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.
CAF and 23 Safeguarding officers from a number of African Member Associations attended the successful first edition of the FIFA Safeguarding Summit held at the FIFA Headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland where Africa.
The two-day summit took place between 25 – 26 October and also coincided with a graduation ceremony which saw all 23 of CAF’s Member Associations’ Safeguarding Officers graduating from the FIFA Safeguarding Sport Diploma – a 24-month programme designed to equip participants with the necessary skills and knowledge of safeguarding in football.
Since 2020, CAF has been on an extensive drive across the continent, conducting workshops with its 54 Member Associations to adequately capacitate its members in implementing CAF’s Safeguarding principles. This includes the appointment of CAF Safeguarding Officers in each of its Member Associations, coupled with regular engagement and workshops in ensuring that effective safeguarding measures are put in place.
The 23 nations that were present at the ceremony include Benin, Burundi, Botswana, Cameroon, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Guinee, Eswatini, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Tunisia, Zambia.
Congratulating the 23 African representatives who completed the course, CAF Director of Member Associations, Sarah Mukuna said this was an important step in the right direction of safeguarding football development and Africa was not being left behind.
“The significant rise of African football must be supported by such programmes, where we as the governing body of African football ensure that football is played, developed and enjoyed in a safe and secure environment. We look forward to seeing the continuous rollout of CAF’s Safeguarding measures and to ensure that players develop and enjoy playing football in a safe and secure environment” concluded Mukuna.
CAF’s Safeguarding Division’s primary mission is to champion the well-being of all individuals within the game including children, youth, women, and vulnerable adults by creating a safe environment that is free from harm, abuse, and exploitation, and constantly treated with respect and dignity.
Over the next few months, CAF will be working closely with the 23 graduates as well as other safeguarding officers in the Zonal Unions and Member Associations in ensuring that:
- CAF Safeguarding measures are effectively put in place at local, zonal and continental levels.
- Develop CAF Safeguarding policies and a toolkit to guide Member Associations in establishing their own safeguarding protocols.
- Create reporting mechanisms for addressing safeguarding concerns.
- Integrate safeguarding principles into coaching education programs across all coaching licenses (D, C, B, A, and PRO).
- Establishing partnerships and collaborative initiatives with sponsors and international organizations, utilizing training programs and social media platforms to raise awareness and address a wide range of relevant topics.
- Collaborate with football legends to inspire and mentor younger generations.
Adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee suspends former youth coach for 20 years for sexual abuse
The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has banned Mr Jonathan Bukabakwa, former youth coach at clubs of the Urban Football Agreement of the regions of Lipopo and Malebo in Congo DR, from all football-related activities for 20 years, after having found him guilty of sexually abusing a minor football player. In addition, the adjudicatory chamber imposed a fine amounting to CHF 100,000 on Mr Bukabakwa.
This case arose following serious allegations related to the sexual abuse of minors in the Congo DR Football Association (FECOFA) that were made on several media platforms. In particular, various football coaches of different regions and leagues in Congo DR were accused of having abused minor players, leading to Mr Bukabakwa being provisionally suspended for a period of five months earlier this year.
In deciding this case, the adjudicatory chamber took into account the evidence collected during the investigations and was comfortably satisfied that Mr Bukabakwa had breached article 24 (Protection of physical and mental integrity) of the Code of Ethics. The terms of the decision were notified to Mr Bukabakwa today, the date on which the ban comes into force, and will be followed by the notification of the grounds within the next 60 days in accordance with the FIFA Code of Ethics.
The decision taken by the adjudicatory chamber is in line with FIFA’s zero tolerance approach to all forms of abuse in football. World football’s governing body has regularly updated its regulatory framework in recent years to provide greater protection to victims of discrimination and sexual abuse or harassment.
FIFA also provides a confidential, dedicated, highly secure and web-based whistleblowing system so that individuals can report any safeguarding concerns.
All-time high of 18,353 cases, applications and enquiries received
The Football Tribunal is part of FIFA’s ongoing commitment towards modernising the football regulatory framework and the FIFA dispute resolution system
Report highlights a series of landmark achievements and regulatory changes
FIFA has today published the second edition of the Football Tribunal Report, which covers the period from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023.
The report provides a comprehensive overview of the Football Tribunal’s activities as well as those of the FIFA Players’ Status Department, which is part of the FIFA Legal & Compliance Division and acts as a secretariat to the Football Tribunal. During the period in question, the department received a record number of 18,353 cases, applications and enquiries, compared to 14,540 in the 2021/2022 period, with 2022/2023 representing a new all-time high for the Players’ Status Department.
