The Government’s independent review into the future of women’s football, ‘Raising the Bar’, was written by Karen Carney OBE in July.
The FA welcomed the Review as it sought to support the continued growth of the women’s game.
The FA’s back-to-back women’s strategies, Gameplan for Growth and Inspiring Positive Change, have seen a doubling of participation in the grassroots game, a doubling of fans in the professional game and international success in winning the EUROs.
With Barclays Women’s Super League and Barclays Women’s Championship clubs having just agreed to create a new organisation (NewCo) to lead the women’s professional game into a new era, this is a pivotal moment in the development of women’s football, and we welcome the support Government can provide in the game’s continuing success.
The FA response can be found here.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is pleased to publish version 9.0 of the Technical Document for Sport Specific Analysis (TDSSA), which will enter into force on 1 January 2024. The revised TDSSA was approved by WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo) on 16 November 2023.
The TDSSA is a mandatory Level 2 document that must be implemented by all Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) that are signatories to the World Anti-Doping Code. The TDSSA is intended to ensure that the Prohibited Substances and/or Prohibited Methods within the scope of the TDSSA are subject to an appropriate and consistent minimum level of analysis (MLA) by all ADOs that conduct testing in those sports or disciplines deemed at risk.
WADA conducts an annual update of the TDSSA to ensure it remains fit for purpose. In 2023, a sub-working group consisting of five members from the Strategic Testing Expert Advisory Group (STEAG) and WADA staff conducted a detailed review of the TDSSA, which included analyzing the current text of the document as well as 2015-2022 ADAMS data. The sub-working group provided its recommendations to the STEAG during its in-person meeting on 30 and 31 August 2023.
Modifications to TDSSA version 8.0
A summary of modifications to the TDSSA version 8.0 can be found here and the redlined version of the TDSSA version 9.0 can be found here.
The amendments to the TDSSA will enter into force on 1 January 2024 with the exception to changes made to the MLAs for erythropoietin receptor agonists (ERAs) for four sports/disciplines which was increased from 15% to 30%. The changes to these MLAs will come into force on 1 January 2025, allowing ADOs sufficient time to incorporate these changes into their Test Distribution Plans. The four sports/disciplines are: Athletics – Combined Events, Canoe/Kayak – Ocean Racing, Orienteering and Para-Athletics, Running Middle Distance 800m - 1500m All Classes.
Application for Flexibility
ADOs are also reminded that in accordance with Article 4.7.2 of the International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI), “an ADO may apply to WADA for flexibility in the implementation of the MLA specified for Prohibited Substances or Prohibited Methods as outlined in the TDSSA.” ADOs can apply for flexibility (up to 50%) in the implementation of the MLAs against set criteria listed in Articles 3 and 6 of the TDSSA.
TDSSA Testing Guides
An independent Regulatory Commission has imposed a warning and £5,000 fine on Carlisle United for crowd control misconduct at their match on Saturday 20 May 2023 against Bradford City in the EFL League Two.
The Regulatory Commission suspended £2,000 of the club’s fine pending any further breach of FA Rule E21 before 21 November 2024.
Carlisle United admitted that they failed to ensure their spectators and/or supporters (and anyone purporting to be supporters or followers) conduct themselves in an orderly fashion and don’t commit any form of pitch incursion.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC)’s efforts in safeguarding the principles of good governance were further strengthened at the AFC Legal Workshop, which concluded on Tuesday at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
An informative and stimulating two-day event for the AFC Legal Committee members and the members of the Confederation’s judicial bodies, the workshop featured distinguished speakers from FIFA and UEFA, as well as leading private practice lawyers and members of the AFC Legal Department.
Tailored for those elected to the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Committee, the AFC Entry Control Body and the AFC Appeal Committee, as well as those appointed to the AFC Legal Committee, the workshop provided the participants with expert insights and in-depth knowledge of the sport’s legal best practices as well as an understanding of key case law.
On the opening day of the workshop, some of the primary topics of discussion included disciplinary matters, anti-doping and club licensing, as well as Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) processes, aided by case studies pertaining to each subject.
Meanwhile, the second day commenced with a focus on matters pertaining to commercial law, intellectual property, rights protection and event-related legal issues, which was followed by an informative session on good governance in sport.
In his opening remarks, the AFC General Counsel and Director of Legal Affairs, Mr. Andrew Mercer, commented: “The combined legal experience of all members and the secretariat is an extremely valuable resource for the AFC as it strives to deliver on its vision to be the world’s leading Confederation and its mission to ensure good governance and the highest ethical standards in Asian football.”
He further emphasised the importance of maintaining a sense of community and knowledge sharing amongst the participants and highlighted the importance of continuing professional development during their term of appointment.
AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Committee Chairperson Mr. Jahangir Baglari said: “I have no doubt our committee members will continue to ensure that integrity and good governance, which are the AFC’s top priorities, are upheld at the highest standards.
“On our part, the AFC is committed to creating the best possible environment for our members, which will enable them to carry out their responsibilities to the best of their abilities.”
As part of the AFC’s bespoke programmes to ensure its members meet the continuously evolving demands that are key to enhancing the legal aspects of today’s game, the workshop reinforced the AFC’s Vision and Mission, of ensuring the highest standards of professionalism and positioning members of its judicial bodies as amongst the best in world football.
The full-day sessions featured presentations from world-class speakers on the disciplines that make up the comprehensive suite of legal services administered by the Confederation’s legal department.
An independent Regulatory Commission has imposed an action plan and £120,000 fine on Luton Town for misconduct in relation to crowd control at their game against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday 12 August 2023.
Luton Town admitted that they failed to ensure their spectators and/or supporters (and anyone purporting to be supporters or followers) conduct themselves in an orderly fashion; and do not use words or otherwise behave in a way which is improper, offensive, abusive, indecent, or insulting with either express or implied reference to sexual orientation.
- Slovenian player union received a letter from the country's Ministry of Labour confirming its labour law prevails over the regulations drawn up by any sports federation
- It is a huge step towards one of the union's main goals: creating a collective bargaining agreement
- "This letter means that the transfer system doesn’t exist any longer in our country," said SPINS President Dejan Stefanovic
Slovenian player union SPINS made a huge step towards one of their main goals: creating a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The organisation received a letter from the Ministry of Labour confirming that Slovenian labour law prevails over the regulations drawn up by any sports federation.
“This letter basically means that the transfer system doesn’t exist any longer in our country,” said SPINS President Dejan Stefanovic, who is also a member of FIFPRO’s global board. “As we have always stated, athletes need to have the same rights as any other worker in Slovenia.”
SPINS had several meetings with the Ministry of Labour to discuss the labour status of professional footballers and other professional athletes in Slovenia, as well as the right to collectively bargain for self-employed athletes. This process for getting more clarity lasted more than a year and resulted in the Ministry’s letter.
The letter concludes: "It should also be emphasised that the cases and conditions of termination of the employment relationship are not and cannot be left to the free and autonomous regulation of the sports federations."
According to Stefanovic this means that players can terminate their contracts the way any other worker does. He said: “Currently, players in our country can’t move because of the FA’s transfer regulations. If they are going to terminate a contract, then they don’t know what kind of compensation they are going to have to pay. So, they don’t move.
“This letter puts clear pressure on the clubs coming from the top authority in our country, which says that sport autonomy cannot be above law, and that any kind of termination of the contract is subject to law and not subject to the regulations of the Slovenian FA. That is crucial.”
With the letter in hand, the union wants to start negotiations with the clubs and finally conclude a valid CBA, in which they can jointly decide on conditions that could be deviating from labour law. Stefanovic said: “We know that the clubs would like to have a transfer system in place because they are dependent on transfer fees coming in, and we know that many clubs use these transfer fees to pay player salaries. So, we should try and find a compromise, and agree on conditions in a CBA.”
Stefanovic continued: “We are taking away the autonomy of the sports federations in Slovenia. As clubs and players, we are going to decide on the conditions for breach of contract and all other issues, that affect our work and workplace. This can’t be regulated by the football association. They can decide on match regulations and similar subjects, but any matter that involves working conditions is going to be a subject of the CBA.”
Ever since SPINS was founded in 2003, the union strived for a CBA. “We have already secured very good legal protections for our players with the closed standard players’ contract that we introduced in 2018,” said Stefanovic. “But we are still having problems with compensation for training and transfers, while many of our players are also self-employed.
“With a CBA, we can further raise the players’ level of protection, and solve all other issues for players. At first we will probably not get everything but, in the end, we will have a CBA that will be the one of the best in the world.”
Stefanovic advises other unions to “follow the law” in their country. He said: “Talk with labour inspection, talk with the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Sport, the government, or the president. Just follow the law and ask the same principles to be applied to athletes as they are to any other workforce in the country.”
The NFL today announced the HealthTECH Challenge I, a crowd-sourced challenge to accelerate innovations that can help make playing surfaces more consistent and safer for players.
Held in partnership with Football Research, Inc. (FRI) and Duke Biomedical Engineering (Duke BME), the Challenge invites submissions that address several possible elements of natural and synthetic playing surface safety. These include:
- New or improved field maintenance techniques.
- Equipment that reduces variability across the surface and/or over time.
- Methodologies to prolong the viability of natural grass surfaces in NFL stadiums.
- Topical treatments for synthetic surfaces that improve traction for players.
- Equipment to protect playing surfaces during non-sporting events.
- Field usage monitoring technologies.
HealthTECH Challenge I will provide up to $100,000 to entrants with ideas that further improve the safety and consistency of playing surfaces. The individuals or groups who submit projects that are selected for funding will have the opportunity to work with an expert support team to further develop their concept and plan for creating a finished product.
In addition to companies that currently specialize in playing surfaces, the Challenge is open to submissions from companies and new ventures from outside the surface industry, including representatives of academic institutions, design houses and other entities that specialize in engineering, advanced manufacturing and material science.
- Nov. 16, 2023 to Feb. 20, 2024: Submission window open. Applications can be submitted here (more details are available in the official rules).
- March-April 2024: Review by Duke BME and a panel of expert judges established jointly by Duke BME and FRI.
- April 2024: Deadline for a selection of finalists and oral presentations on the submissions.
- May 2024: Final selection.
- May 2024-May 2025: Funding period.
The full request for applications is available for review here.
"Our goal for this challenge is to generate fresh and creative ideas to complement our ongoing efforts to create the best possible playing surfaces for NFL players that is consistent and safe," said Jennifer Langton, senior vice president of health and safety innovation at the NFL. "Crowd-sourced challenges like this one are a unique opportunity to tap into a wide range of expertise and make the game safer for players on the field."
"With a topic as complex as playing surfaces in the NFL, we believe this unique challenge will breed innovation and present new perspectives and solutions towards the improvement of playing surfaces across our league and throughout sports," said Nick Pappas, field director for the NFL.
