Date: 2nd February 2007 at 5:33pm
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Favouritism? FIFA bent their own rules to allow West Ham misfit Javier Mascherano to play for Liverpool.

The association’s rules clearly state that a player cannot play for more than two clubs in the same season. Since July, the Argentinian midfielder has played for Corinthians, West Ham and he’s now set to play for the Scousers as he got FIFA’s licence to do so.

The strange thing is that Milan’s Ricardo Oliveira would have been sent to Real on loan but the very same rules which were bent for Liverpool and Mascherano killed this move . Oliveira played for Sao Paulo and Milan and thus he wasn’t allowed to join Real Madrid.

Sir Alex Ferguson did not wish to attack Liverpool or the FIFA for it but voiced his concerns.

‘They got Mascherano and I don’t know how they managed that. They got him on a sort of loan basis and I don’t know how it’s happened.

‘The only thing I can think is that because Brazil’s season is different from ours, it is because of that, which is strange.’

Strange, really. That’s the best word. I wouldn’t have written this article if FIFA had allowed Oliveira to join Real. But they rejected his request and that’s strange.