The Football Tribunal, which is composed of three chambers: the Players’ Status Chamber, the Dispute Resolution Chamber and the Agents Chamber, was implemented on 1 October 2021 to consolidate the existing FIFA decision-making bodies into a single umbrella body.
As Emilio Garcia Silvero, FIFA Chief Legal and Compliance officer has iterated: “FIFA will continue to modernise its regulatory framework and dispute resolution system in line with its vision for 2020-2023 in order to further facilitate and streamline all proceedings before the decision making and judicial bodies, while maintaining the highest level of quality, transparency and traceability for all football stakeholders.”
In this context, since 1 May 2023, all proceedings before the Football Tribunal outside the FIFA Transfer Matching system are exclusively initiated and conducted through the FIFA Legal Portal which was launched a year earlier. The portal is a modern online platform that enables football stakeholders and legal representatives to lodge a claim and follow the relevant proceedings before the Football Tribunal in a fully digital, user-friendly environment.
Circular no. 1856 - Anti-discrimination measures for the preliminary competition of the FIFA World Cup 2026™
TO THE MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS OF FIFA
Circular no. 1856
Zurich, 1 September 2023
Anti-discrimination measures for the preliminary competition of the FIFA World Cup 2026™
Dear Sir or Madam,
Below you will find information regarding the anti-discrimination measures that apply for all qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup 2026™, and that require your active support, especially as a home member association. The information is structured as follows:
I. Procedure for discriminatory incidents (including the three-step procedure for referees)
II. Anti-discrimination monitoring system
III. Recommendations to support preventive measures of the participating member associations
We kindly ask you to carefully read the following instructions and inform the relevant departments in your association accordingly in order to ensure a diverse and discrimination-free competition.
I. Procedure for discriminatory incidents (including the three-step procedure for referees)
A. Safety and security measures
In general, the security personnel responsible for home matches must be informed of the measures in place to ensure respect for diversity and anti-discrimination. These could be instructions or discussions with spectators, as well as the removal of discriminatory banners and other items or of spectators from the stadium. We recommend the Fare network’s Global Guide to Discriminatory Practices in Football as a useful aid to identifying discriminatory behaviour: https://farenet.org/global-guide-to-discriminatory-practices-in-football.
B. Proactive pre-match stadium announcement
For the purpose of informing spectators, a stadium announcement text is available on the FIFA Competitions extranet which shall be read or broadcast as preventive measure before each match. The home association is responsible for ensuring implementation in the relevant languages.
C. Reactive stadium announcement without interrupting the match
FIFA provides you with a stadium announcement text on the FIFA Competitions extranet, which allows you to respond directly to discriminatory incidents during a match in the stadium (based on article 4 of the FIFA Statutes and article 15 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code), without interrupting the match. The fourth official informs the referee after every stadium announcement in response to an incident. The home association is responsible for ensuring implementation in the relevant languages.
In addition, FIFA also welcomes the use of your own event-related announcements or video clips responding to discriminatory incidents.
D. Three-step procedure
If the above measures are unsuccessful or if a sudden serious discriminatory incident occurs, the three-step procedure for referees will be applied, which FIFA has used for all its tournaments since the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017. The home association is responsible for providing the referee with operational support.
Following the three-step procedure, referees can, in the event of serious discriminatory incidents in the stadium:
1. stop the match (followed by a stadium announcement with the necessary explanation and request for the discriminatory incident to stop);
2. suspend the match by sending the players back to the changing room for an appropriate period of time (followed by a stadium announcement with the necessary explanation and request for the discriminatory incident to stop);
3. abandon the match (followed by a stadium announcement with the necessary explanation and request to leave the stadium in accordance with the instructions of the security personnel).
The detailed description of the steps in the three-step procedure and the operational responsibility of the home association can be found on the FIFA Competitions extranet.
The home association is responsible for ensuring implementation with regards to the involvement of their relevant functional areas and the display of stadium announcement in the relevant languages.
II. Anti-discrimination monitoring system
Based on the resolution of the 63rd FIFA Congress on the fight against racism and discrimination and the experiences of FIFA and the Fare network between 2015 and 2023 the anti-discrimination monitoring system became a robust and reliable tool to identify discriminatory incidents following article 4 of the FIFA Statutes and article 15 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code. It supports disciplinary procedures through match reports including evidence material of possible discriminatory incidents. The anti-discrimination monitoring system will again be in place for the FIFA World Cup 2026™ preliminary competition (hereinafter “qualifiers”) and selected friendly matches.