HealthTECH Challenge I is part of the HealthTECH Challenges (previously known as the HeadHealthTECH Challenges), a series of innovation challenges intended to deepen understanding of and advance solutions in the areas of head protection, lower extremity protection, materials science and kinematic measurement, among others.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board has suspended Sri Lanka Cricket’s membership of the ICC with immediate effect.
The ICC Board met today and determined that Sri Lanka Cricket is in serious breach of its obligations as a Member, in particular, the requirement to manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government interference in the governance, regulation and/or administration of cricket in Sri Lanka.
The conditions of the suspension will be decided by the ICC Board in due course.
Pakistan player Sidra Amin has been fined 10 per cent of her match fee for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct during the first match of their ICC Women’s Championship series against Bangladesh in Dhaka on Saturday.
Sidra was found to have breached Article 2.8 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “showing dissent at an Umpire’s decision during an International Match.”
In addition to this, one demerit point has been added to Sidra’s disciplinary record, for whom it was the first offence in a 24-month period.
The incident occurred in the sixth over of Pakistan’s innings, when Sidra showed dissent on being adjudged leg before wicket.
Sidra admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by Neeyamur Rashid of the ICC International Panel of Match Referees, so there was no need for a formal hearing.
On-field umpires Masudur Rahman and Morshed Ali Khan, third umpire Muhammad Kamruzzaman and fourth umpire Sajedul Islam levelled the charge.
Level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand, a maximum penalty of 50 per cent of a player’s match fee, and one or two demerit points.
An independent Regulatory Commission has fined Luton Town £35,000 for breaching FA Rule E21 in relation to crowd control at their game against Sunderland in the EFL Championship on Tuesday 16 May 2023.
Luton Town admitted that they failed to ensure their spectators and/or supporters (and anyone purporting to be supporters or followers):
- Conducted themselves in an orderly fashion;
- Did not behave in an improper, threatening, violent and/or provocative way in the 14th minute; and
- Did not commit any form of pitch incursion following the final whistle.
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has banned Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish Football Association (RFEF), from all football-related activities at national and international levels for three years, having found that he acted in breach of article 13 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
Mr Rubiales has been notified of the terms of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s decision today. In accordance with the relevant provisions of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, he has ten days in which to request a motivated decision, which, if requested, would subsequently be published on legal.fifa.com. The decision remains subject to a possible appeal before the FIFA Appeal Committee.
FIFA reiterates its absolute commitment to respecting and protecting the integrity of all people and ensuring that the basic rules of decent conduct are upheld.
The EFL has today announced the 12 members of its newly formed Together Advisory Panel, which will guide the work of the League on issues relating to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
The panel is drawn from across football as the EFL continues its mission, to ensure that football – be it the workplace, stadiums, communities and online – is a safe, inclusive and enjoyable environment for everyone.
Chaired by the EFL’s Independent Non-Executive Director and Chief Executive of Mumsnet, Justine Roberts, the panel features six football equality stakeholders as well as representation from the Professional Footballers Association and Football Supporters Association.
The 12 panel members are:
- Justine Roberts (Chair) - EFL, Independent Non-Executive Director
- Sadiq Patel – EFL, Senior Football Systems and Analysis Manager
- Hasnain Mohammed – EFL, Club Relationship Officer
- Hollie Varney – Kick It Out, Chief Operating Officer
- Owain Davies – Level Playing Field, Chief Executive Officer
- Lou Englefield – Football v Homophobia, Chief Executive Officer
- Terry Angus – Professional Footballers Association, EDI Executive
- Lungi Macebo – Women in Football, Board Member
- Nilesh Chauhan – Football Supporters Association, Fans for Diversity Manager
- Dr Sara Ward – Carnegie School of Sport, Director of Executive Education
- Catherine Forshaw – Brabners Associate, National Football Museum, Trustee
- Geoff Wilson – Global sports strategist and former Irish Football Association
David McArdle, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for the EFL, said:
“The EFL aims for football across the League to be more reflective and representative of the communities in which we serve and the appointment of the Together Advisory Panel is a vital next step in this process, with each member bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion space.
“Football has come a long way in recent years, but we recognise there is still a great deal of work to be done. The Together Panel will play a key role in that work going forward, advising the EFL and its Clubs on all areas of work on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.”
Justine Roberts, Chair of the Together Panel, added:
“This is an important step on a journey that the EFL is on, and I’m excited in my role as Chair to be a part of a panel that will help to ensure effective and sustainable changes are made.
“It is really evident that so much great work is already happening, with many EFL Clubs delivering a wide variety of initiatives to make our great game more diverse and inclusive. The establishment of the Together Panel will bring fresh new voices to the conversation as we continue to make real progress in this area in the next few years.”
The formation of the Together Advisory Panel is the latest milestone in the EFL’s work on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Since the beginning of the 2022/23 tangible progress has been delivered with some of the highlights including:
- 7,000 collective hours of EDI Education delivered to over 1,000 individuals – smashing the five-year target for the strategy in the first year of delivery
- 363 individuals given Mental Health Awareness Training
- 2000 diverse books donated by the EFL and its Clubs to primary schools across the country
- Introduction of I-Recruit – an anonymised recruitment tool to ensure more diverse candidates are interviewed for roles within EFL Clubs
- 100% of EFL Championship Clubs engaging with Level Playing Field to make football more accessible for disabled supporters.
- 65 Diverse Fan Groups established across EFL Clubs
- 120 hours of diverse stakeholder consultation in the first year of Together Strategy
The establishment of the Together Advisory Panel follows the launch of the EFL’s ‘Together Against Racism’ campaign calling on football supporters up and down the country to take a stand against all forms of racism and discrimination and report any incidences they see or hear online.
UNI Global Union and UNI Europa, which together represent 3 million finance workers worldwide, half of whom are in Europe, have written to the EU’s top legislators calling for the full and effective inclusion of the financial sector in the forthcoming European Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD).
In a letter sent on 19 October, UNI General Secretary, Christy Hoffman, and UNI Europa Regional Secretary, Oliver Roethig, state that “The directive has the potential for a game-changing impact both within Europe and globally by requiring European companies to respect workers’ rights in their operations and value chains worldwide.”
However, excluding the finance industry in the directive – as the EU Commission and several Member States, including France, are pushing for – “would weaken the directive’s goals of advancing human rights and environmental justice, fail to meet international standards, and ultimately hinder the standing of finance itself.”
They warn that “ugly industry lobbying claiming that human rights do not apply to finance,” will if successful, “leave a stain on the industry still desperately needing to rebuild trust and demonstrate how it is serving society.”
In the letter, the union leaders hit back at the lobbyists’ claims point-by-point and provides a robust endorsement for the inclusion of finance in the directive, which will require the sector’s companies operating in Europe to identify, mitigate and act upon human rights and environmental abuses in their supply chains. The letter argues that:
- International standards, such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, already foresee and address the needs for effective but manageable human rights due diligence in finance. While financial firms argue their reach across the economy makes conducting human rights due diligence an unreasonable obligation, these standards narrow responsibilities to the areas prioritized as the greatest risks. Under this principle, there is no need for the directive’s scope to be limited through the blanket exemption of the finance industry.
- Finance industry lobbyists argue their investment relationships differ to those between a company and supplier and therefore the sector should be excluded from the directive. However, the OECD has clearly and comprehensively acknowledged this distinction and requires investors to use their leverage “to influence those investee companies to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts. However, investors are not responsible for addressing those adverse impacts themselves.” Furthermore, the OECD recognizes the different types of investment relationships and does not presume they are all “directly linked” with the investor.
- The finance industry claims they are already over-regulated, and their inclusion would add a burden without adding value. However, there is currently no EU regulation requiring financial institutions to conduct human rights due diligence, undermining the EU’s work on due diligence across the board.
- Effective human rights due diligence will not make the finance industry less competitive – as lobbyists claim – but instead serve as a means for identifying material risks that could weaken financial performance.
In addition, UNI and UNI Europa reiterate that the directive must strongly and directly mandate the meaningful involvement of trade unions and other stakeholders throughout the due diligence process.
They call upon EU governments to align the directive to the June 2023 position of the European Parliament, which will both realize the aims of the directive and be feasible to implement.
The letter has been sent to members of the European parliament and the European Commission.
Further reading: The role of finance in the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive
- The Global Labour Agreement (GLA) establishes three distinct labour initiatives to provide a forum for international social dialogue
- The committees are dedicated to player health and safety, as well as sustainable football market development
- More information can be found on the website dedicated to the GLA between FIFPRO and World Leagues Forum (WLF)
Under the international bargaining framework between football’s league and player unions, World Leagues Forum (WLF) and FIFPRO have today agreed to establish three new labour initiatives with a view to strengthening and protecting national leagues and playing conditions.
Last year both organisations signed the Global Labour Agreement (GLA) at the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland to take greater responsibility as social partners, strengthen collectively agreed solutions in the football industry, and contribute to its viability and growth.
The Global Social Dialogue in Professional Football
A shared commitment to take greater responsibility as social partners and provide collectively agreed solutions has now contributed to the creation of three distinct labour and market initiatives to address ongoing challenges of the football industry.
1) Workplace Safety & Health: Committee on Workplace Security
The Committee on Violence in Football Stadiums is established to address and mitigate instances of violence that jeopardise player safety. The committee's goal is to find ways to promote security and workplace safety within stadiums, matchday environments, training grounds and online by developing strategies, protocols, and initiatives.
2) Committee on Health and Fair-Play Pitch Management
The Committee on Health and Fair-Play Pitch Management is established to address challenges related to how the Laws of the Game and their implementation affect match operations and the playing experience on the pitch, as well as for spectators and broadcasters.
3) Committee on Combatting Discriminatory Incidents in Football Matches
The Committee on Combating Discriminatory Incidents in Football Matches is established to address incidents of racism and other forms of discrimination during football matches on a global scale. It operates in the context of general occupational safety and health guidelines to protect workers and commits to ensure a workplace free of discrimination and abuse.
Each of the committees will feature an equal number of representatives nominated by the World Leagues Forum and FIFPRO.
Speaking of the new labour initiatives, World Leagues Forum President Richard Masters said: "In professional football, collectively agreed solutions play a crucial role. The Global Labor Agreement, set up by leagues and player unions at the international level, provides a framework to address the challenges in the football industry together. We are confident that the actions carried out within this agreement will improve the governance of world football."
FIFPRO President David Aganzo said: "The new labour initiatives represent our joint commitment to address the development of our competitions and employment conditions through collective dialogue. The new working structures are marking a start and we are eager to address other issues that are relevant for the growth of leagues and players together."
