Asser International Sports Law Blog

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

Compatibility of Fixed-Term Contracts in Football with Directive 1999/70/EC. Part.1: The General Framework. By Piotr Drabik

Introduction
On 25 March 2015, the Labour Court of Mainz issued its decision in proceedings brought by a German footballer, Heinz Müller, against his (now former) club 1. FSV Mainz 05 (Mainz 05). The Court sided with the player and ruled that Müller should have been employed by Mainz 05 for an indefinite period following his 2009 three year contract with the club which was subsequently extended in 2011 to run until mid-2014. The judgment was based on national law implementing Directive 1999/70 on fixed-term work[1] (Directive) with the latter being introduced pursuant to art. 155(2) TFEU (ex art. 139(2) TEC). On the basis of this article, European social partners’ may request a framework agreement which they conclude to be implemented on the European Union (EU, Union) level by a Council decision on a proposal from the Commission. One of the objectives of the framework agreement,[2] and therefore of the Directive, was to establish a system to prevent abuse arising from the use of successive fixed-term employment contracts or relationships[3] which lies at the heart of the discussed problem.[4] More...

UEFA’s FFP out in the open: The Dynamo Moscow Case

Ever since UEFA started imposing disciplinary measures to football clubs for not complying with Financial Fair Play’s break-even requirement in 2014, it remained a mystery how UEFA’s disciplinary bodies were enforcing the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play (“FFP”) regulations, what measures it was imposing, and what the justifications were for the imposition of these measures. For over a year, the general public could only take note of the 23 settlement agreements between Europe’s footballing body and the clubs. The evidential obstacle for a proper analysis was that the actual settlements remained confidential, as was stressed in several of our previous Blogs.[1] The information provided by the press releases lacked the necessary information to answer the abovementioned questions.

On 24 April 2015, the UEFA Club Financial Control Body lifted part of the veil by referring FC Dynamo Moscow to the Adjudicatory Body. Finally, the Adjudicatory Body had the opportunity to decide on a “FFP case. The anxiously-awaited Decision was reached by the Adjudicatory Chamber on 19 June and published not long after. Now that the Decision has been made public, a new stage of the debate regarding UEFA’s FFP policy can start.More...

Policing the (in)dependence of National Federations through the prism of the FIFA Statutes. By Tine Misic

…and everything under the sun is in tune,

but the sun is eclipsed by the moon…[1] 


The issue

Ruffling a few feathers, on 30 May 2015 the FIFA Executive Committee rather unsurprisingly, considering the previous warnings,[2] adopted a decision to suspend with immediate effect the Indonesian Football Federation (PSSI) until such time as PSSI is able to comply with its obligations under Articles 13 and 17 of the FIFA Statutes.[3] Stripping PSSI of its membership rights, the decision results in a prohibition of all Indonesian teams (national or club) from having any international sporting contact. In other words, the decision precludes all Indonesian teams from participating in any competition organised by either FIFA or the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). In addition, the suspension of rights also precludes all PSSI members and officials from benefits of any FIFA or AFC development programme, course or training during the term of suspension. This decision coincides with a very recent award by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in this ambit, which shall be discussed further below.[4]More...


The Brussels Court judgment on Financial Fair Play: a futile attempt to pull off a Bosman. By Ben Van Rompuy

On 29 May 2015, the Brussels Court of First Instance delivered its highly anticipated judgment on the challenge brought by football players’ agent Daniel Striani (and others) against UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations (FFP). In media reports,[1] the judgment was generally portrayed as a significant initial victory for the opponents of FFP. The Brussels Court not only made a reference for a preliminary ruling to the European Court of Justice (CJEU) but also imposed an interim order blocking UEFA from implementing the second phase of the FFP that involves reducing the permitted deficit for clubs.

A careful reading of the judgment, however, challenges the widespread expectation that the CJEU will now pronounce itself on the compatibility of the FFP with EU law. More...

A Bridge Too Far? Bridge Transfers at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. By Antoine Duval and Luis Torres.

FIFA’s freshly adopted TPO ban entered into force on 1 May (see our Blog symposium). Though it is difficult to anticipate to what extent FIFA will be able to enforce the ban, it is likely that many of the third-party investors will try to have recourse to alternative solutions to pursue their commercial involvement in the football transfer market. One potential way to circumvent the FIFA ban is to use the proxy of what has been coined “bridge transfers”. A bridge transfer occurs when a club is used as an intermediary bridge in the transfer of a player from one club to another. The fictitious passage through this club is used to circumscribe, for example, the payment of training compensation or to whitewash a third-party ownership by transforming it into a classical employment relationship. This is a legal construction that has gained currency especially in South American football, but not only. On 5 May 2015, in the Racing Club v. FIFA case, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rendered its first award involving directly a bridge transfer. As this practice could become prevalent in the coming years we think that this case deserves a close look. More...