The anti-discrimination monitoring system comprises:
1. assessment of all qualifying matches to identify risk matches in relation to possible discriminatory incidents;
2. deployment of anti-discrimination match observer/s (hereinafter: “observer”) at high risk matches in relation to possible discriminatory incidents;
3. match observation and reporting (including evidence material) to support the secretariat of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.
B.1 Risk assessment
Identifying risk matches involves all forms of discrimination as mentioned in the FIFA Statutes and the FIFA Disciplinary Code, and includes the following match-specific evaluation criteria:
• previous discriminatory incidents at or after matches involving the participating teams/associations; 4
• known far-right and other xenophobic groups, including their football-related activities and supporter links in the countries of the participating teams/associations;
• tendency to commit acts of homophobia, other forms of LGBTQI+phobia or overt sexist abuse based on traditional chants or previous history;
• the historical context of the participating teams/associations in terms of tension or even violence (including in relation to specific sensitive events or days);
• troublesome relationships between the participating teams’/associations’ countries;
• any religious tension relating to the national identities of the participating teams/associations;
• current geopolitical crises in the countries of the participating teams/associations and in their region that could affect the spectators’ attitude;
• possible crowd dynamics during the match;
• the importance of the match in the context of the competition and the dynamics that could result from it.
Based on the risk assessment, all qualifiers and selected friendlies will be classified as follows:
• GREEN : for matches with a low risk of discriminatory incidents. No observer will be appointed.
• YELLOW : for matches with a medium risk of discriminatory incidents and for which media monitoring and other measures may be necessary. After submitting the risk assessment, FIFA and its service provider Fare network will continue to assess the temporary dynamics of yellow matches until match day and may change a yellow match into a red match. Otherwise, no observer will be appointed.
• RED : for matches with a high probability of discriminatory incidents and for which observers will be appointed.
B.2 Deployment of anti-discrimination match observers
An observer is appointed for each red match by the Fare network, except for those red matches where additional risk factors are in play and require the appointment of two observers. Fare network relies on a pool of trained observers, who are anti-discrimination experts assigned to specific regions and:
• understand the language including idiosyncrasies of the country/team they are appointed to observe;
• know the symbols and codes used in the country/local environment/fan culture;
• know the fan culture of the country/team/local environment;
• have an understanding of any wider social and (geo-)political issues at play
• have an understanding of the specific context of the words, expressions and chants used in the football context of the given country;
• are aware of article 4 of the FIFA Statutes and other relevant FIFA regulations;
• sign a code of conduct to guarantee their neutrality.
Fare network will submit the list of observers to FIFA aligned with the beginning of the regional qualifiers in the respective confederations and provide regular updates to that list. Fare network will store the confirmation that each observer has signed their code of conduct and completed the observer training.
Observers will work anonymously at matches to protect their identity for reasons of personal safety. Each observer is given a number by Fare network which will appear on the antidiscrimination match reports to identify him/her at a particular match. Their identity will only be shared with FIFA’s judicial bodies and/or CAS if required and if significant to the case. The identity of observers will not be disclosed to respondents or other parties to hearings (member associations etc.) and their representatives.
B.3 Delivery of match observation and reporting
The observer/s conduct/s pre-match research identifying potential pre-planned discriminatory displays by both teams’ followers. At the match itself, each observer shall observe and record evidence of any discriminatory incidents in the stadium or its immediate vicinity.
If discriminatory incidents are witnessed by an observer, he/she shall submit a special match report – written in English – to the Fare network after the match. This anti-discrimination match report shall describe the discriminatory incident(s) witnessed, specifying:
• where in the stadium (or in its immediate vicinity) the incident(s) took place;
• the exact time the incident(s) took place;
• which team the spectator/s causing the incident(s) was/were supporting;
• approximately how many spectators were involved.
The Fare network shall ensure that the anti-discrimination match report meets the following requirements:
• The report is submitted in English using the standard reporting form, and the observer has answered all questions on the form.
• If the incident contains any wording, this wording should be quoted in the original language used by the spectators as well as translated into English.
• The report documents the facts accurately and consistently, giving as full a picture as possible of the incidents.
• All reported incidents are supported by documentary evidence (such as photographs, videos or audio recordings).
• The report includes the observer’s number and the date of submission.
The Fare network shall correct any grammatical and formal errors.
Anti-discrimination match reports are not regarded as FIFA match officials’ reports within the meaning of art. 40 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
C. Disciplinary procedure
Immediately after reviewing the anti-discrimination match report, the secretariat of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee may request the FIFA Human Rights & Anti-Discrimination Department to provide an additional internal memo to provide background and additional information on a reported incident if it is deemed relevant.