A website dedicated to the new international bargaining framework under the GLA provides more information and can be accessed HERE. From news updates and documents to GLA governance and labour initiatives, the website provides further information of the organisations’ respective commitment to promote and protect the basic principles of collective industrial relations between the representatives of employers and employees.
As part of a circulatory vote that ended yesterday, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) Executive Committee (ExCo) approved a revised recommendation of the Agency’s independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) to add the Bermuda National Anti-Doping Organization (Bermuda NADO) to WADA’s compliance ‘watchlist’1.
On 22 September 2023, the ExCo followed the CRC’s recommendation to allege the Bermuda NADO as non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) due to a failure to appropriately implement the Code into their legislation.
In the days following the ExCo, the Bermuda NADO provided draft amendments to the legislation that WADA confirmed were in line with the Code, as well as a clear calendar for adoption of those amendments within four months. On this basis, the CRC has updated its recommendation for inclusion on the ‘watchlist’. As per the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS), by adding the Bermuda NADO to the ‘watchlist’, the ExCo has given it four months to execute its corrective action plans. If by 12 February 2024 the non-conformities have not been corrected to the satisfaction of the CRC, the Bermuda NADO will be alleged as non-compliant without the need for a further decision by the ExCo.
The CRC is responsible for providing independent advice, guidance and recommendations to WADA Management and governing bodies on matters relating to Signatories' compliance with their obligations under the Code. The CRC Chair, Mr. Henry Gourdji, will report to the next meetings of the ExCo and Foundation Board that will be held on 16 and 17 November 2023.
TO THE MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS OF FIFA
Circular no. 1862
Zurich, 6 October 2023
FIFA TMS, FIFA Clearing House and Administrative Sanction Procedure
Dear Sir or Madam,
On 22 October 2022 the FIFA Council approved several amendments to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP). As outlined in the Circular no. 1816, these amendments included a redraft of Annexe 3 of the RSTP, which comprised, among others, the codification of the Administrative Sanction Procedure (ASP). As outlined below in more detail, the ASP has played a crucial role in ensuring the proper functioning of the Transfer Matching System (TMS).
Subsequently, on 8 November 2022 the FIFA Council announced that the FIFA Clearing House would commence operating on 16 November 2022 and approved the FIFA Clearing House Regulations (FCHR), by means of the Circular no. 1817.
With the new processes related to the FIFA Clearing House coming into force, the ASP has started playing a significant role in guaranteeing that associations and clubs comply with their obligations related thereto. In particular, the ASP ensures the correct declaration of fees paid in relation to international and domestic transfers, which is a crucial step for TMS to identify training reward triggers related to the solidarity mechanism.
This circular describes the recent evolution of the ASP and its application to the processes related to the FIFA Clearing House.
In 2011, following the introduction of TMS, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee identified that certain obligations inherent to the use of the system, and contained in Annexe 3 of the RSTP, were of technical or administrative nature. The FIFA Disciplinary Committee found that said obligations, if not fulfilled, constituted an evident infringement to the provisions of Annexe 3 of the RSTP, which have an immediate negative impact on the relevant transfer.
In this context, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee delegated to FIFA general secretariat (at the time, the FIFA TMS GmbH) its competence to sanction 10 categories of infringements by means of a specific procedure, the ASP. The sanction that could be imposed consisted of a warning, a reprimand and/or a fine of up to CHF 14,000. Like this, FIFA could establish a streamlined and more effective procedure to deal with violations of Annexe 3 of the RSTP (see Circular no. 1259).
The ASP gave FIFA the possibility to treat these infringements in an expedited manner, granting clubs the possibility to rectify their breach – where applicable – and hence protect the proper functioning of TMS.
Subsequently, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee decided to expand the application of the ASP from 10 to 14 different categories of breaches of the Annexe 3 (see Circular no. 1478).
Finally, ASP cases were further streamlined, by granting the FIFA general secretariat the power to directly submit ASP cases to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee without the prior intervention of the secretariat to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee (see Circular no. 1609).
The new Annexe 3
As anticipated above, the redraft of Annexe 3 included a codification of the ASP under art. 17 of said annexe. When an infringement of a technical or administrative nature is detected, the following procedure takes place:
a) The FIFA general secretariat will contact the association or club to identify the infringement, request a statement or any other relevant information within a defined deadline and, if applicable, request that the infringing behaviour be corrected. In this first correspondence, the association or club will be informed that, if the infringing behaviour is not corrected and/or no satisfactory position is submitted, an administrative sanction letter (ASL) will be issued, specifying the type of sanction that will be imposed.;
b) Upon receipt of the statement or relevant information or upon expiry of the time limit to do so, the FIFA general secretariat may issue an ASL;
c) The party may accept the sanction or reject it, and, in this case, request the opening of disciplinary proceedings before the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. If the party accepts the sanction, the latter will be enforceable from the date of acceptance;
d) If the party accepts the sanction, complies with it (where applicable) and corrects the infringing behaviour within the time limits to do so, the matter will be closed;
e) If the party fails to respond to the ASL, responds inconsistently or incompletely and/or does not correct the infringing behaviour and/or does not comply with the sanction, the matter will be referred to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.
With the entry into force of the new edition of Annexe 3, the FIFA general secretariat is now granted the power to impose fines up to CHF 30,000.
Finally, and in view of the continuous evolution of TMS, ASP cases are not limited to a specific number of categories of breaches but can be opened for any type of violations of a purely technical and administrative nature related to TMS and players’ transfers.
The relation with the FIFA Clearing House
As mentioned above, in the last years TMS witnessed a continuous expansion of its scope of application. With the FIFA Clearing House beginning its operations, together with the entry into force of the FCHR, TMS started to play a pivotal role in the functioning of newly established processes.
In fact, TMS is the tool where the Electronic Player Passports (EPP) process takes place, Allocation Statements (AS) are issued and where training rewards triggers are identified.
To guarantee the correct functioning of the FIFA Clearing House and the processes related to it, associations and clubs must comply with their obligations as laid down in the FCHR. Similarly to Annexe 3 and TMS, failure to comply with the FCHR has an immediate negative impact on the correct functioning of the FIFA Clearing House, since it undermines the allocation and distribution of the training rewards.
In particular, it is essential that the proof of payment of the transfer fees agreed between clubs (both for international as well as domestic transfers) is uploaded under the relevant TMS instruction within thirty (30) days of the date of the payment and under the correct TMS section “payments” to ensure that training rewards triggers are properly identified by TMS (cf. arts. 6 and 7 of the FCHR).
In view of the immediate negative impact on the proper functioning of the FIFA Clearing House as well as on training clubs, cases in which a club fails to upload the relevant proof of payment in the context of a domestic transfer will also be investigated by the FIFA general secretariat through an ASP, in line with art. 17 par. 5 of the FCHR.
Finally, to guarantee the proper enforcement of the FCHR, an ASP can also be opened if an association or club fails to comply with other administrative obligations related to the FIFA Clearing House for which the FCHR do not establish the direct competence of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.
We thank you for taking note of the above and for informing your affiliated clubs accordingly.
DE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
English football stands united in its determination to tackle racism and remove all forms of discrimination from our game. Throughout October and beyond, The FA, Premier League, English Football League and Kick it Out will reinforce the message that hate and discrimination will not be tolerated at any level of football and action will be taken against perpetrators.
Alongside PGMOL, Professional Footballers’ Association, League Managers Association and the Football Supporters’ Association, the football organisations are urging fans and participants to report discrimination wherever they see it or hear it, to help make football a safer place for everyone.
All organisations are actively working with clubs and authorities, and remain committed to collaborating further with each other, to ensure those who are found guilty of racist or discriminatory behaviour face strong consequences for their actions.
Sanctions include stadium bans, legal prosecutions and custodial sentences for those found guilty of discriminatory behaviour in either the stadium or online, with additional potential points deductions for clubs within the grassroots game. Education and restorative justice initiatives will also be implemented where appropriate.
This builds on the ongoing work to address unacceptable, discriminatory and illegal behaviour across the game, under the football-wide Love Football. Protect the Game initiative, which aims to ensure that the actions of the minority do not spoil the game for all.
In recent years, football authorities have worked as a group to combat online abuse, and most recently we have lobbied the UK Government extensively in the development of the Online Safety Bill. We will continue to pressure social media companies to do more to tackle hate on their platforms.
But we recognise we can do more. Collectively, we’re deeply committed to ensuring our game is representative of modern society by offering equality of opportunity across the whole of football.
Together, we will continue our work to make football a safer, more welcoming, and more enjoyable space for everyone.
UEFA has taken a significant step towards levelling the playing field for women’s football players across Europe by introducing a first-ever minimum standards framework for women’s national teams.
The framework, which was unanimously approved by the UEFA Executive Committee in June, sets out a range of standards encompassing provisions covering sporting, good governance, coaching, medical care, training, player welfare, accommodation and remuneration. Their development involved extensive consultations with players, coaches and FIFPRO Europe.
Support for national associations
Europe’s governing body will assist its members to draw up implementation plans adapted to their specific challenges in meeting the minimum standards. In addition, the framework will be supported via the UEFA HatTrick Incentive Programme, with a total pot of €22 million being made available to national associations until 2028 (€100,000 per national association per year).
Northern Ireland international Marissa Callaghan, one of 35 national team captains consulted in developing this initiative shared her enthusiasm, saying: "Setting minimum standards will make a significant difference for players across Europe in every aspect of national team football. Having a platform to discuss with fellow players and coaches was a positive and enriching experience. I look forward to seeing players continuing to be closely involved throughout this journey."
Best conditions to perform
"This project is an important one and is a starting point to raise the bar across all women’s national teams," said Nadine Kessler, UEFA Managing Director for women’s football. "Having the best possible conditions on and off the pitch is absolutely vital for players to perform and in return bring success to their national teams. We have a highly competitive landscape nowadays, so standards must be grown alongside them. Only then can teams unleash their full potential and we can safeguard the longevity of players’ careers."
Sarah Gregorius, FIFPro Europe Director of Global Policy & Strategic Relations for Women's Football, said: "We welcome this important step for women’s national team football, which is the outcome of an inclusive consultative approach involving players and FIFPro Europe. The framework promotes and incentivises standards that put the protection and needs of the players at its heart, and they thoroughly deserve this. We remain fully engaged for further positive developments to occur."
This programme is the latest in a series of strategic UEFA initiatives designed to grow, develop, and support women’s national team football. These include the introduction of a new competition system, consisting of the UEFA Nations League and European qualifiers.
Download the Framework here
The declaration recognises the work of the International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport (IPACS), and calls upon it to pursue its transversal and multi-stakeholder approach and enhance the implementation of the highest applicable standards aimed at combating corruption and promoting a culture of good governance in sport.
