Football Federation Australia (FFA) is facing a claim of about Aus$1.7 million (US$1.7 million) from injured Socceroo Jason Culina after it allegedly failed to ensure he was covered by insurance, reports said Friday.
Sydney's Daily Telegraph said the players union had served a grievance notice on the FFA on Thursday after it emerged that Culina had not been insured since returning to Australia to play in the domestic A-League in 2009.
The players union and FFA could not be reached for comment Friday, but a spokesman for the governing body told the Telegraph that a grievance notice, the process for complaints within the sport, had been lodged.
"But we will not make any public comment on the merits of the claim," he said.
Newcastle Jets made moves in October to cancel the contract of their injured player but the players union, the Professional Footballers Australia, said at the time it expected the club to honour the deal.
Negotiations with the Jets are understood to be ongoing, the Telegraph report said.
The union is expected to argue that even if the FFA can pass on the duty of insurance cover to individual clubs, it is still bound to make sure premiums are paid.
Culina returned to Australia after a decade overseas playing with Dutch side Ajax, FC Twente and PSV Eindhoven, signing with Gold Coast United.
But Gold Coast failed to insure Culina and after he sustained an injury at the Asian Cup in January, Newcastle were unable to insure the player due to his existing injury, the report said.
Culina signed for Newcastle Jets in February after he had knee surgery. He later needed a further operation and was ruled out for the entire season.