Thereafter, the chair of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee will be responsible for deciding whether or not to open proceedings on the basis of the anti-discrimination match report, the FIFA Match Commissioner’s report, other evidence provided by third parties.
III. Recommendations to support preventive measures of the participating member associations
FIFA relies on the support of all participating member associations and their teams to ensure a discrimination-free environment during the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. For preventive preparation, see the FIFA Good Practice Guide on Diversity and Anti-Discrimination (circular no. 1632) for detailed guidance on your diversity and anti-discrimination work and examples of actions and initiatives:
We would like to thank you in advance for your support in the fight against discrimination during the qualifying matches of the FIFA World Cup 2026™ and in football around the world.
DE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
TO THE MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS OF FIFA
Circular no. 1855
Zurich, 28 August 2023
Lifting of the suspension of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL)
Dear Sir or Madam,
We would like to inform you that, based on the decision taken by the Bureau of the FIFA Council on 27 August 2023, the suspension of the FFSL has been lifted with immediate effect.
In view of the above, all of the FFSL’s membership rights as defined in article 13 of the FIFA Statutes have been reinstated with immediate effect. Consequently, the FFSL’s representative and club teams are again entitled to take part in international competitions. This also means that FFSL members and officials may benefit from development programmes, courses and training provided by FIFA and/or the AFC. Moreover, FIFA member associations may again enter into sporting contact with the FFSL and/or its teams.
Thank you for taking note of the above.
As part of its ongoing efforts to enhance its anti-doping and integrity initiatives, Concacaf is collaborating with FIFA to intensify its anti-doping efforts within the Confederation’s competitions.
In addition to educational programs, the frequency and volume of testing has increased in 2023 compared to previous years and can be expected to continue to grow in 2024.
2023 has already seen Concacaf implement a new program of doping controls at various major international and club tournaments, including the recently completed 2022-23 Concacaf Nations League Finals, 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup and the 2023 Concacaf Central American Cup, which is currently underway. The 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League and future competitions will also include these new anti-doping provisions.
“Working hand in hand with FIFA, we continue to expand the Confederation's anti-doping program and prioritize integrity and fair play in our game,” said Concacaf Director of Competitions Carlos Fernandez.
“Our joint efforts, including education programs for players and staff and additional testing before and during tournaments, will contribute to Concacaf football's ongoing growth, professionalism, and success.” concluded Fernandez.
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee opens disciplinary proceedings against Luis Rubiales, President of the Spanish FA
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee informed Luis Rubiales, President of the Spanish Football Association, today that it is opening disciplinary proceedings against him based on the events that occurred during the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ on 20 August 2023.
The events may constitute violations of article 13 paragraphs 1 and 2 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee will only provide further information on these disciplinary proceedings once it has issued a final decision on the matter.
FIFA reiterates its unwavering commitment to respecting the integrity of all individuals and strongly condemns any behaviour to the contrary.
Gianni Infantino has said that the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™ has transformed the face of women's football and appealed to governments, member associations, broadcasters and media to help keep the momentum going towards equality once the tournament ends on Sunday.
Speaking at the opening of the Second FIFA Women's Football Convention in Sydney, the FIFA President thanked Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand for co-hosting "simply the best and greatest and biggest FIFA Women's World Cup ever".
"This FIFA Women's World Cup has been truly transformational, not only in Australia and New Zealand but all over the world," he said. "In the host countries, we had almost two million spectators in the stadiums -- full houses everywhere -- and two billion watching all over the world --- and not just watching their own country but watching the World Cup, because it’s an event [where] I don’t just watch my team . It's great sport, it's entertaining and people love it."
"We have to thank and congratulate Australia and New Zealand because without them this would not have been as magical."
Australia’s Minister for Sport Anika Wells echoed the FIFA President’s comment. “While this is almost the end for this [FIFA] Women’s World Cup, it is only the start of a new era for sport in Australia. The sleeping giant has awoken,” she said. “In Australia, this FIFA Women’s World Cup has not just changed women’s football; it has changed women’s sport. Australia is now a football country.
“I want to thank FIFA for what you have done to accelerate the pursuit of gender equality in our country.”
The FIFA President said there was still much to do and urged FIFA’s partners to contribute. "We need everyone. We need the UN agencies, who have been very helpful to us in this World Cup, participating with us. We need the governments, we need the institutions, to create dedicated spaces for women, and for women’s sport and women’s football in particular, of course. We need the partners, the sponsors to pay a fair price. We need the media,” Mr Infantino said.
He asked broadcasters “to pay a fair price for women's football, not just for the (FIFA Women’s) World Cup, but for women's football in general, in all the countries, all the leagues, in all the competitions”.