This declaration addresses the constantly evolving threats to sports integrity which undermine the potential of sport and its role as a social, educational, cultural and economic instrument.
It invites member states and sports organisations to “promote transparency, accountability, democracy and ethical behaviour in sport, including the establishment of robust governance systems, conflict-of-interest policies, whistle-blower protection mechanisms, effective investigation and prosecution of corruption, manipulation of competitions, violence and other infringements of human rights and the rule of law in the sport context.”
“The IOC and the Council of Europe have been working jointly for many years. We are therefore very pleased to see that this declaration recognises the many aspects of sports integrity that the IOC is promoting,” said IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Pâquerette Girard Zappelli. “Since its creation in 2017, IPACS has offered a unique and open platform for sports organisations and governments to develop pragmatic solutions to advance the fight against corruption in sport, while harnessing the expertise and experience of all actors.”
International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport
IPACS was launched at the IOC’s International Forum on Sports Integrity (IFSI) held in February 2017. It is a multi-stakeholder platform with the mission “to bring together international sports organisations, governments, inter-governmental organisations and other relevant stakeholders to strengthen and support efforts to eliminate corruption and promote a culture of good governance in and around sport”.
Interest in the Partnership has grown significantly since its creation, with its role and programmes discussed at numerous international events. For the first time, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) directly referred to IPACS in UNGA Resolution “Sport as an enabler of sustainable development” (A/77/L.28), adopted in December 2022.
The International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS), the governing body of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), welcomes Ms Dyalá Jiménez Figueres to its membership. Ms Jiménez, a Costa Rican national and a lawyer, is a former Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica. She has a strong background in international arbitration and is currently a member of the Governing Board of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA). Ms Jiménez was appointed to ICAS by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the remainder of the 2023-2026 term and fills the vacancy left in its quota after the resignation of Judge Patrick Robinson (International Court of Justice).
ICAS is a Swiss foundation created in 1994, composed of twenty-two members with a legal background and who are active in the judiciary, international arbitration and/or sports administration. As the governing body of the CAS, ICAS manages its administration and finances.
The CAS is an independent institution based in Lausanne which was created to resolve sports-related disputes through arbitration or mediation. The jurisdiction of CAS is recognized by all Olympic sports federations and many non-Olympic federations. The CAS registers around 900 cases each year.
Publication includes latest regulations, statutory documents and circulars
FIFA has today published the 2023 edition of its Legal Handbook, which features a unique overview of the latest regulations, statutory documents and circulars issued by world football’s governing body, thus providing valuable support to the football community at large.
Following the publication of the FIFA Legal Handbook since 2020, the 2023 edition includes the recent changes and amendments to all regulations and rules applicable to football organisations and matches.
The Legal Handbook contains the updated versions of the most relevant FIFA Rules and Regulations, including Circular Letters and official Guides.
The English Football League (EFL) is pleased to announce partnership extensions with global sports brand PUMA and world’s leading football management simulation title, Football Manager.
The dual partnership extensions demonstrate the EFL’s commitment to partners in its portfolios, with both brands continuing long association with the League, its clubs, and its competitions, including the Sky Bet Championship, League One, League Two, Carabao Cup and EFL Trophy.
After signing on as the Official Match Ball partner of the EFL since the beginning of 2021/22, PUMA’s three-year extension will see the global brand produce the official match ball for all EFL competitions through to the end of the 2026/27 season.
PUMA has delivered 10,000 FIFA-approved International-standard match balls each season to the EFL and EFL clubs. This season’s PUMA Orbita ball design includes an 8-panel ball configuration, a reduction from last season's 12-panel design. These larger panels provide a better connection with the ball, enhancing players' touch and control.
These include the re-introduction of the high-vis fluorescent yellow balls used in EFL matches and competitions between November and the end of February, as well as Play-Off specific footballs to be used in all EFL Play-Off Semi-Final and Final matches.
While PUMA have grown their portfolio of global football properties in recent years, including Serie A and La Liga, the brand has entered into a number of UK focused partnerships and work with ten EFL Clubs spread across all three divisions.
The one-year extension between the EFL and Sports Interactive, developers of the Football Manager game, ensures that all EFL clubs and competitions will continue to appear as fully licensed entities in Sports Interactive’s next release, Football Manager 2024.
After first partnering back with SEGA – of which Sports Interactive are a subsidiary of – back in 2004, EFL has granted Football Manager Official Licensee status since 2014.
Since extending for a six-year term, the EFL and Football Manager have enjoyed numerous joint campaigns including the EFL Football Manager Cup during the COVID-19 lockdown, the #FromSofaToStadium campaign to celebrate the return of fans to football post-lockdown, and the FM23 EFL Trophy Challenge.
Last season’s FM23 Challenge spanned two months and culminated with FMFC member and Bolton Wanderers fan Ian Fraser winning the opportunity of a lifetime to present the EFL Trophy to captain Ricardo Santos at Wembley in April.
EFL Chief Commercial Officer, Ben Wright said: “We have sought to partner with brands where we can develop and cultivate our partnerships and create deeper, more impactful connections with fans, customers, and communities.
“PUMA are one of the world’s leading brands and have a distinct visibility not only on competition match days, but also support some of our EFL and EFL Club’s programs and initiatives through apparel and footballs.
“Our partnership with Football Manager has also exemplifies our commercial portfolio objectives. The numbers of people playing Football Manager and engaging with EFL clubs is testament to the ever-growing popularity of the EFL.
“We thank both PUMA and Sports Interactive for the ongoing relationship and helping to continue engaging fans for this season and beyond.”
General Manager of UK&I at PUMA, Bas van den Bemt said: “Continuing our partnership with the EFL symbolizes PUMA's dedication to the heart and spirit of football in the UK. Since 2021, we've been honoured to be the Official Match Ball partner for the EFL, and this extension is a testament to the strong bond we’ve cultivated with the League, its clubs, and most importantly, the fans.
“Here’s to more shared moments, goals, and memories in the seasons to come.”
Studio Director at Sports Interactive, Miles Jacobson said: “We are delighted to announce the renewal of our partnership with the EFL.
“The League’s clubs are among the most popular with our players; in FM23, more than 40 million games were played with EFL clubs across 1.5 million unique careers. After three terrific Play-Off finals back in May, we’re looking forward to the start of the season and continuing our partnership with the EFL.”
Today, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) launches the first phase of the 2027 World Anti-Doping Code & International Standards Update Process (2027 Code & IS Update Process) for which the Agency is soliciting your feedback by 22 December 2023*.
The World Anti-Doping Code (Code) is the core document that harmonizes anti-doping policies, rules and regulations within sport organizations and among public authorities around the world. It works in conjunction with eight International Standards which aim to foster consistency among Anti-Doping Organizations in various areas.
The first Code was approved in January 2003, during the Second World Conference on Doping in Sport in Copenhagen. At that time, WADA committed to ensuring that the Code would be a living document subject to periodic review and that the process would be a collaborative and transparent exercise intended to further update and strengthen these documents to ensure their continued effectiveness for use and implementation.
In keeping with that commitment, the Code and International Standards have undergone subsequent review processes which resulted in the 2009, 2015, and 2021 Codes and International Standards.
2027 Code & IS Update Process
On 9 May 2023, WADA’s Executive Committee endorsed the approach, timetable, and drafting teams for the 2027 Code & IS Update Process, which will involve the simultaneous review and update of the Code and International Standards.
This is a two-year, multi-phase process, which is respectively summarized in the 2027 Code & IS Update Process – Timelines & Key Phases document and corresponding webinar presentation and is also outlined below:
Circulation of drafts of proposed amendments to the Code and International Standards;
Final versions of the Code and International Standards being presented for consideration and approval at the sixth World Conference on Doping in Sport, to be held in November 2025 in Busan, Republic of Korea; and
Updated 2027 Code and International Standards, entering into effect on 1 January 2027.
The following key points should be noted:
A standalone International Standard for Intelligence and Investigations will be developed and come into force, and the current International Standard for Testing and Investigations will revert to a Standard dedicated solely to testing requirements.
The List of Prohibited Substances and Methods, which is also an International Standard, will be updated separately as part of its distinct annual stakeholder consultation process.
The relevant documentation provided over the course of the process will be in English; however, finalized French versions of the updated 2027 Code and International Standards will be made available following their approval.
2027 Code & IS Update Drafting Team Working Groups
Nine different drafting teams – one for the Code and each International Standard – have been formally constituted as Working Groups in accordance with WADA’s Governance Regulations and will be responsible for reviewing feedback from WADA stakeholders, providing expert advice and recommendations, and drafting proposed amendments to updated versions of the Code and International Standards.
The drafting teams are composed of internal members from WADA management and external experts from various Code Signatories and stakeholder organizations that have been appointed based on their relevant experience and knowledge in anti-doping and their areas of expertise.
To submit feedback
Stakeholders are invited to provide their feedback via WADAConnect, the Agency’s online consultation platform. In order to be considered for inclusion in the first drafts of the amended Code and International Standards to be published in May 2024, stakeholders must provide their feedback by:
Feedback is being requested on certain key concepts that have been identified as requiring consideration for update and have been organized into different ‘Concept Papers’ on WADAConnect. Stakeholders may also provide feedback on areas outside of these concepts.
For more information related to WADAConnect, please refer to the user guide.
While the drafting teams will carefully consider and review all comments, it cannot be guaranteed that they will individually address different stakeholders’ comments or that a given suggestion will be included in amended and updated versions of the Code and International Standards.
It has been 595 days since my teammates and I earned medals at the Olympics. We still have not received them.
You may remember what happened. Representing Team USA, we placed second in the Figure Skating Team Event at the 2022 Winter Olympics. We were bested only by the Russian team, with Japan finishing third and Canada fourth. On the day that we were scheduled to receive our medals, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) cancelled the ceremony due to a “situation” that required a “legal consultation.” The IOC assured us that they would do their “utmost to make sure it [was] resolved as quickly as possible.”
The “situation’s” focal point was Russian skater Kamila Valieva’s positive drug test. Her urine sample, collected more than six weeks earlier but only just analyzed, contained the prohibited substance trimetazidine. The positive test would ordinarily have nullified Team Russia’s results immediately, and the awards ceremony could have proceeded as planned, with us, the Japanese team and the Canadian team receiving medals. However, the Russian Disciplinary Anti-Doping Commission (DADC), supported by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), decided that different anti-doping rules may apply to Valieva because she was only 15 years old at the time of the competition. So, for the first time in modern Olympic history, no medals were awarded.
While there are significant economic costs associated with not receiving an Olympic medal (sponsors love medals), the real harm has come from the way the “situation” has been handled by sport administrators.
