Sporting Kansas City and midfielder Roger Espinoza received small fines this week after the Honduras soccer governing body filed a complaint with FIFA, which stemmed from Espinoza skipping a Honduras national team call-up this summer.
The amount of the fines were not made public, but they total less than $15,000 combined. Only fines of $15,000 or larger are allowed to be appealed.
The National Autonomous Federation of Football of Honduras claimed it was misled when Espinoza did not report to the Honduras national team due to injury.
FIFA had the option to issue Sporting KC a wide range of punishments, including the forfeiture of matches or the ban of incoming transfers during the offseason.
Espinoza withdrew from a Honduras national team call-up in June due to a back injury. He also missed a week of practice with Sporting KC. He returned and played in a Sporting KC match two days after Honduras faced Mexico in a World Cup qualifier, prompting the complaint from Honduras.
Sporting KC did not secure the necessary paperwork — a retraction letter from Honduras — when Espinoza withdrew from the national team roster.
“We understand that we made one mistake in that we didn’t the retraction letter, so we understand the reasoning for the fine,” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said. “But we also realize there was no malicious intent on our part. It was more of a miscommunication than anything else. We can accept that, and we can assure that in the future, we won’t make that mistake again.
“We thought we had a great relationship with that federation. The fact that they filed a case against us, we were very surprised. But we accept it, and we move forward.”
Espinoza has played in 52 matches for Honduras, including a pair of World Cups. He most recently appeared in two World Cup qualifiers in March.