It looks like the soap opera that has involved Mohamed Salah, Fiorentina, Roma, and Chelsea might, at long last, reach its conclusion soon. On Wednesday, FIFA finally made a decision on Fiorentina's claims of wrongdoings by Chelsea in this whole saga. The verdict: not guilty.
"We can confirm that the dispute resolution chamber (DRC) dealt with the dispute opposing the Italian club, ACF Fiorentina, to the player, Mohamed Salah Ghaly, and the English club, Chelsea FC. The findings of the relevant decision, without grounds, have been communicated to the parties on June 8, 2016."
"The claim of the Italian club was rejected. Since the decision is not yet final and binding, we are not in a position to comment on it any further."
-FIFA spokesperson; source: Football Italia
A decision had been expected back in January already, while recent rumors suggested that Fiorentina were looking for upwards of €30m in damages. Maybe FIFA thought it was all just an elaborate hoax, before somebody reminded them that it's a real thing that needs to be addressed. For more all the details of this case, be sure to check out our storystream below or to the right in the sidebar (depending on what device you're reading this on).
I'm not sure if there's a possibility of an appeal -- the wording about "not yet final and binding" could indicate that there is -- so maybe keep that champagne on ice for a bit longer. But it sounds like we might finally be done with this nonsense in the near future.
(And then we can start figuring out whose player Salah actually is nowadays. Roma had once upon a time issued an official financial statement, which claimed that they had exercised their buy-option. But recent reports would seem to indicate that he's still technically just a loanee, and Roma's director of football Walter Sabatini had even traveled to London to conduct negotiations over the winger's fate. Meanwhile, Salah recently won Roma's Player of the Month award for May and has become a fan favorite. Stay tuned.)