In the 19 months since we took the ice in Beijing, my teammates and I have heard almost nothing from the officials handling the case, and we have no reason to believe that our interests are being adequately represented. This week, a hearing is scheduled at CAS that will pit the IOC, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) against Valieva and the Russian DADC. The idea that such a hearing will serve the interests of clean athletes is absurd - the Russian “Anti-Doping” Agency has been facilitating Russian doping for over a decade. The IOC, for its part, has repeatedly refused to hold Russia accountable for a state-sponsored doping program involving more than 1,000 athletes. WADA, which is controlled by the IOC through a governing agreement with public authorities, reinstated the Russian Anti-Doping Agency in 2018 despite the agency’s refusal to turn over data detailing the extent of Russian doping. And the “court” in next week’s hearing, CAS, which is an arm of the IOC (its president is the IOC vice-president), has repeatedly sided with Russia – first in overturning sanctions of Russian athletes and then in watering down subsequent sanctions on Russia and RUSADA. Who in this panoply of actors represents the interests of me and my teammates, and furthermore, the interests of the broader sporting community?
We asked to be allowed to observe the upcoming hearing. In response, we were told that CAS hearings are confidential – closed even to those of us directly affected by the proceedings. We were told that either of the involved parties could request a public hearing, but that neither did. For that reason, the proceedings will happen behind closed doors.
An open and transparent hearing would go a long way towards helping athletes understand any decision that is rendered. Transparency would build confidence in a global anti-doping system that has lost the trust of its most important stakeholders: athletes. In contrast, asking the parties themselves to decide whether the hearing will be public is akin to asking them whether their actions should be scrutinized by outsiders. Unsurprisingly, they chose to act with impunity and to avoid public accountability.
The situation we found ourselves in at the Beijing Games and the painful process that we have endured since are a direct result of decisions made by the IOC, WADA, and CAS. The global sport administrators allowed Russian athletes to compete in the past four Olympics, including Beijing, despite the country’s state-sponsored doping program. The program is widely known to have corrupted multiple Olympic Games and defrauded thousands of athletes. Also, the Russian government has obstructed the pursuit of justice by manipulating data, destroying laboratories, and going so far as to murder whistleblowers in order to undermine investigations. And yet, the Russian team has not been excluded from a single Olympic Games.
Valieva’s positive drug test is not an isolated incident. My teammates and I are aware of widespread doping by other Russian skaters – and this, unfortunately, should surprise no one, given that a non-compliant anti-doping organization is still tasked with ensuring the integrity of sport inside Russia. Valieva and her teammates would never have been placed in this position if the IOC, WADA, and CAS had done their jobs and banned Russia from global sport. But, because of the inaction of sport administrators, Russia has never been incentivized to reform. Athletes both inside and outside of Russia have borne the cost.
As my team’s empty medal boxes show, the global anti-doping system is failing athletes. The revered elitism of the Olympics is dependent upon the principles of clean sport and fair competition. Yet, the governing bodies that are tasked to observe and enforce these principles continuously act against their supposed missions and fail to act on behalf of the people for whom they exist to serve: the athletes. Whenever finally held, the awards ceremony for the Beijing 2022 Figure Skating Team Event will be a symbol of the gross failures of the IOC, CAS, RUSADA, and other global sporting administrators. Justice delayed is justice denied, and my teammates and I will never get back the chance to stand before the world to celebrate a lifetime's worth of hard work culminating in a career-defining achievement. We have been forever prevented from experiencing the moment that every athlete dreams of – and ultimately, the organizations assumed to protect and create such moments are instead responsible for the emptiness of our success.
The IIHF Council, on recommendation from its Medical Committee, has decided to mandate the use of a neck laceration protector, specifically designed for this purpose, at all levels of IIHF competitions. The neck laceration protectors are now mandatory for the senior categories in addition to the U20 and U18 categories, for which neck laceration protectors had already been enforced as per IIHF Official Rule Book.
The exact date this mandate will go into effect for the senior categories will be determined by the supply situation. The IIHF remains in close contact with its suppliers to ensure they are able to respond to the current high demand.
Until the rule officially goes into effect, the IIHF continues to strongly recommend that neck laceration protectors are worn by all players performing in an IIHF competition.
Luguelín Santos has been banned by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for three years for age-manipulation violations at the IAAF World Junior Championships (Barcelona 2012); his three-year period of ineligibility running from 11 March 2023 to 10 March 2026.
The Dominican Republic athlete – the 400-metre gold medallist at the event (now known as the World Athletics U20 Championships) – admitted to competing in the 2012 age-group championships with a passport showing a falsified date of birth – 12 November 1993 – when in fact he born on that date in 1992. Thus, he was ineligible to participate in the World Juniors 2012 which, based on the 2012 Competition Rules, required junior athletes to be aged 18 or 19 on 31 December of the competition year.
“Our ongoing investigations have been unearthing a disturbing level of cheating, through age manipulation, which has distorted results of junior athletics competitions at the highest level. In this instance, a World Junior champion was wrongfully crowned, and the rightful winner was denied his moment of glory,” noted AIU Head Brett Clothier.
“Beyond that, age manipulation is challenging us to confront serious issues, including embedded cultures which are teaching youth inappropriate values, as well as providing the means for athletes’ ages to be altered in national documents, and ultimately celebrating ill-gotten victories. The AIU stands firmly against such actions and will pursue all such alleged violations vigorously.”
Santos, now aged 31, was charged with three violations of the World Athletics (formerly IAAF) Competition Rules 2012-2013: Rule 141 (participating whilst not eligible); Rule 9.6 (engaging in corrupt practices in relation to Athletics) and Rule 9.10(c) (failing to report any approaches or invitations to engage in conduct that would amount to a violation of Rule 9). He was also charged with violating Articles C.4 and C.6 of the IAAF Code of Ethics, in force from 1 May 2012, by engaging in corrupt practices relating to the sport of Athletics under Rule 9 of the Competition Rules. His fifth charge related to violating the Integrity Standard set out in Section 3.3.1 of the World Athletics Integrity Code of Conduct, in force from 3 April 2017, for failing to act with utmost integrity and honesty at all times in entering International Competitions from 3 April 2017 onwards using a falsified document.
From 2010 to 2017, Santos declared 1993 as his birth year for competitions. However, in February 2018, he declared his birthdate was 12 November 1992, based on a passport issued in 2018. The athlete continued using his 1992 birthdate throughout 2018. A 1992 birthdate meant that on 31 December 2012, Santos would have been 20 years old and thus ineligible to compete as a “junior” at the World Junior Championships 2012. When confronted with this assertion by the AIU, the athlete revealed that, on instructions, he had obtained a ‘special passport’ issued by the Dominican authorities which gave his date of birth as being 12 November 1993, contrary to his actual date of birth of 12 November 1992. Santos also told the AIU that he had been directed to use the ‘special passport’ with the false birth year (1993) for competitions, but the genuine passport (birth year 1992) for all other official purposes.
Santos admitted using the ‘special passport' for entry into the World Junior Championships 2012 though he was over-age and ineligible and provided supporting documentation to the AIU to verify his claim. On 8 July 2022, the AIU provisionally suspended Santos and, on 22 December 2022, issued him with a Notice of Charge regarding the alleged violations.
On 13 January 2023, Santos signed an admission and acceptance form regarding the violations in the Notice of Charge and, on 28 June 2023, the athlete further confessed to participating in a competition whilst ineligible on 11 March 2023. The three-year period therefore starts anew on the date of his participation whilst ineligible, i.e. on 11 March 2023, and will now end on 10 March 2026. He has accepted these consequences and waived his right to have them determined by the Disciplinary Tribunal at a hearing.
While this sanction disqualifies Santos’ gold-medal result at the World Junior Championships in July 2012, it does not affect the silver medal which he claimed in the 400 metres at the London 2012 Olympic Games the following month.
“This historic case was adjudicated under Rule 22.2 of the IAAF Competition Rules 2012- 2013 which states the athlete shall be disqualified from the competition and forfeit any titles or other awards from that competition,” explained Clothier.
“However, unlike with sanctions for doping violations, there was no 2012 rule that provided for the disqualification of future results in age-eligibility cases, so there is no basis on which to annul his Olympic result as that was not an age-group event and no violation was committed there.”
Additionally, he pointed out that Santos’ three-year sanction was determined under the relevant Competition Rule in 2012 (Rule 9) which provided for a range of sanction between two and four years. The AIU sought a four-year ban which was reduced to three years when Santos promptly admitted the charges.
Regarding the delay in announcing Santos’ sanction, Clothier disclosed this was due to ongoing investigations of third-party involvement in this matter, notably relating to the procurement of the ‘special passport’ for Santos.
Aims at supporting football stakeholders and legal experts
Facilitates consistent application of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players
Follows on from two previous editions published in 2007 and 2021
FIFA has today published the third edition of the Commentary on the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP), only two years after the previous edition.
The Commentary is a crucial document that supports member associations, clubs, players, leagues, coaches and football legal experts in ensuring that the RSTP are applied consistently across the global football community.
The third edition encompasses the latest amendments to the RSTP as well as detailed information on the regulations and case law of the FIFA Football Tribunal and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The Commentary is a landmark achievement and further confirmation of FIFA’s ongoing commitment to transparency and education in football law across the globe.
After the adoption of the RSTP in 2001 following fruitful cooperation with the European Commission, FIFA published the first edition of the Commentary in 2007, followed by another edition in 2021 as part of FIFA’s engagement to modernise football’s regulatory framework.
The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) today announced its formal data disclosure policy which includes the routine public release of data collected through its Racetrack Safety (RS) and Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Programs, as well as a process through which individuals may request additional records from HISA. The policy is as follows:
The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, Inc. (“HISA”) is a private, independent, self-regulatory, nonprofit corporation, and, therefore, is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) or state and local open records laws. However, as the organization charged with developing and implementing a horseracing anti-doping and medication control (“ADMC”) program and a racetrack safety (“RS”) program for covered horses, covered persons, and covered horseraces, HISA believes that sharing certain data and information collected in connection with these programs is integral to improving the safety and integrity of Thoroughbred racing.
As part of HISA’s commitment to public reporting, HISA intends to release certain data under the RS program on a quarterly basis beginning in the first quarter of 2024. Going forward, an annual report will be released in Q1 of each calendar year that presents new data from Q4 of the previous year, along with a full analysis of the previous calendar year’s complete data set. Quarterly reports will also be issued in Q2, Q3 and Q4 of each year, which will present new data from the previous quarter. Information relating to HISA’s ADMC program will be released by the independent enforcement agency of the ADMC program, the Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit (HIWU), in accordance with a similar disclosure schedule.
