Six key lessons for clubs on the protection of minors from the FC Barcelona & Real Madrid appeals
It is been several months since the high profile cases involving FC Barcelona and Real Madrid and FIFA’s protection of minors regulations were decided by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). However, the recent publication of the CAS awards has provided much welcomed detail regarding the nature of the breaches and clubs can learn key lessons from both cases in order to avoid similar sanctions in the future.
By way of background, FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee sanctioned FC Barcelona and Real Madrid in 2014 and 2016 respectively for breaches relating to the international transfer and first registration of minor players as well as other relevant provisions. Both clubs were sanctioned with heavy fines and transfer bans for two transfer windows. Following unsuccessful appeals to FIFA’s Appeal Committee, both clubs appealed to CAS. FC Barcelona’s appeal was dismissed on 30 December 2014 and Real Madrid’s appeal was partially upheld on 20 December 2016.
Both awards can be accessed here (FC Barcelona) and here (Real Madrid).
This article reviews the decisions and reflects on six key lessons for clubs agents and players, namely:
- The prohibition under Article 19.1 and 19.3 FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (“RSTP”) applies to players of all ages;
- The importance of respecting the regulations;
- The risks of “organised football”;
- Do not register or integrate the player at the club before obtaining FIFA subcommittee approval;
- Ensure that players are registered with the national association; and
- Registration is not sufficient to comply with reporting requirements under Article 19bis RSTP.
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- Tags: Athlete Welfare | Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) | Employment | FIFA Appeal Committee | FIFA Disciplinary Committee | FIFA Transfer Matching System | Football | La Liga | Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) | Spanish Football Federation (RFEF)
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- FIFA rejects appeals of FC Barcelona and the Spanish FA in relation to transfers of minors
- Legal and regulatory considerations of minors in sport
- A review of the updates to FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players
John is a senior associate in the Sports Business Group at Lewis Silkin specialising in contentious, regulatory and disciplinary issues for clubs, agencies, governing bodies and athletes