Asser International Sports Law Blog

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The Asser International Sports Law Centre is part of the T.M.C. Asser Instituut

International and European Sports Law – Monthly Report – June 2017. By Tomáš Grell

 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.


The Headlines

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. We will also welcome the following distinguished keynote speakers:

  •    Miguel Maduro, former Advocate General at the European Court of Justice and former head of 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 (WADA) 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.]

The CAS award in Atlético de Madrid v. FIFA

On 1 June 2017, the CAS communicated that it had rendered an award in the arbitration procedure between the Spanish club Atlético de Madrid and FIFA regarding the transfer of minor football players. The CAS Panel confirmed the transfer ban imposed on Atlético de Madrid by the FIFA Appeal Committee in its decision of 8 April 2016. This means that, unlike Real Madrid CF whose ban was reduced by the CAS from two to one entire transfer period, Atlético de Madrid remains banned from registering players both nationally and internationally for two complete and consecutive transfer periods. However, the CAS Panel found that not all of the alleged violations of the FIFA regulations concerning the registration of minor football players could be upheld. As a result, Atlético de Madrid is now obliged to pay CHF 550,000 instead of the original fine amounting to CHF 900,000. The award is not yet available.


The CAS award in ACF Fiorentina v. Mohamed Salah and Chelsea FC

This three-party dispute emerged from a loan agreement concluded between Chelsea FC and ACF Fiorentina in early 2015. Accordingly, the Egyptian international Mohamed Salah was loaned from Chelsea FC to ACF Fiorentina for the period between 2 February 2015 and 30 June 2015, with the option to extend the loan period for twelve more months from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, if certain conditions were fulfilled. In July 2015, the player decided to remain at Chelsea FC while the representatives of the Italian club demanded his return to Florence. In August 2015, Salah joined A.S. Roma on a season-long loan from Chelsea FC.

Soon after the commencement of the 2015/2016 season, ACF Fiorentina lodged a complaint with FIFA, alleging that the player breached the loan agreement without just cause, and that Chelsea FC induced him to do so. The Italian club requested a compensation of EUR 32 million and sporting sanctions against both Chelsea FC and Salah. On 26 May 2016, the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber rejected the complaint (‘FIFA DRC Decision’). Disappointed with this decision, ACF Fiorentina filed an appeal with the CAS on 11 October 2016.

In the shadow of Salah’s recent transfer from A.S. Roma to Liverpool FC, the CAS announced on 30 June 2017 that it had dismissed ACF Fiorentina’s appeal and confirmed the FIFA DRC Decision. The award is not yet available.


FIFA’s Human Rights Policy

The amount of work done by international sports federations to strengthen their human rights compliance increases every month. In June 2017, the world’s governing body of football published FIFA’s Human Rights Policy, a document clarifying FIFA’s approach to the implementation of its human rights commitment in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Simultaneously, FIFA also published its Activity Update on Human Rights mapping the most significant steps taken by the world’s governing body of football over the past twelve months to mitigate human rights risks with which it is repeatedly involved.


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