HISA’s initial release of information in the first quarter of 2024 will include data for all of calendar year 2023 concerning equine fatalities, registrations, fines assessed, track accreditation, and riding crop violations. Additional RS metrics will be released as HISA’s level of confidence in reporting by Covered Persons and the ability to track and aggregate data improves. Beginning in 2024, HISA will also start regularly sharing meeting minutes for meetings of the HISA Board and its Standing Committees.
A Professional Game Board Sub-Committee has removed Barnsley from the 2023-24 Emirates FA Cup for fielding an ineligible player during their First Round Proper Replay against Horsham on Tuesday 14 November 2023.
The FA alleged that the player was ineligible for this Replay, as he was not correctly registered and eligible for the original First Round Proper match on Friday 3 November 2023, which constitutes a breach of FA Cup Rule 103.
Barnsley admitted this charge and acknowledged that the breach had occurred. The Sub-Committee’s members ordered that Barnsley be removed from the competition, and that Horsham be awarded the tie and progression to the Second Round Proper.
Subject to any appeal by Barnsley, Horsham will now play away to Sutton United in the Second Round Proper on Saturday 2 December 2023.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board met today and confirmed the terms of the suspension of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).
After hearing representation from SLC, the ICC Board decided that Sri Lanka can continue to compete internationally both in bilateral cricket and ICC events after being suspended recently for breaching its obligations as a Member in particular the requirement to manage its affairs autonomously and without government interference.
However, funding to SLC will be controlled by the ICC and the ICC Board confirmed Sri Lanka will no longer host the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024, which will now be held in South Africa.
The ICC Board also approved new gender eligibility regulations for the international game following a 9-month consultation process with the sport’s stakeholders. The new policy is based on the following principles (in order of priority), protection of the integrity of the women’s game, safety, fairness and inclusion, and this means any Male to Female participants who have been through any form of male puberty will not be eligible to participate in the international women’s game regardless of any surgery or gender reassignment treatment they may have undertaken.
The review, which was led by the ICC Medical Advisory Committee chaired by Dr Peter Harcourt, relates solely to gender eligibility for international women’s cricket, whilst gender eligibility at domestic level is a matter for each individual Member Board, which may be impacted by local legislation. The regulations will be reviewed within two years.
ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said: “The changes to the gender eligibility regulations resulted from an extensive consultation process and is founded in science and aligned with the core principles developed during the review. Inclusivity is incredibly important to us as a sport, but our priority was to protect the integrity of the international women’s game and the safety of players.”
The Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) endorsed a plan to accelerate the development of female match officials which includes equalising match day pay for ICC umpires across men’s and women’s cricket and ensuring there is one neutral umpire in every ICC Women’s Championship series from January 2024.
The CEC agreed to introduce a stop clock on a trial basis in men’s ODI and T20I cricket from December 2023 to April 2024. The clock will be used to regulate the amount of time taken between overs. If the bowling team is not ready to bowl the next over within 60 seconds of the previous over being completed, a 5-run penalty will be imposed the third time it happens in an innings.
Changes to the pitch and outfield monitoring regulations were also approved, including a simplification of the criteria against which a pitch is assessed and increasing the threshold for when a venue could have its international status removed from five demerit points to six demerit points over a five-year period.
An independent Commission has imposed an immediate deduction of 10 points on Everton FC for a breach of the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSRs).
The Premier League issued a complaint against the Club and referred the case to an independent Commission earlier this year. During the proceedings, the Club admitted it was in breach of the PSRs for the period ending Season 2021/22 but the extent of the breach remained in dispute.
Following a five-day hearing last month, the Commission determined that Everton FC’s PSR Calculation for the relevant period resulted in a loss of £124.5million, as contended by the Premier League, which exceeded the threshold of £105million permitted under the PSRs. The Commission concluded that a sporting sanction in the form of a 10-point deduction should be imposed. That sanction has immediate effect.
Click here to read the independent Commission’s full written reasons.
Click here to read a further decision by the Chair of the Commission, dated 9 May 2023, regarding applications from Leicester City FC, Burnley FC, Southampton FC, Leeds United FC and Nottingham Forest FC.
Commissions are independent of the Premier League and member Clubs. The members of the Commission were appointed by the independent Chair of the Premier League Judicial Panel, in accordance with Premier League Rules W.19, W.20 and W.26.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has registered the appeal filed by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), against the decision rendered by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC EB) on 12 October 2023 (the Challenged Decision).
In the Challenged Decision, the IOC EB suspended the ROC with immediate effect until further notice following the ROC decision to unilaterally include as its members some regional sports organisations which are under the authority of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Ukraine (namely Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia). The IOC EB found that such action constituted a breach of the Olympic Charter because it violated the territorial integrity of the NOC of Ukraine, as recognised by the IOC in accordance with the Olympic Charter.
In its appeal to the CAS, the ROC requests that the Challenged Decision be set aside and that it be reinstated as a NOC recognised by the IOC, benefitting from all rights and prerogatives granted by the Olympic Charter.
The CAS arbitration proceedings have commenced. In accordance with the Code of Sports-related Arbitration (the CAS Code), the arbitration rules governing CAS procedures, the parties are exchanging written submissions and the Panel of arbitrators that will decide the matter is being constituted.
Once constituted, the Panel will issue procedural directions for the next phase of the procedure, including the holding of a hearing. Following the hearing, the Panel will deliberate and issue an Arbitral Award containing its decision and the grounds for it. At this time, it is not possible to indicate a time frame for the issuance of the decision.
The CAS Panel’s decision will be final and binding, with the exception of the parties’ right to file an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal within 30 days on limited grounds.
Reading Football Club has been referred to an Independent disciplinary commission (IDC) for continued non-payment of monies owed to HMRC.
The Club has defaulted in relation to the amount owed to HMRC for September and October 2023 and as a result is currently under a registration embargo.
In addition to the current embargo, the Club is already subject to a fee restriction for the next three transfer windows after it accumulated 30 days or more of late payments in the current 12-month period (1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024). The current default period as of 31 October 2023 was 79 days.
Where a Club continues to fail to make the payment as in the case of Reading, EFL Regulations agreed by EFL Clubs provide for a Club to be referred to a commission independent of the EFL who shall determine an appropriate further sanction.
EFL Chief Executive, Trevor Birch said: “This is a challenging situation for all involved and we understand the frustrations of supporters and the negative impact sporting sanctions and further charges are having on the football club.
“As a League, we are required to ensure all 72 members are treated fairly and consistently on all matters so that the integrity of the competition is maintained. These consistent failures of the Club’s ownership to meet its ongoing obligations have a knock-on effect on all Clubs and as such, the deterrents in place must be actioned when breached.
“We have today met with the Reading Supporters Trust to discuss the ongoing challenges and will continue to work with the Club in an attempt find a positive solution moving forward.”
Meanwhile, the proceedings against Mr Yongge Dai, the Club’s current owner, continue following the failure to deposit an amount equal to 125% of the Club’s forecast monthly wage bill in a designated account.
The hearing for Mr Yongge Dai is expected to take place by the end of November.
Kick It Out, The FA, Premier League, EFL and PFA have been working with Government to ensure Online Safety Act tackles racist and other discriminatory abuse
"Kick It Out, The FA, Premier League, English Football League and the PFA have been working closely with the Government and parliamentarians to ensure that the Online Safety Act (OSA) effectively tackles racist and other discriminatory abuse online and better protects users on social media platforms.
"Online abuse in football has risen significantly in recent years, but new laws passed by the Government should offer some hope to all those who participate in football. Change will take time, but it’s a big step in the right direction to make everyone in football feel safer online.
"We still need to ensure that law enforcement tackles perpetrators of online abuse and we urge the Government to ensure that the independent regulator, Ofcom, has sufficient powers to hold social media companies to account. In time, the OSA will introduce new tools to help users avoid discriminatory abuse. But social media companies don’t need to wait. They can introduce better tools right now so that users are free from unwanted and damaging discrimination."
See: Premier League commitment to tackling discrimination
The Premier League remains committed to tackling all forms of discrimination as part of our No Room For Racism Action Plan, which aims to ensure that football is an inclusive environment for all.
Ways in which the League is tackling discrimination includes the implementation of an online abuse reporting system to support players, managers, coaches and their family members who receive serious discriminatory online abuse.
This includes the League reviewing each case and reporting it to the relevant social media company, before an investigation and legal action is taken where appropriate.
See: How the Premier League supports safety online
The League implemented new enhanced anti-discrimination measures from the 2021/22 season as the League and its clubs continue to work together to make it clear any form of discriminatory behaviour is unacceptable in football and wider society. Clubs agreed to enforce new League-wide punishments, including bans, for any individual found to have behaved in a discriminatory or abusive way towards any club employee, player, match official, matchday steward or fan attending a Premier League match. This covers behaviour conducted in-person or online.
If you see online abuse directed at players, managers, coaches, match officials and their families, you can report it to the Premier League, here.
English football welcomed the Online Safety Act receiving Royal Assent today in Parliament
Kick It Out, the Football Association, Premier League, English Football League and the PFA have been working closely with the Government and parliamentarians to ensure that the Online Safety Act (OSA) effectively tackles racist and other discriminatory abuse online and better protects users on social media platforms.
Online abuse in football has risen significantly in recent years, but new laws passed by the Government should offer some hope to all those who participate in football. Change will take time, but it’s a big step in the right direction to make everyone in football feel safer online.
We still need to ensure that law enforcement tackles perpetrators of online abuse and we urge the Government to ensure that the independent regulator, Ofcom, has sufficient powers to hold social media companies to account. In time, the OSA will introduce new tools to help users avoid discriminatory abuse. But social media companies don’t need to wait. They can introduce better tools right now so that users are free from unwanted and damaging discrimination.
AESF welcomes the announcement made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President, Mr. Thomas Bach, on the creation of Olympic Esports Games during his opening speech at the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai, India.
In his address, Mr. Bach stated, “There are 3 billion people playing Esports and gaming around the world. It is estimated that over 500 million of them are specifically interested in Esports, which includes virtual sports and sports simulations. What is more relevant to us is that the majority of them are under the age of 34.” Mr. Bach mentioned that the IOC has taken the strategic decision to engage with Esports in a holistic way and has chosen an approach to be active in the Esports space while staying true to Olympic values.
The Olympic movement is embracing Esports in recent years, and the Asian Esports industry is leading the way. The major Asian multi-sports events, including the Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games, have included Esports as an official medal sport.
AESF actively promotes the further integration of Esports into the Olympics. At the AESF's 3rd Executive Board Meeting, AESF President Mr. Kenneth Fok, mentioned that AESF's mission is not solely focused on organizing Esports events but also on bringing the Esports community closer to the Olympic community and National Olympic Committees.
