Reforming the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players

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The principles of the current 2012 edition of FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) were agreed in 2001 following negotiations between the European Commission, FIFA and UEFA. The Commission had objected to a number of retained features of the international transfer system despite the European Court’s judgment in Bosman. Amongst other things, the Commission wanted players to be granted greater freedom to end their employment contracts prematurely, a scenario resisted by clubs and the governing bodies as being contrary to the principle of contractual stability. The 2001 agreement represented a compromise between these two positions, with Article 17 of the RSTP establishing the consequences for a player unilaterally terminating his contract with his employer. Decisions of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber and the Court of Arbitration for Sport have applied these provisions to a number of disputes, with the decisions in Webster and Matuzalem illustrating diverging interpretations on the correct approach to be adopted when determining the consequences for unilateral termination. The paper examines whether the current approach adopted by the CAS diverges, to the cost of the player, from the principles underpinning the initial 2001 compromise. In this connection, FIFPro has launched a legal challenge to the RSTP and the Swiss Federal Supreme Court has annulled the CAS award in Matuzalem. This paper does not seek to address the legality of Article 17, under either national or EU law, but it explores approaches to ensuring a more consistent and balanced application of Article 17. First it explores whether the RSTP is in need of reform and in what venue that discussion should take place. Specifically, it examines whether reform of the RSTP can take place through negotiation in the Social Dialogue Committee for European Professional Football. Second, it examines whether the CAS procedures require amendment in order to produce more balanced and consistent decision making.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014
EventCentre for Conflict, Rights and Justice: Sporting Justice Conference - Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Mar 2014 → …


ConferenceCentre for Conflict, Rights and Justice: Sporting Justice Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period28/03/14 → …


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