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UNDERSTAND THE RULES OF THE GAME

Who has jurisdiction over international football transfer disputes?

Published 02 September 2017 | Authored by: John Mehrzad

Recent sporting headlines have been dominated by the record levels of fees spent on football player transfers.

Behind the scenes, international disputes – involving parties from or based in different countries – related to transfers of players or the negotiation of player contracts have also increased enormously over the last few years. 

Those disputes typically concern intermediaries – previously known as “player agents” – being cut-out of deals, not being paid under representation contracts, or deriving benefits from players or clubs to which they were not entitled.

In that context, this article will consider a key preliminary issue for any such international dispute – the question of jurisdiction.   Specifically, it examines:

  • The position to 1 April 2015;

  • The current position;

  • The potential jurisdictions;
    • o Court of Arbitration for Sport
    • o FA Rule K
    • o National courts

  • Conclusion 

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About the Author

John Mehrzad

John Mehrzad

John is a barrister specialised in employment, commercial and sports law, practising from Littleton Chambers where he is the current Head of the Sports Law Group.  He is the only junior barrister below 13-years call ranked by the leading legal directory, Chambers & Partners, in both employment and sports law.  He was selected as a pro bono advocate for ad hoc sittings of the Court of Arbitration for Sport during the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games. 

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