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Exclusive: Joel Griffiths to report Qingdao Jonoon to FIFA

Joel Griffiths is set to report Qingdao Jonoon to FIFA over unpaid wages following the early termination of his contract with the Chinese club.

Griffiths, 34, was released by Qingdao with a year remaining on his deal following their relegation to China League One at the end of last season.

He has now sealed a return to the A-League with the Newcastle Jets, but told Goal he wanted to see out his contract with Qingdao, and is set to enlist the help of world football's governing body in a bid to secure compensation for loss of earnings.

"I didn't want to leave," he said.

"I still had a year to run on my contract and I was willing to honour my contract, they told me that they didn't want me anymore and they are not going to pay compensation so that issue will go to FIFA," he said, when asked if relegation to the second tier was part of his decision to leave.

Griffiths was in his third China spell following a Chinese Super League-winning stint at Beijing Guoan and a move that saw him play alongside Didier Drogba and Nicholas Anelka at Shanghai Shenhua in 2012. A short stay at Sydney FC followed before a switch to Qingdao Jonoon in 2013.

Qingdao were struggling to remain in the CSL and suffered relegation for the first time since 1996 with a 1-0 loss to Beijing Guoan, combined with Changchun Yatai's win over Liaoning Whowin.

"They [Qingdao] are a good club with a lot of history, they will bounce back into the CSL again and have good young players coming through," he said when asked for a prediction on the 2014 fortunes of his previous club.

Despite strong ties to Chinese football, Griffiths sees the Qingdao stint as his last journey to the country that given him many fond memories

"Never say never, but I'm pretty confident it will be [the last China spell] but saying that, I said that when I was at Sydney FC," he said when asked if he had plans to return in the future.

Beijing-based Peter Davis has followed Chinese football since 2008 and is a regular contributor to the popular Chinese football blog Wild East Football. Follow him on Twitter at @peteydavis