent, and therefore free to sign for the club without them officially paying a transfer fee.
This now seems to have backfired, as the CFA have insisted that the club were still eligible to pay the tax, as the release clause has been triggered. The association are now in the process of deducting 10 points from Beijing and to add insult to injury, Bakambu will not be registered by the CFA, and won't be able to play in the Chinese Super League.
If the club act quickly and pay the required tax, then they will face no penalty. Although it is yet to be seen if they are ready to accept defeat on the issue.