The FIFA President urged FIFA's member associations to ensure that they organise women’s leagues, pointing out that some of the players who had starred at the tournament would not have any competitive football to go home to.
"(Female players) cannot all go to play in a few clubs in Europe or the USA. We need in the next four years to create the conditions for them to be able to play at professional level at home and this is the biggest challenge we have to take on board," he said.
Mr Infantino added that the tournament's success had supported the decision to enlarge the tournament from 24 to 32 teams. "FIFA was right," he said. "By increasing number of teams, we had eight debutants, we had many countries who suddenly realised they had a chance to participate. Now, everyone has a chance to shine on the global stage."
The tournament had showed that standards were rising while the tournament had generated USD 570 million, allowing it to break even, he said.
In concluding, the FIFA President also appealed to the assembled audience to act at all levels: "We have to start treating women and men in the same way. I say to all the women that you have the power to change. With FIFA, you will find open doors, just push the doors, they are open. And do it at national level in every country, at continental level in every confederation, just keep pushing, keep the momentum going, keep dreaming and let’s really go for a full equality."
Tender process opens in Australia for media rights to the FIFA World Cup 2026™ and FIFA Women’s World Cup 2027™
FIFA has launched two separate invitations to tender (ITT) in Australia today for the media rights to the FIFA World Cup 26™ and FIFA Women’s World Cup 2027™. The respective tenders also allow for the opportunity to bid for the FIFA World Cup 2030™ and FIFA Women’s World Cup 2031™. The FIFA World Cup 2026™ will be the 23rd edition of the competition and will be jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico and the USA. With iconic venues, passionate supporters and a wealth of experience in delivering world-class entertainment events, the host nations will provide an unrivalled platform to celebrate the game and its ability to connect and inspire people around the world.
The new-look tournament will be the biggest FIFA World Cup™ ever, with a total of 104 matches spread over an extended competition window of five-and-a-half weeks. It will also be the first to feature 48 teams, thereby offering nations a greater chance to qualify than ever before. At least eight AFC teams will participate at the finals, with the potential for another AFC team to qualify through the FIFA intercontinental play-off tournament. Australia’s Socceroos have qualified for every FIFA World Cup since 2006 and enjoyed their joint best performance ever in 2022, reaching the knockout stage before being eliminated by eventual winners Argentina.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ is currently taking place in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, with the final set to be played on Sunday, 20 August at Stadium Australia in Sydney/Wangal. The expanded 32-team tournament has been a resounding success, with exciting matches and unexpected results demonstrating the increasing competitiveness of women’s football globally. The tournament has generated unprecedented support from fans across the host nations, with record attendances and over 1.7 million tickets sold. Australia’s Matildas have shown their prowess and won the hearts of the nation, leading to record match audiences for local broadcasters. The bidding process for the 2027 edition of the tournament is already underway, with the host(s) expected to be announced in May 2024.
The tender processes will allow FIFA to select those entities who are best placed to secure the required transmission and production commitments to achieve FIFA’s objectives of reaching the widest possible audience whilst providing a high-quality viewing experience for fans.
Entities wishing to participate in either or both of the tender processes can request the ITTs by emailing
The bid submission deadline in each case is 10:00 (CEST) on Tuesday, 19 September 2023.
Through the sale of media rights for its football tournaments, FIFA generates income that is essential to support and develop the game worldwide, including through the FIFA Forward Programme.
FIFA representatives attend meeting of Council of Europe’s Monitoring Group of Anti-Doping Convention (T-DO)
FIFA outlined scaled-up efforts to keep football clean and fair
Importance of education at youth level to influence future generations of players also highlighted
FIFA reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to fair play and the integrity of football as a member of the Council of Europe’s Monitoring Group of the Anti-Doping Convention (T-DO) at the body’s latest gathering in Strasbourg, France.
Delegates at the two-day meeting heard from Alexis Weber, FIFA’s Head of Anti-Doping, and Annaliza Tsakona, FIFA’s Senior International Relations & Public Affairs Manager, about how FIFA has stepped up its efforts to ensure that its competitions remain fair.
“FIFA would like to reiterate its commitment to continuing our close collaboration with the Council of Europe – under the memorandum of understanding signed in 2018 – as well as with governments and political institutions around the globe,” Ms Tsakona told attendees, consisting of representatives of the Council of Europe and Council of Europe member states, parties to the Anti-Doping Convention and observers from international sports federations.
“It is through collaborative efforts that we can effectively address challenges jeopardising the principles of fair play, integrity and clean competition. Such cooperation has the potential to catalyse positive societal change, extending its impact beyond the sporting arena,” Ms Tsakona added.
