Editor’s note: Josep F. Vandellos Alamilla is an
international sports lawyer and academic based in Valencia (Spain) and a member
of the Editorial Board of the publication Football Legal. Since 2017 he is the
Director of the Global Master in Sports
Management and Legal Skills FC Barcelona – ISDE.
I think we would all agree that the reputation of
players’ agents, nowadays called intermediaries, has never been a good one for
plenty of reasons. But the truth is their presence in the football industry is
much needed and probably most of the transfers would never take place if these
outcast members of the self-proclaimed football
family were not there to ensure a fluid and smooth communication between all
For us, sports lawyers, intermediaries are also
important clients as they often need our advice to structure the deals in which
they take part. One of the most recurrent situations faced by intermediaries and
agents operating off-the-radar (i.e. not registered in any football association
member of FIFA) is the risk of entering in a so-called multiparty or dual representation
and the potential risks associated with such a situation.
The representation of the interests of multiple
parties in football intermediation can take place for instance when the agent represents
the selling club, the buying club and/or the player in the same transfer, or when
the agent is remunerated by multiple parties, and in general when the agent incurs
the risk of jeopardizing the trust deposited upon him/her by the principal. The
situations are multiple and can manifest in different manners.
This article will briefly outline the regulatory
framework regarding multiparty representation applicable to registered
intermediaries. It will then focus on provisions of Swiss law and the
identification of the limits of dual representation in the light of the CAS
jurisprudence and some relevant decisions of the Swiss Federal Tribunal.More...
Editor's note: This report compiles all relevant news, events and materials on International and European Sports Law based on the daily coverage provided on our twitter feed @Sportslaw_asser.
ISLJ Annual Conference on International Sports Law
On 26 and 27 October 2017, the T.M.C. Asser Institute in The Hague will host the first ever ISLJ Annual International Sports Law Conference. This year's edition will feature panels on the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the world anti-doping system, the FIFA transfer regulations, human rights and sports, the labour rights of athletes, and EU law and sport. We will also welcome the following distinguished keynote speakers:
- Miguel Maduro, former Advocate General at the European Court of Justice and former head of the FIFA's Governance Committee;
- Michael Beloff QC, English barrister known as one of the 'Godfathers' of sports law;
- Stephen Weatherill, Professor at Oxford University and a scholarly authority on EU law and sport;
- Richard McLaren, CAS Arbitrator, sports law scholar and former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency's investigation into the Russian doping scandal.
You will find all the necessary information related to the conference here. Do not forget to register as soon as possible if you want to secure a place on the international sports law pitch! [Please note that we have a limited amount of seats available, which will be attributed on a 'first come, first served' basis.] More...
Tomáš Grell holds an LL.M.
in Public International Law from Leiden University. He contributes to
the work of the ASSER International Sports Law Centre as a research
Concerns about adverse
human rights impacts related to FIFA's activities have intensified ever since its
late 2010 decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cup to Russia and Qatar
respectively. However, until recently, the world's governing body of football
had done little to eliminate these concerns, thereby encouraging human rights
advocates to exercise their critical eye on FIFA.
In response to growing
criticism, the Extraordinary FIFA Congress, held in February 2016, decided to include an explicit
human rights commitment in the revised FIFA Statutes which came into force in April 2016. This commitment
is encapsulated in Article 3 which reads as follows: ''FIFA is committed to respecting all internationally recognized human
rights and shall strive to promote the protection of these rights''. At
around the same time, Professor John Ruggie, the author of the United Nations Guiding
Principles on Business and Human Rights ('UN Guiding
Principles') presented in his report 25 specific recommendations for FIFA on how to
further embed respect for human rights across its global operations. While
praising the decision to make a human rights commitment part of the
organization's constituent document, Ruggie concluded that ''FIFA does not have yet adequate systems in
place enabling it to know and show that it respects human rights in practice''.
With the 2018 World Cup
in Russia less than a year away, the time is ripe to look at whether Ruggie's
statement about FIFA's inability to respect human rights still holds true
today. This blog outlines the most salient human rights risks related to FIFA's
activities and offers a general overview of what the world's governing body of
football did over the past twelve months to mitigate these risks. Information
about FIFA's human rights activities is collected primarily from its Activity Update on Human Rights published alongside FIFA's Human Rights Policy in June 2017. More...
Editor's note: This report compiles all relevant news, events and materials on International and European Sports Law based on the daily coverage provided on our twitter feed @Sportslaw_asser. You are invited to complete this survey via the comments section below, feel free to add links to important cases, documents and articles we might have overlooked.
ISLJ Annual Conference on International Sports Law
On 26 and 27 October, the T.M.C. Asser Institute in The Hague will host the first ever ISLJ Annual International Sports Law Conference. This year’s edition will feature panels on the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the world anti-doping system, the FIFA transfer regulations, human rights and sports, the labour rights of athletes, and EU law and sport. More...
