Norwegian top team loses point over US goalie

Published:

OSLO (AP) -- Norwegian first division club Honefoss has been docked a point for playing a U.S. goalkeeper who did not have a work permit for the Scandinavian country.

The Norwegian Football Federation said in a statement it had fined Honefoss 50,000 kroner ($8,700) for playing Steve Clark in 12 games in the Norwegian Tippaliga this year, when his work permit expired at the end of 2011, making him ineligible to play.

The federation said the club had been negligent in failing to renew the 26-year-old Clark's work permit for the start of this season in March, when the club, which has won the Norwegian league title five times, was promoted to the top division.

Clark, of Mason, Michigan, joined Honefoss in 2010 and made 61 appearances for the team.

A point's deduction would push Honefoss close to the relegation zone. The team is currently fifth from bottom with only two games of the season left -- with the bottom two teams being relegated. Both its remaining games are against teams chasing the league title, Molde and Rosenborg.

Honefoss said it would appeal the federation's decision, and criticized the league for issuing its decision on a Friday evening before a crucial weekend game.

The club said in a statement it had advised the federation in June when it realized it had failed to renew Clark's permit.