It is undisputed that, as a general principle, training compensation must be paid to a player’s training club when a player signs his first professional contract with another club and on each further transfer until the end of the football season of his 23rd birthday (Article 20 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players 2010 (Regulations)).
FIFA confirmed earlier this month that Vernon Manilal Fernando, a member of FIFA's Executive committee and the Asian Football Confederation, had been provisionally banned from any football activity for 90 days at the request of Michael Garcia (chairman of the investigatory chamber of FIFA's Ethics Committee) and Hans-Joachim Eckert (chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA's Ethics Committee).
Recently there have been reports that the Argentinean government has implemented a tax law that effectively prohibits third party ownership (TPO) of football players. After getting in touch with the esteemed football lawyer Ariel Reck in Argentina, we decided to write a short blog about the consequences for the Argentinean football industry of this law coming into force and whether it has the teeth to actually stop TPO. Ariel comments on the recent developments in Argentina and I set out the basics and consequences for the global TPO market. For readers new to the concept of TPO, I set out below a brief summary below.
2012 was predicted to be the year when match-fixing, particularly that related to sports betting, became the principal issue of sporting integrity worldwide with London hosting the Olympic Games. As it transpired there was only one such scandal at the 2012 Games and it was not related to betting. Yet the Olympics did provide the actors in the fight against match-fixing with many invaluable lessons.
An in-depth analysis
The recent transfer of Zeki Fryers from Manchester United to Standard Liege and then to Tottenham Hotspur has focused the spotlight on compensation payments paid to clubs for developing young talent in football. It also highlighted an interesting issue on the disparity in compensation payments between international and domestic transfers. No one can argue that if a sports club invests its time, expertise and money in training a young player that they want to keep but who decides to leave, some form of compensation should be paid. FIFA and the Premier League have mechanics in place for training compensation but do other sports reward clubs who are successful in developing young players? This blog looks at recent transfers in the AVIVA Premiership (rugby union’s top division in England) and the system in place in rugby union.
It is beyond question that sports law is at its most advanced in Europe and America. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for sports law in Asia, which lags way behind Europe and America at both the working and research levels. Thus, when we take into account the prominence of Asia on the world stage from the perspectives of economics and population, this undoubtedly illustrates the pressing need to improve and develop sports law throughout the region.
Under European Union (‘EU’) law (Art. 14 of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive), Member States have the right to designate events said to be of such major importance for society that they must be broadcast on free-to-air television channels reaching a substantial proportion of the public. EU Member States have to notify the European Commission of their list of designated events and the Commission then verifies the compatibility of the Member State’s list with the relevant provisions of EU law.
Diving is a common occurrence in football. It seems inevitable that at least once every game a player will swan-dive into the ground, clutch his leg in anguish, and then roll around frantically, all while screaming in blood-curdling agony. As he continues to flail and flounder about the field, replays show that the opposing player made absolutely no contact with the 'fouled' player, whom spectators now view as worthy of an Oscar for his 'performance'.
The dream of reviving the Soviet football league has taken a step closer to reality after a group of top officials backed the recreation of what in its day was one of the toughest leagues in the world. Nowadays top Russian and Ukrainian clubs are owned by tycoons and can easily afford stars like Hulk or Eto'o. Though the idea of a creation of a breakaway league in itself is not new, such an initiative raised a lot of debate.
We have recently met with a number of sports agents who are disputing outstanding agency fees with players and clubs. In the majority of cases the problem has been rooted with the composition of the contract and in some cases the agents have named their company as party to the contract or have stated that they are signing “on behalf of the company”.
It is rare in the UK's recent dealings with FIFA that it has had anything to celebrate. The 2018 World Cup went to Russia, FIFA's then refusal of goal-line technology cost England a goal versus Germany in the 2010 World Cup and even last weekend Chelsea lost in the final of the FIFA World Club Cup. However, at least it can celebrate one "victory" following the Advocate General's ("AG") Opinion on FIFA and UEFA's appeal concerning broadcasting of the FIFA World Cup ("World Cup") and UEFA European Championships ("Euro's").
Since October last year football worldwide has been beset by moral and legal problems: be they match-fixing, racism or violence. Football has always been my first love in terms of sports (and life some ex-girlfriends would say) but this season I have never been less passionate about the game or worried about its future.
Couchmans LLP, the specialist sports law practice, has announced that Paolo Lombardi, ex-Head of FIFA Disciplinary and Governance, has joined the firm as a consultant.
With eight years' experience working at the highest levels of FIFA, Paolo (an Italian lawyer) has an unrivalled knowledge of FIFA regulations and vast experience in dealing with international football disputes and disciplinary-related issues. After taking control of players' agents-related activities at FIFA, gaining significant experience in the transfer of players, disputes arising from transfers and serving as Deputy Head of the FIFA Players' Status department, Paolo became Head of FIFA Disciplinary and Governance, holding responsibility for disciplinary, doping, football governance and ethics-related issues. He was actively involved in drafting FIFA regulations including the Statutes, the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, the Players' Agents Regulations, the Disciplinary Code, the Code of Ethics and the Anti-Doping Regulations, and sat in all relevant FIFA Committee meetings. Paolo dealt with all of the significant international football disputes and disciplinary-related cases and represented FIFA at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on numerous occasions.