FIFA's representatives outlined the organisation's anti-doping operations at the FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar late last year. The T-DO, which plays an important role in coordinating the implementation and harmonisation of anti-doping programmes across EU member states, also heard about the enhanced anti-doping policy put in place at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™. As the centrepiece of the most comprehensive measures ever implemented at a FIFA Women’s World Cup™, 30% more tests were conducted than at the previous edition in France in 2019.
FIFA is also taking an active role in trying to ensure that anti-doping is a part of a player’s mindset long before they reach elite level. After Ms Tsakona had stressed the importance of education and whistle-blowing, FIFA’s anti-doping e-learning platform was then presented. It is tailored to three distinct target groups: youth players, professional players and player support staff.
The T-DO was then given an overview of the robust anti-doping programme that has been put in place for the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2023™ in Indonesia with the aim of instilling ethical values and the concept of fair competition in players from an early age.
Former Spanish Football Association president Luis Rubiales is banned from all football-related activities for three years
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.
This case relates to the events that occurred during the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ on 20 August 2023, for which Mr Rubiales had been provisionally suspended for an initial period of 90 days.
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.
TO THE MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS OF FIFA
Circular no. 1863
Zurich, 24 October 2023
FIFA Football Law Annual Review - 2024
Dear Sir or Madam,
FIFA is pleased to announce that the sixth edition of the FIFA Football Law Annual Review will be held in Tokyo, Japan, on 1 and 2 February 2024. Please register online HERE - registration is free of charge and the event will be conducted entirely in English with simultaneous interpreting into French, Japanese and Spanish.
To make this event accessible to all 211 FIFA member associations, it will also be streamed live free of charge on FIFA.com, again with simultaneous interpreting into French, Japanese and Spanish. No registration is required to follow the event online. Moreover, full audio and video recordings will be made available on FIFA.com after the event. You will find more information in the attached programme.
We thank you for your kind attention and hope you can join us either in Tokyo or online.
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
Publication includes latest regulations, statutory documents and circulars
Full document available on legal.fifa.com
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.
FIFA and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have reinforced their joint-commitment to kicking crime out of football by renewing their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.
Signed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly while both are in New York alongside the world leaders and influential global figures gathered at the United Nations (UN), the MoU commits both parties to stepping up their efforts to protect the integrity of the game.
Equally, safeguarding forms part of the MoU as it has become a core aspect of the joint-cooperation, and FIFA and UNODC will continue to work to ensure the football environment is protected for children, young adults, and vulnerable athletes, while also developing capacities and raise awareness of tackling corruption and crime in and through football. Additionally, both parties agreed to support the development of a new UNODC global network aimed at enhancing collaboration and coordination between law enforcement anti-corruption authorities and sports organisations.
"Football unites people from all corners of the world – young and old, boys and girls. It can promote healthy lifestyles, provide new opportunities, and inspire millions to achieve their goals both on and off the pitch,” said Ms Waly.
“I am proud that UNODC and FIFA are renewing our commitment to ensure fair play for all and to defend football’s integrity for the millions of fans worldwide, the players, and the next generations still to come. With this new Memorandum of Understanding, we’re striving to put an end to match-fixing, bribery, and corruption, to preserve the game’s beauty for all," stated Ms Waly.
Mr Infantino said: “Through the renewal of this Memorandum of Understanding, I am pleased that UNODC and FIFA have reinforced our joint commitment to kicking crime out of football, and that both organisations remain committed to ensuring fair play and to defending football’s integrity.
“FIFA has already done a lot of good work with the UNODC in making football cleaner and we will continue to work towards giving girls and boys around the world the chance to fulfil their dreams on the pitch.”
FIFA has confirmed the worldwide extension of sanctions imposed on 11 players by the Brazilian Football Association (CBF) relating to incidents of match manipulation that took place in Brazilian football.
Following investigations by the Brazilian authorities and the disciplinary proceedings opened by the CBF, the following players have been banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity:
Ygor de Oliveira Ferreira (lifetime ban)
Paulo Sérgio Marques Corrêa (600 days as of 26 May 2023)
Gabriel Ferreira Neris (lifetime ban)
Jonathan Doin (720 days as of 16 May 2023)
Fernando José da Cunha Neto (360 days as of 16 May 2023)
Eduardo Gabriel dos Santos Bauermann (360 days as of 16 May 2023)
Matheus Phillipe Coutinho (lifetime ban)
Mateus da Silva Duarte (600 days as of 26 May 2023)
André Luiz Guimarães Siqueira Junior (600 days as of 26 May 2023)
Onitlasi Junior Moraes (720 days as of 16 May 2023)
Kevin Joel Lomónaco (360 days as of 16 May 2023)
As a result of the sound and exemplary cooperation with the CBF and in line with article 70 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided to extend all of the above-mentioned sanctions to have worldwide effect.
