4 months later, Silva finally gets to play for Leicester
FILE - In this file photo dated Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, Sporting's Adrien Silva celebrates scoring during a Champions League, Group F soccer match between Sporting CP and Real Madrid at the Alvalade stadium in Lisbon. Leicester bought Silva from Sporting Lisbon on transfer deadline day in August 2017, but did not register the deal with FIFA on time, so now Monday Jan. 1, 2018, four months after signing, Silva is finally ready to play for the English Premier League club. (AP Photo/Steven Governo, FILE)
LEICESTER, England (AP) — Four months after signing for Leicester, Portugal midfielder Adrien Silva finally got to play for the Premier League club.
Leicester bought Silva from Sporting Lisbon for 22 million pounds ($28.7 million) on transfer deadline day in August, but did not register the deal with FIFA on time.
FIFA refused in September to make an exception for Silva — the paperwork was reportedly submitted 14 seconds too late — and the player had an appeal rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
He was eligible to play from the start of 2018, meaning he could make his debut for Leicester in its home match against Huddersfield on New Year's Day. He came on as a late second-half substitute to much applause inside the King Power Stadium.
Leicester won 3-0.
"It has been very frustrating," said the 28-year-old Silva, who has played several behind-closed-doors friendlies to help gain match fitness, "but now the difficult times are past me."