Editor's Note: Frans M. de Weger is legal counsel for the Federation of Dutch Professional Football Clubs (FBO) and CAS arbitrator. De Weger is author of the book “The Jurisprudence of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber”, 2nd edition, published by T.M.C. Asser Press in 2016. Frank John Vrolijk specialises in Sports, Labour and Company Law and is a former legal trainee of FBO and DRC Database.
This second blog will focus
specifically on the sanctions available for FIFA under Article 12bis. It will provide
explanatory guidelines covering the sanctions imposed during the period
The possibility to impose
sanctions under article 12bis constitutes one of the pillars of the 12bis
procedure. Pursuant to Article 12bis of the RSTP, edition 2016, the DRC and the
PSC may impose a sanction on a club if the club is found to have delayed a due
payment for more than 30 days without a prima
facie contractual basis and the creditor have put
the debtor club in default in writing, granting a deadline of at least 10 days. The jurisprudence in
relation to Article 12bis also shows that sanctions are imposed ex officio by the DRC or the PSC and not
per request of the claimant.More...
Editor's Note: Frans M. de Weger is legal counsel
for the Federation of Dutch Professional Football Clubs (FBO) and CAS
arbitrator. De Weger is author of the book “The
Jurisprudence of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber”, 2nd
edition, published by T.M.C. Asser Press in 2016. Frank John
Vrolijk specialises in Sports, Labour and Company Law and is a former legal
trainee of FBO and DRC Database.
In this first blog, we will try to answer some questions raised in
relation to the Article 12bis procedure on overdue payables based on the
jurisprudence of the DRC and the PSC during the last two years: from 1 April
2015 until 1 April 2017.
 The awards of the Court of
Arbitration for Sport (hereinafter: “the CAS”) in relation to Article 12bis
that are published on CAS’s website will also be brought to the reader’s
attention. In the second blog, we will focus specifically on the sanctions applied
by FIFA under Article 12bis. In addition, explanatory guidelines will be
offered covering the sanctions imposed during the period surveyed. A more
extensive version of both blogs is pending for publication with the
International Sports Law Journal (ISLJ). If necessary, and for a more detailed
and extensive analysis at certain points, we will make reference to this more
extensive article in the ISLJ. More...
Editor's note: This report compiles all relevant news, events and
materials on International and European Sports Law based on the daily coverage
provided on our twitter feed @Sportslaw_asser. You
are invited to complete this survey via the comments section below, feel free
to add links to important cases, documents and articles we might have
The end of governance reforms at FIFA?
The main sports governance
story that surfaced in the press (see here and here) during the last month is related to significant
personal changes made by the FIFA Council within the organization’s
institutional structure. In particular, the FIFA Council dismissed the heads of
the investigatory (Mr Cornel Borbély) and adjudicatory (Mr Hans-Joachim Eckert)
chambers of the Independent Ethics Committee, as well as the Head (Mr Miguel Maduro) of the Governance and Review Committee. The decision to remove Mr Maduro was taken arguably
in response to his active role in barring Mr Vitaly Mutko, a Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, from sitting on
the FIFA Council due to an imminent conflict of interests. These events
constitute a major setback to governance reforms initiated by the football’s
world governing body in 2015. For a more detailed insight into the governance
reforms at FIFA, we invite you to read the recent blog written by our senior researcher Mr
Antoine Duval. More...
Editor’s Note: Saverio Spera is an Italian lawyer and LL.M.
graduate in International Business Law at King’s College London. He is
currently an intern at the ASSER International Sports Law Centre.
This blog is a follow up to my previous contribution on the validity of Unilateral Extension Options
(hereafter UEOs) under national and European law. It focuses on the different
approaches taken to UEOs by the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) and the
Court of arbitration for sport (CAS). While in general the DRC has adopted a
strict approach towards their validity, the CAS has followed a more liberal
trend. Nonetheless, the two judicial bodies share a common conclusion: UEOs are
not necessarily invalid. In this second blog I will provide an overview of the similarities
and differences of the two judicial bodies in tackling UEOs. More...
Editor's note: Branislav
Hock (@bran_hock) is PhD Researcher at the Tilburg Law and Economics Center at Tilburg
University. His areas of interests are transnational regulation of corruption, public
procurement, extraterritoriality, compliance, law and economics, and private
ordering. Author can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog post is based on a paper
co-authored with Suren Gomtsian, Annemarie Balvert, and Oguz Kirman.
Game-changers that lead to financial
success, political revolutions, or innovation, do not come “out of the blue”;
they come from a logical sequence of events supported by well-functioning
institutions. Many of these game changers originate from transnational private
actors—such as business and sport associations—that produce positive spillover
effects on the economy. In a recent paper forthcoming
in the Yale Journal of International Law, using the example of FIFA, football’s
world-governing body, with co-authors Suren Gomtsian, Annemarie Balvert, and
Oguz Kirman, we show that the success of private associations in creating and
maintaining private legal order depends on the ability to offer better
institutions than their public alternatives do. While financial scandals and
other global problems that relate to the functioning of these private member
associations may call for public interventions, such interventions, in most
cases, should aim to improve private orders rather than replace them. More...