AESF has collaborated with publishers on the adaptation of popular mobile shooting game, such as PUBG Mobile, which was renamed as 'Peace Elite Asian Games Version,' as well as MOBA game, such as Arena of Valor, which was renamed as 'Arena of Valor Asian Games Version,' during the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou. Both of the adaptations have been made to comply with Olympic values, and the changes provide a good stage for athletes from various countries and regions to compete while also presenting the core values of sports, such as equality, respect, and fairness.
AESF has established the Publisher Commission for the first time, and we will continue to collaborate with publishers to further cooperate and deliberate on game adaptations that fully conform to Olympic values and the Olympic movement. AESF looks forward to cooperating with the Aichi-Nagoya Asian Games Committee (AINAGOC) for the upcoming 20th Asian Games in Aichi-Nagoya, as Esports has been designated as one of the official medal sports.
Further to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA's) Executive Committee (ExCo) meeting of 22 September 2023, and the update of 28 September 2023, WADA wishes to update stakeholders regarding the ExCo’s decision to follow the recommendation of WADA’s independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) to allege new consequences and reinstatement conditions against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), which is already non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code(1). The non-compliance in this case was a result of a non-conformity relating to national legislation that was identified during a virtual audit in September 2022 and not addressed to date.
Under Article 9.3.1 of the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS), RUSADA had 21 days following the date of receipt of the formal notice of non-compliance to dispute the consequences and/or the reinstatement conditions proposed by the Agency.
Today, WADA has received formal notification from RUSADA that it disputes WADA’s allegation of non-compliance, the proposed consequences and reinstatement conditions. WADA will shortly refer the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for its consideration. As such, the consequences will not apply until such time as CAS makes its ruling.
(1) As it relates to the December 2020 decision by CAS, since the end of the two-year period of consequences imposed by CAS, WADA has been assessing and monitoring RUSADA to see whether it meets all the reinstatement conditions contained in the CAS decision. Until all the reinstatement conditions are met, RUSADA cannot be considered for reinstatement. In addition, RUSADA will not be eligible for reinstatement under the CAS Award until the non-conformity related to its national legislation (described above) is resolved.
For more information on non-compliant Signatories
There are currently four non-compliant Code Signatories. They are the NADOs from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Gabon and Russia, as well as the International Fitness and Bodybuilding Federation.
For more information on the Signatories and the consequences, please visit the ‘Global list of non-compliant signatories and applicable consequences’ page of WADA’s website. While WADA will monitor the implementation of the consequences, under Code Article 24.1.9, other Signatories to the Code must recognize and implement the consequences in full.
The Football Association Board, Council and Shareholders have collectively agreed to introduce one of the most extensive sets of governance reforms to the FA Council in our 160-year history.
The new reforms to the FA Council will be implemented with immediate effect and will help to ensure that the membership of the FA Council is fully reflective of the modern and diverse game – so that it can better serve the interests of English football at all levels.
This new set of reforms followed a comprehensive and collaborative review that included a consultation process with key stakeholders across the game. The review was led by a Working Group of Council Members, and the proposals were tested and refined with a broader group of Council Members over the last year.
The new reforms will modernise the FA Council in line with the recommendations in the Fan Led Review of Football Governance, which was published in November 2021. These latest reforms follow on from the changes already made to the FA Board which has seen the FA implement the Review's recommendation to ensure that at least 50 per cent of the FA Board is made up of independent directors.
FA Chair, Debbie Hewitt MBE, said: "This is a transformative moment for the governance of the FA and one that will benefit every level of English football. These reforms also follow the important steps we took in July to restructure our FA Board to ensure that it has a majority of independent members.
"The FA Council has an important and active role in the governance of our game, and I would like to thank all of the Council members for their engagement, support and input throughout this collaborative process.
"These are significant changes that we believe will be a catalyst for positive change and will future-proof our game for years to come. Importantly, it will help to further improve the overall governance of the FA, ensuring that across our Board and Council we have committed, engaged and diverse representation, who all have a meaningful part to play in the future of English football."
The EFL has today launched its ‘Together Against Racism’ initiative which renews appeals to football supporters to report any incidents of racism and discrimination they see or hear in stadiums and online.
Clubs will also showcase the work that is being undertaken up and down the country to promote inclusion and make Clubs representative of the communities in which they are located.
With support from anti-discrimination charity, Kick It Out, the campaign sees a focused drive from the EFL and its Clubs to combat racism and all forms of discrimination in football.
Across four weekends in October, every EFL Club will run a ‘Together Against Racism’ matchday reminding fans how they can report abuse, so that football and law enforcement authorities can ensure that there are consequences for abusers, while victims get the support they need.
Tackling discriminatory abuse is a key part of the football-wide Love Football Protect the Game initiative which aims to combat all dangerous and illegal behaviour at football grounds across the country.
Building on English football’s shared commitment on equality, discrimination and inclusion, ‘Together Against Racism’ will run concurrently alongside the Premier League’s ‘No Room for Racism’ and the FA’s ‘Enough is Enough’ campaigns throughout October, highlighting the collective approach that is being taken at all levels of the game.
Trevor Birch, Chief Executive of the the EFL, said:
“Football has a platform to effect positive change across society, so we are proud to be collaborating with partners across the game to ensure a welcoming environment for everyone.
“Our clubs are working hard to stamp out unwelcome behaviour from football and via the many measures the game has introduced in recent years we will continue to support them as we look to make the EFL truly representative of the communities we represent.”
The Together Against Racism campaign launch has been supported by former Reading midfielder and Jamaican international Jobi McAnuff who narrated a video on how to report discrimination.
Today, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has signed a four-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the World Health Organization (WHO), which will allow experts from both international organizations to collaborate and share information on issues where anti-doping and public health intersect.
The MOU was signed in Geneva, Switzerland, by WADA President, Witold Bańka, and Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The agreement will run until 1 October 2027 and provides a framework of cooperation between WADA and WHO to further their goals, specifically with regards to health promotion, the prevention of substance abuse and emerging drugs, and the promotion of clean sport.
Mr. Bańka said: “The memorandum of understanding signed today with the World Health Organization is a watershed moment that will benefit anti-doping efforts worldwide. WADA leads the global collaborative mission for doping-free sport; and, in so doing, we also protect the health of individuals around the world. One of the three criteria for a substance to be added to WADA’s Prohibited List of Substances and Methods is if it represents an actual or potential health risk to athletes. Through our agreement with WHO, experts from both organizations will be able to work collaboratively to exchange information on emerging substances and reinforce scientific positions that will ultimately benefit not only athletes, but society as a whole.
“WHO’s commitment to health and well-being of society at large fits perfectly with our mission. I want to thank Dr. Tedros and his team at WHO for their efforts leading up to this historic agreement and for their commitment to healthy, clean sport around the globe.”
The themes of the MOU include:
Prevention and assessment of health risks associated with psychoactive substance use and related disorders, with a focus on doping compounds and substance use among athletes;
Awareness raising and advocacy for clean sport and substance misuse prevention worldwide;
Raising awareness through education initiatives with the support of goodwill ambassadors and influencers to drive positive change;
Collaboration on sub-standard and falsified medical products, including identification of new emerging psychoactive drugs through sharing of information, mutual support, and engagement with sport federations; and
Reporting on abuse and misuse of falsified and sub-standard medical products in sport.
Dr. Tedros said partnering with WADA reflected WHO’s commitment to work closely with the sport sector to encourage increased physical activity globally in order to promote healthier lives for all.
He said: "Sport and all forms of physical activity are essential to good health, and competitive sport plays a key role in inspiring people to be more active. The use of performance-enhancing substances can harm athletes, and certainly harms sport and those who look up to athletes as role-models. Keeping sport clean, therefore, has benefits beyond the sporting arena for the health and well-being of individuals and societies everywhere."
The MOU also aligns with the organizations’ common objective of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Goal 3: Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. These goals stem from the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 and provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.
This formal agreement between WADA and WHO follows an initial meeting between the two organizations which took place in April 2023 at the WHO headquarters in Geneva.
- FIFPRO Europe collaborated with UEFA to deliver the first edition of UEFA’s Minimum Standards Framework for Women’s National Teams
- Framework outlines how national associations should have transparent policies on responding to harassment and discrimination, as well as expenses and remuneration, parental and pregnancy rights, and the handling of player data
- Example of how involvement of players, unions, national associations and confederations can help shape better conditions for national team football
FIFPRO Europe collaborated with UEFA to deliver the first edition of UEFA’s Minimum Standards Framework for Women’s National Teams – ensuring senior women’s national team players in Europe receive better environments and safeguards.
The framework details how associations have a duty towards players to provide “quality care and sporting conditions to ensure their welfare and wellbeing” while on national team duty.
It also states how coaches must serve the interests of women’s national team football and promote sporting excellence, that national associations should ensure optimal training facilities and the most direct available travel routes for players, and that cooperative agreements which foster regular engagement should exist between associations and players.
Governance provisions in the framework outline how national associations should have transparent and collaboratively agreed policies on responding to harassment and discrimination, as well as on expenses and remuneration, parental and pregnancy rights, and the handling of player data.
An annual incentive of up to EUR 100,000 is allocated to each UEFA national association to implement the minimum standards for the next four years.
FIFPRO Europe President David Terrier said: "The close cooperation between FIFPRO Europe and UEFA has been instrumental in shaping this landmark initiative.
“We are committed to further strengthening our relationship with UEFA for the benefit of players throughout the continent. FIFPRO Europe remains dedicated to advancing European football as a whole."
UEFA's Managing Director of Women's Football Nadine Kessler said: “The announcement of the framework marks a crucial milestone for women’s national team football, made possible through the positive collaborative spirit of all involved.
“Bringing the national team captains and FIFPRO Europe into the development of such a project was essential and we are convinced that it has led to a better outcome for all. This project promises a huge impact on the women’s game by providing players with the best possible conditions to perform.”
Frameworks core objectives
- Improve conditions and environments for national team players throughout Europe;
- Support all national associations by providing the best care and environments for players on duty for the national team;
- Protect national associations and players alike through greater transparency and good governance of national teams;
- Increase the sporting level of all nations in international competitions;
- Foster stakeholder relations between national associations and players.
Malta women’s national team captain Emma Lipman said: "Being involved in the meetings and discussions on the framework was an opportunity for me as a player to positively shape the game.
"I look forward to the framework being implemented, and I’m happy that the initiative will continue to have the players at the heart of it. It’s a big step forward for national team football in Europe."
FIFPRO’s Director of Global Policy & Strategic Relations Women's Football Sarah Gregorius said: "This framework is the latest example of what can be achieved when a player-centric perspective that actively involves the player voice is established and enshrined. Players are empowered to both participate in, and choose their elected representatives in, these conversations, solidifying and protecting their rightful role in the dialogue.
