I-League club Punjab FC have been slapped with a three-window transfer ban by the Fifa’s Dispute Resolution Chamber after failing to pay dues to North Macedonian player Hristijan Denkovski during the time frame given to them, The Times of India reported on Thursday.

The transfer ban bars Punjab FC from signing any Indian or foreign players for the upcoming summer window, and will only be lifted once the payment is done to Denkovski and when the invoice is sent to Fifa.

Minerva Punjab FC had earlier changed its name to Punjab FC ahead of the 2019-’20 I-League season after an agreement with lifestyle and wellbeing firm Round Glass Sports Private Ltd.

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Denkovski had signed a one-year contract with Punjab FC on July 5 last year. His contract was set to run from September 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020. The footballer had even sent his proof of no Third Party Ownership to the club on July 30 but Punjab FC informed him on August 6 that his contract had been terminated and declared null and void due to their change in ownership, the newspaper report continued.

The club claimed Denkovski delayed in submitting the proof of no TPO, the reason for which, his contract had been cancelled. The player approached Fifa on August 29, stating Punjab had terminated his contract without mutual agreement and demanded compensation for the same.

Fifa’s DRC judge later agreed that a valid contract was signed between Denkovski and Punjab FC and passed the judgement in favour of the footballer on February 13 this year. The world body said Denkovski had sent his documents within the time frame and had directed Punjab FC to pay the compensation amount of $18,000 within 45 days.

But on failing to do so by March 31, Fifa’s DRC handed a transfer ban to Punjab FC and also directed the I-League club to clear the player’s dues soon.

Former owner Ranjit Bajaj said that Minerva Punjab FC had informed Round Glass of Denkovski’s contract situation in an email after the change of ownership, which was accepted by the firm.