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Can player contracts be made conditional on passing a medical examination? Comparing the approaches in football and basketball

Basketball and football players
Tuesday, 21 January 2020 By Boaz Sity

This article was first published on the 31 October 2018 and last updated on 21 January 2020.

The medical examination of a professional player is a crucial aspect of any transfer process. It is customary for professional sports clubs to thoroughly examine the health of potential new players and engage them only if such medical examination does not reveal any pre-existing medical condition. Consequently, clubs in various sports tend to subject the validity of the contract to a successful medical examination.

This article reviews and analyzes the different approaches in football and basketball to medical examinations, focusing on the validity of a contract that is made subject to a successful medical examination.  Specifically, it looks at:

  • Why medical examinations are a crucial aspect of the transfer process
  • Football’s approach
    • FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players
    • The jurisprudence of FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Committee
    • The jurisprudence of the Court of Arbitration for Sport
    • Condition precedent requiring a medical examination in transfer or loan contracts
    • The player’s obligations during the medical examination and possible termination of the contract due to the player’s bad faith.
  • Basketball’s approach
    • FIBA's Statutes and Internal Regulations
    • General background on the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal
    • The jurisprudence of Basketball Arbitral Tribunal
    • Possible termination of the contract due to the player’s bad faith during the medical examination.
  • Conclusions and observations

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Written by

Boaz Sity

Boaz Sity

Boaz Sity is a Partner at Ron Gazit, Rotenberg & Co in Israel.

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