"Women’s national team players, and the sport more broadly in Europe, will significantly benefit from these important changes that provide safeguards and improved conditions for players – taking women’s football on an important next step in its overall continued development."
Implementation includes the mandatory use of licensed agents and a cap on service fees, and follows an extensive consultation process
The Court of Arbitration for Sport has confirmed the legality of the regulations
Approximately 4,500 licences were issued to individuals that are now eligible to provide football agent services as of 1 October
FIFA is due to fully implement the Football Agent Regulations (FFAR) as of 1 October 2023, following a long and inclusive consultation process involving players, clubs, leagues, member associations and football agents themselves and their partial entry into force in January 2023.
A landmark CAS award has confirmed the legality, validity and proportionality of the FFAR, and courts in Belgium, Czechia, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Switzerland have rejected injunctions against the new rules, both at national and international level.
As of 1 October, FIFA will enforce the full implementation of the FFAR, including the mandatory use of licensed football agents, the cap on service fees and new provisions to ensure the protection of minors. The only exception to the full implementation of the FFAR will be in Germany, where a preliminary injunction has been granted by a local court.
Following the first two exams and all the legacy licence applications submitted so far, a total of approximately 4,500 licences have already been issued. Those who hold a licence, will be eligible to perform football agent services as of 1 October. Unsuccessful applicants will have the opportunity to retake the exam in May and November 2024. FIFA will organise further exams in the coming years.
As part of the new regulations, potential disputes in connection with representation agreements entered into as from 1 October will be handled by the Agents Chamber of the Football Tribunal, thus ensuring that any conflicts concerning football agent services are resolved fairly and equally for all participants in the international transfer system. FIFA believes that the FFAR provide a reasonable and proportionate framework to help resolve systemic failures in the player transfer system and wishes to underscore that the regulations have been universally recognised by football stakeholders and the most important political authorities in Europe.
Today, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) publishes the 2024 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (List), which was approved by WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo) during its meeting on 22 September 2023 and enters into force on 1 January 2024.
We also publish:
The List is one of the eight International Standards that are mandatory for all Signatories of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code). It designates what substances and methods are prohibited both in- and out-of-competition and which substances are banned in particular sports.
WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said: “We encourage athletes, their entourage and all stakeholders to acquaint themselves with the Summary of Major Modifications to avoid inadvertent use of substances and methods that are prohibited in sport for 2024. In particular, we kindly ask all Anti-Doping Organizations around the world to share the List and its related documents with athletes, their entourage and other relevant stakeholders under their jurisdiction.
Major modifications for 2024
All Major Modifications for 2024 are outlined in the 2024 Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes, including the following particular information regarding tramadol:
On 23 September 2022, the ExCo endorsed the recommendation by WADA’s List Expert Advisory Group to prohibit the narcotic tramadol in competition, effective 1 January 2024. The delay in implementation was to provide an additional year to allow enough time for stakeholders to learn and adapt to this change.
Tramadol has been on WADA’s Monitoring Program and data gathered through that program have indicated significant use in sports. Tramadol abuse, with its risk of physical dependence, opiate use disorder and overdoses, is of concern worldwide and has led to it being a controlled drug in many countries. Research studies funded by WADA, as referenced in the Explanatory Note, have also confirmed the potential for tramadol to enhance sports performance.
Annual list review process
WADA leads an annual revision process concerning the List, beginning with an initial meeting in January and concluding with the publication of the List by 1 October. This is an extensive consultation process that includes WADA’s List Expert Advisory Group gathering information including the latest scientific and medical research, trends, and intelligence gathered from law enforcement and pharmaceutical companies; circulating a draft List among stakeholders; and, taking their submissions into consideration to revise the draft, followed by review by the Agency’s Health, Medical and Research (HMR) Committee. The HMR Committee then makes its recommendations to WADA’s ExCo, which approves the List during its September meeting.
For a substance or method to be added to the List, it must be determined that it meets at least two of the following three criteria:
- It has the potential to enhance or enhances sport performance
- It represents an actual or potential health risk to the athletes
- It violates the spirit of sport
The List is released three months ahead of it taking effect so that athletes, their entourage and other stakeholders can acquaint themselves with any modifications. Ultimately, athletes are responsible for prohibited substances found in their body and prohibited methods found to have been used. Athlete entourage are also liable for Anti-Doping Rule Violations if determined to be complicit. Consequently, if there is any doubt as to the status of a substance or method, it is important that they contact their respective Anti-Doping Organizations (International Federation or National Anti-Doping Organization) for advice.
The Therapeutic use Exemption Program
It should be noted that for athletes who have a legitimate medical reason for using a prohibited substance or method that is on the List, they can apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) to determine whether they meet the criteria outlined in the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE). The TUE Program is a rigorous and necessary part of elite sport which has overwhelming acceptance from athletes, physicians and anti-doping stakeholders.
In addition to the documents linked above, WADA has provided, or will provide, a number of educational resources as part of its Code Implementation Support Program (CISP), which can be accessed on the Agency’s Anti-Doping Education and Learning Platform (ADEL). These resources include:
- A CISP Checklist – Implementing Revised List (available now)
- Athlete and Athlete Support Personnel (ASP) Factsheet on tramadol (to be available in November)
- Medical Professionals Factsheet on tramadol (to be available in November)
- Athlete and ASP Guide to the 2024 List (to be available in January 2024)
Languages and Formats
The 2024 Prohibited List; the 2024 Summary of Modifications and Explanatory Notes; and the 2024 Monitoring Program are available for download on WADA’s website in English and French with Spanish to follow in the coming weeks.
The List’s mobile-friendly digital edition will go live on 1 January 2024.
At a meeting of EFL Clubs today a comprehensive update was provided on the status of ongoing discussions between the EFL and Premier League.
A draft proposal from the Premier League was examined in full, as Clubs were given information on the structure of a potential future financial arrangement for them.
An appraisal of conditions linked to future funding including cost controls, distribution mechanics, the football calendar and the impact of the Government’s proposed Independent Football Regulator (IFR) as part of the Football Governance White Paper, was also provided to Clubs.
A representative of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport was in attendance to offer an update on the establishment of the IFR so that Clubs could consider all relevant matters together.
As several important issues are still to be resolved, it was made clear at the meeting that nothing has been agreed with either the Premier League or its Clubs. As such EFL Clubs were not required to vote or take a decision on any matter, but instead held a proactive debate on the current status of the discussions.
To maintain momentum, the League will now enter into targeted consultation with all EFL Clubs in smaller groups, to consider additional context and detail of the proposal. Club views will be collated to inform the discussions with the Premier League which have been ongoing throughout 2023, as we seek a speedy and satisfactory conclusion to improve the financial health of EFL Clubs.
The ever-expanding impact of the AFC Enhance Programme in bringing to life the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)’s Mission of providing dedicated services to maximise the potential of its members continued its strong momentum today after the AFC Development Committee for the 2023 to 2027 term approved several proposals at its first meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Led by Chairperson Yasser H. Almisehal, the Committee received a comprehensive update on the AFC Enhance Programme Regulations and approved the applications from the Qatar Football Association, the Lebanese Football Association, The Football Association of Thailand, Tajikistan Football Federation, Lao Football Federation, The Football Association of Hong Kong, China Limited as well as the AFC Enhance Programme – Extra-Time proposal from The Kyrgyz Football Union.
Most notably, the Committee was pleased to recognise the game-changing footprint of the AFC Enhance Programme in transforming the standards of Asian football with as many as 34 AFC Member Associations (MAs) poised to benefit from the breakthrough programme and close to USD20m in funding approved in 2023.
Likewise, members of the Committee were informed that 17 MAs have applied for the AFC Enhance Member Association Programme – Advantage, with another six MAs requesting assistance under the Extra-Time Programme.
Similarly, all five of the AFC’s Regional Associations have applied for the Enhance Programme, with more than USD2.1m in funding approved from 2021 till present.
Underlining the Confederation’s commitment towards enhancing the capabilities of Asia’s future football leaders, the landmark initiatives under the AFC Academic Centre of Excellence (ACE) was also hailed by the Committee.
Close to 250 participants have graduated from the groundbreaking AFC Football Management Certificate and AFC Football Management Diploma programmes since their inauguration in September 2021.
At the same time, the AFC ACE’s latest initiatives – the AFC Certificate in Football Leadership and the AFC Certificate in Child Safeguarding – have also been unanimously well received amongst the AFC’s MAs and RAs, and are similarly well positioned to strengthen the foundations of the larger Asian football ecosystem.
A Bristol Rovers first team coach, Andrew Mangan, has been fined £1,200, reprimanded and warned as to his future conduct by an independent Regulatory Commission for a breach of FA Rule E3.1 that happened at their EFL League One match against Plymouth Argyle on Saturday 22 October 2022.
The FA alleged that his language and/or behaviour towards a Plymouth Argyle staff member during half time of this match was abusive and/or insulting contrary to FA Rule E3.1. The FA further alleged that his actions also constitute an “aggravated breach”, which is defined in FA Rule E3.2, as they included reference, whether express or implied, to sexual orientation.
Andrew Mangan denied the charge against him and requested a personal hearing. The independent Regulatory Commission found the FA Rule E3.1 breach to be proven, but not the “aggravated breach” defined in FA Rule E3.2, and imposed these sanctions.
The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) is dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of integrity and fair play within the esports industry. In the interest of transparency and public confidence, we are issuing this statement to inform the public about a recent disciplinary action taken against a participant in an esports event.
Overview of the Case
During the a match played on 24th February, esports participant Flynn “Deluxe” Smith was alleged to have engaged in corrupt behavior, which contravened the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code. As part of our commitment to ensuring integrity in esports, ESIC initiated an investigation into the matter. Due to intervening factors, ESIC could not make a public statement on the matter until this point in time.
Investigation and Charges
Our comprehensive investigation into the matter involved examining match footage, reviewing betting patterns, and conducting interviews with relevant parties. While we must maintain confidentiality to protect the integrity of the investigation, we can share that the evidence collected pointed to Mr. Smith’s involvement in activities that contravened articles 2.1.1 and 2.1.2 of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code. These activities include improper influence on match outcomes and involvement in corrupt betting practices. The gathered information was subsequently presented to Mr. Smith in a Notice of Charge.
Resolution and Sanction
After reviewing the charges and evidence, Flynn “Deluxe” Smith accepted the charges and agreed to a plea bargain arrangement. Consequently, he is subject to a two-year ban from participating in any capacity in events organized by ESIC Members. The ban is effective from 4th April 2023 until midnight 3rd April 2025.
ESIC’s Commitment to Integrity
ESIC remains steadfast in our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of integrity in esports. We will continue to conduct investigations and impose sanctions when necessary to protect the integrity of the industry. We also encourage the esports community to actively participate in promoting fair play and integrity in esports.