FIFA will continue its ongoing efforts to combat match manipulation through a variety of initiatives, which include the monitoring of international betting markets, the confidential FIFA Reporting Portal, the FIFA Integrity app, as well as several awareness and educational activities across the world.
FIFA and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are hoping to expand their existing partnership to cover climate change and gender equality in the future. The two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Bangkok, in November 2019, where they committed to join forces to leverage football as a catalyst for social development and healthy lifestyles in the region, and are now looking to extend it beyond 2024.
During the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Sports (SOMS-14), held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, FIFA Regional Director Asia & Oceania Sanjeevan Balasingam outlined the main achievements since 2019 and also the new areas that could be incorporated when the MoU comes up for renewal.
"In today's world, which is so divided, football unites the world. In this amazing region, it is extremely important for FIFA, as football's governing body, to work closely with ASEAN to ensure that football is a tool for unity," Mr Balasingam told the meeting. "Also, as a person from the region, the cause is close to my heart and FIFA looks to continue this strong collaboration with ASEAN."
Dr. Niwat Limsuknirun, Chair of SOMS-14, said: “I personally think that it could be beneficial to prioritise discussions on gender equality and climate change for inclusion in the next phase of ASEAN-FIFA MoU.
"This is particularly relevant for the ASEAN Sports Community and presents an opportunity to address global concerns. We will consult the relevant parties to seek advice regarding the possible renewal of the MOU and the expected new priorities,” added Dr Limsuknirum, who is Director General of the Department of Physical Education of Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
Education has been one of the key areas of co-operation and nine of the 10 ASEAN member states - Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam - have signed up, or are in the process of signing up, for FIFA's Football For Schools program.
So far, 1,780,544 children have enrolled in the programme in ASEAN member states and 82,240 footballs have been distributed. From 2024 onwards, FIFA hopes that all 10 member states will be involved.
Health has been another focus. During the pandemic, FIFA and ASEAN collaborated on COVID-19 awareness-raising campaigns and the #FiveSteps programme which provided practical tips for citizens of ASEAN countries to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Meanwhile, the #BeActive campaign has promoted healthy lifestyles for all.
Sports integrity has been promoted, particularly anti-match manipulation where the translation of the FIFA Integrity e-Learning Tutorial into ASEAN languages (Malay, Khmer, Indonesian, Lao, Burmese, Thai and Vietnamese) has enhanced learning opportunities across the region.
For the renewal of the MoU, FIFA hopes to build on the success of the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ and have a gender equality as a new area on its own.
FIFA would also like to join forces with ASEAN to take proactive measures to mitigate the impact of climate change through football. Measures would include raising awareness on climate change, a focus on climate-proof sport infrastructure and climate resilient football development.
The FIFA U17 World Cup 2023™ will be hosted in the ASEAN region when it takes place in Indonesia in November and December, and a workshop will be organised on the sidelines of the tournament with the framework of the MoU. The workshop will cover safe sport, the promotion of sport integrity, stadium safety and security plus updates on Football For Schools.
The chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, Jorge Ivan Palacio (Colombia), in use of the powers granted by article 51 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC), has decided today to provisionally suspend Mr. Luis Rubiales from all football-related activities at national and international level. This suspension, which will be effective as of today, is for an initial period of 90 days, pending the disciplinary proceedings opened against Mr. Luis Rubiales on Thursday, August 24.
Likewise, the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee and in order to preserve, among other factors, the fundamental rights of the national soccer team player Ms. Jennifer Hermoso and the good order of the disciplinary proceedings before this disciplinary body, has issued two additional directives (article 7 FDC) by which he orders Mr. Luis Rubiales to refrain, through himself or third parties, from contacting or attempting to contact the professional player of the Spanish national football team Ms. Jennifer Hermoso or her close environment. Likewise, the RFEF and its officials or employees, directly or through third parties, are ordered to refrain from contacting the professional player of the Spanish national team Ms. Jennifer Hermoso and her close environment.
The decision adopted by the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has been communicated today to Mr. Luis Rubiales, the RFEF and UEFA for due compliance.
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee will not provide any further information on these disciplinary proceedings until a final decision has been taken.
FIFA reiterates its absolute commitment to respect the integrity of all persons and therefore condemns with the utmost vigour any behaviour to the contrary.
