Termination of football employment contracts without just cause: A review of Hakan Çalhanoglu v Trabzonspor FC

Published 17 February 2017 By: Lloyd Thomas

Image of Hakan Çalhanoğlu by Steindy (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Steindy)

On 2 February 2017, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”) issued a media release[1] in which it confirmed that it had upheld a decision of FIFA by which the football player, Hakan Çalhanoğlu[2] (the “Player”), was banned from playing for four months after breaching the terms of an employment contract that he had entered into with Trabzonspor FC.

While the CAS’s reasoned decision has yet to be released, the decision as set out in the media release is a useful case-study regarding the application of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (the “FIFA Regulations”) in respect of the termination of employment contracts without just cause.  This article reviews the case, looking at:

  • The factual background;
  • The proceedings before the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber;
  • The proceedings before the CAS; and
  • The consequences of the decision.


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Lloyd Thomas

Lloyd Thomas

Lloyd Thomas is an associate in Squire Patton Boggs’ Litigation department and is part of the Sports Law team based in its London office.

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