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FA refer Quest transfers to FIFA

The FA has referred eight of the 17 transfers highlighted by the Quest bungs inquiry to Fifa. The move is an acknowledgement that a comprehensive investigation of the deals, all of which involved an international element, is beyond the FA's domestic jurisdiction, reports The Guardian.

The eight deals are understood to involve three of the five clubs implicated in the Quest report, conducted on behalf of the Premier League by the former Metropolitan police commissioner Lord Stevens. Deals involving Bolton, Chelsea, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United and Portsmouth were singled out, though club officials were cleared of any wrongdoing.

The FA's head of compliance, Jonathan Hall, told the Premier League shareholders meeting on Thursday that his unit has gone as far as it can and that the documentation would be passed to Fifa today. Investigations into the nine remaining deals continue, but it is anticipated that, as they also involve international agents and clubs, who are beyond the FA's reach, they will also end up with Fifa.

Quest highlighted 17 transfers it was unwilling to sign off as legitimate in its report submitted 11 months ago. Lord Stevens' team did not uncover any compelling evidence of illegal payments or corruption but said its inquiries had been stalled by a lack of cooperation from agents and clubs involved.

The findings were passed to the FA's compliance unit, which has greater powers of investigation over domestic football matters. The referral to Zurich will do little for public confidence that the deals will ever be satisfactorily investigated: Fifa can remove or suspend licences, but its record in pursuing irregularities is poor.

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