TO THE MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS OF FIFA
Circular no. 1854
Zurich, 24 August 2023
FIFA Women’s Football Member Associations Survey Report 2023
Dear Sir or Madam,
As part of The Vision 2020-2023, FIFA is working hand in hand with its member associations to further accelerate the growth of women’s football on and off the pitch.
In order to measure the progress of women’s football around the world, by means of circular no. 1832 dated 31 January 2023 FIFA invited all member associations to complete a survey on their women’s football landscape and provide information across different areas.
As a result of this process, FIFA is pleased to share with you the enclosed FIFA Women’s Football Member Associations Survey Report 2023. By getting access to and analysing the data of women's football globally, FIFA, the confederations, the member associations and the football stakeholders will be more equipped to make informed decisions on how to further accelerate the growth of the women's game and achieve the goals set within the FIFA Women's Football Strategy launched in 2018.
If you have any questions regarding the report, please do not hesitate to contact Marina Radulovic of the Women’s Football Division at
We look forward to keep working with you to further accelerate the growth of women’s football all over the globe.
DE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
In line with its commitment to improving the fan experience by harnessing technology and innovating in the digital and TV space, FIFA has invested in remote live production, cutting-edge data-driven insights and captivating behind-the-scenes content at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™.
“Innovation and sustainable technology are to the fore when it comes to our broadcast delivery at the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino during a tour of the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Sydney.
“The IBC is the centre for video content from all venues in Australia and New Zealand, and for all 64 matches, we have been setting new standards in sports broadcasting thanks to our fully remote live match and non-live production,” the FIFA President added. “This innovation is a step forward from the men's FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and something new to sports on such a scale. This is also a new, more sustainable technological approach which has helped deliver the FIFA Women's World Cup to a global audience.”
In order to bridge the gap between analytics and entertainment and to improve the viewing experience for fans, FIFA has also engaged the concept of “datatainment", which seamlessly integrates advanced analytics with real-time graphics based on the official optical tracking data at each FIFA Women’s World Cup™ stadium. As an overlay on live feeds, “datatainment” provides fans with unparalleled insight and enjoyment, with several Media Rights Licensees having taken advantage of the technology during the tournament.
“Football is more than just a game; it's a passion that connects millions of fans worldwide. Together with our partners, we are redefining the fan experience by leveraging the power of data and technology to integrate analytics into an entertainment package, as well as offering fans new ways of consuming football through social media,” said FIFA’s Chief Business Officer, Romy Gai.
Responding to the growing trend in consuming candid, backstage moments, the tournament in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand has also seen digital-first coverage of every game. Captured in vertical video formats and from a unique perspective, the content allows fans following FIFA’s pages on social media to experience the raw emotion of players and fans filter-free. Such clips have also been distributed to broadcasters and tailored for their social media accounts, thereby providing unique coverage of the competition globally.
“Thanks to the collaboration with the participating teams we have access to exclusive content behind the scenes – on the pitch or in the locker room after the match, players have shown their willingness to produce unique content at the peak of their emotions in cooperation with our media rights licensees. We are thrilled to have used this ground-breaking tournament to bring these concepts to life and allow fans all over the world to further experience and share their excitement for the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” added Mr Gai.
Most comprehensive programme ever implemented in competition’s history
All 835 tests conducted in and out of competition by FIFA yield negative results
More than 25% increase in tests per team compared to France 2019
FIFA has implemented the most comprehensive FIFA Women’s World Cup™ anti-doping programme ever, with the 835 in- and out-of-competition tests conducted up to and including the quarter-finals yielding negative results.
Every participating team was tested in unannounced doping controls before the competition and further systematic tests have also been performed during the event, with post-match controls as well as tests on non-matchdays for the teams. With the aim of ensuring the most meaningful and intelligence-based programme, all tests were targeted based on key criteria, including recommendations from FIFA’s Athlete Passport Management Unit, potential injuries suffered by the players, performance data and the players’ testing history.
The testing programme has been implemented in coordination with Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) and Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ), with FIFA’s Athlete Passport Management Unit, composed of independent experts, reviewing player data to detect potential deviations that may indicate the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs.
The breakdown of test figures from the lead-up to and during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ is as follows:
835 tests conducted directly by FIFA – 449 pre-tournament and 386 during the tournament (up to and including the quarter-finals); additional tests implemented by national anti-doping organisations and the confederations in 2023
1,711 samples produced in the tests conducted by FIFA (824 urine, 415 blood, 409 blood passport and 63 dried blood spot samples)
More than 25% increase in tests conducted per participating team in comparison to the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™
All 32 participating teams were tested in advance of the tournament
All samples collected were analysed at WADA-accredited laboratories, with most of the analyses carried out at the laboratory in Sydney, Australia.