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The challenges of enforcing FIFA's rules on overdue payables: The Iranian cases of Esteghlal FC & Traktor Sazi FC

Football player in front of Iranian flag
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 By Amir Arsalan Eskandari

On 23 January 2015, FIFA issued Circular Letter no.1468[1] (Circular), implementing some additions and amendments to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) and the Rules Governing the Procedures of the Players' Status Committee (PSC) and the Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC).

The most important addition was Article 12bis (“Overdue payables”) to the RSTP. The article aimed to establish an efficient and effective mechanism for resolving overdue payables – i.e. “their financial obligations towards players and other clubs as per the terms stipulated in the contracts signed with their professional players and in the transfer agreements”.[2]

This article afforded the PSC and DRC more power over clubs which have overdue payables, including (importantly) the power to ban them from registering any new player national or international players for one or two entire and consecutive registration periods.[3]

The effects of the new Article 12bis have recently had interesting implications for two Iranian football clubs: Esteghlal FC and Traktor Sazi FC.[4] This article reviews the Esteghlal FC case[5] and looks briefly at the Traktor Sazi FC case. Specifically, it looks at:

  • Facts of the Esteghlal FC case

  • The start of the legal procedure: pre-action proceedings

  • Proceedings in the FIFA DRC

  • Failure to comply with the Order: Article 12bis in action

  • The Traktor Sazi FC case and author’s comment

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Amir Arsalan Eskandari

Amir Arsalan Eskandari

Amir Arsalan Eskandari is a sports law counsel in Iran and co-founder of a boutique sports law firm (Spoleg) in Iran. Spoleg is the first Iranian law firm with an exclusive focus on sports law which is operating at both national and international levels.

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