20 Years After Bosman - The New Frontiers of EU Law and Sport - Special Issue of the Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law

Editor's note: This is a short introduction written for the special Issue of the Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law celebrating the 20 years of the Bosman ruling and dedicated to the new frontiers of EU law and Sport (the articles are available here). For those willing to gain a deeper insight into the content of the Issue we organize (in collaboration with Maastricht University and the Maastricht Journal) a launching event with many of the authors in Brussels tomorrow (More info here).More...

ASSER Exclusive! Interview with Charles “Chuck” Blazer by Piotr Drabik

Editor’s note: Chuck Blazer declined our official interview request but thanks to some trusted sources (the FIFA indictment and Chuck’s testimony) we have reconstructed his likely answers. This is a fictional interview. Any resemblance with real facts is purely coincidental.



Mr Blazer, thank you for agreeing to this interview, especially considering the circumstances. How are you doing?

I am facing ten charges concerning, among others, conspiracy to corrupt and money laundering. But apart from that, I am doing great (laughs)!

 

It is good to know that you have not lost your spirit. And since you’ve been involved in football, or as you call it soccer, for years could you please first tell us what was your career at FIFA and its affiliates like?

Let me see… Starting from the 1990s I was employed by and associated with FIFA and one of its constituent confederations, namely the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). At various times, I also served as a member of several FIFA standing committees, including the marketing and television committee. As CONCACAF’s general secretary, a position I proudly held for 21 years, I was responsible, among many other things, for negotiations concerning media and sponsorship rights. From 1997 to 2013 I also served at FIFA’s executive committee where I participated in the selection process of the host countries for the World Cup tournaments. Those years at the helm of world soccer were truly amazing years of travel and hard work mainly for the good of the beautiful game. I might add that I even managed to document some of my voyages on my blog. I initially called it “Travels with Chuck Blazer” but Vladimir (Putin) convinced me to change the name to “Travels with Chuck Blazer and his Friends”. You should check it out.

 More...



Financial Fair Play: Lessons from the 2014 and 2015 settlement practice of UEFA. By Luis Torres

UEFA announced on 8 May that it had entered into Financial Fair Play settlement agreements with 10 European football clubs. Together with the four other agreements made in February 2015, this brings the total to 14 FFP settlements for 2015 and 23 since UEFA adopted modifications in its Procedural rules and allowed settlements agreements to be made between the Clubs and the Chief Investigator of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB).[1] 

In the two years during which UEFA’s FFP regulations have been truly up and running we have witnessed the centrality taken by the settlement procedure in their enforcement. It is extremely rare for a club to be referred to the FFP adjudication chamber. In fact, only the case regarding Dynamo Moscow has been referred to the adjudication chamber. Thus, having a close look at the settlement practice of UEFA is crucial to gaining a good understanding of the functioning of FFP. Hence, this blog offers a detailed analysis of this year’s settlement agreements and compares them with last year’s settlements. More...

Book Review: Reforming FIFA, or Not

Editor’s note: This short book review will be published in a different format in the International Sports Law Journal, due to its timeliness we decided to reproduce it here. 

Reforming FIFA, or Not

 Antoine Duval

Book Review: Mark Pieth (ed.), Reforming FIFA, Dike Verlag, St. Gallen, 2014, 28.00 CHF, p.178

 


This book looks back at the work of the Independence Governance Committee (IGC). This Committee, constituted in 2011, had as primary objective to drive a reform process of FIFA initiated by its President Sepp Blatter. After ordering from the Swiss anti-corruption expert Mark Pieth, a report on the state of FIFA’s governance, FIFA decided to mandate him with the leadership of a consulting body composed of a mix of independent experts and football insiders, which would be accompanying and supervising the internal reform process of FIFA. The IGC was officially dissolved at the end of 2013, after completing its mandate. The book is composed of eight chapters, written by former members of the IGC, including former chairman Mark Pieth. In addition to the chapters, it includes the different reports (available here, here and here) submitted by the IGC to FIFA across the years. In the words of Pieth, this account is “fascinating because it gives a hands-on, realistic perspective of the concrete efforts, the achievements and the remaining challenges in the struggle for the reform of this organization [FIFA], avoiding the usual glorification or vilification.”[1] This review will first summarize the core of the account of the FIFA reform process provided by the book, before critically engaging with the outcome of the process and outlining the deficiencies that culminated on 29 May 2015 with the re-election of Sepp Blatter as FIFA president.More...



The Spanish TV Rights Distribution System after the Royal Decree: An Introduction. By Luis Torres

On the first of May 2015, the Spanish Government finally signed the Royal Decree allowing the joint selling of the media rights of the Spanish top two football leagues. The Minister for Sport stated that the Decree will allow clubs to “pay their debts with the social security and the tax authorities and will enable the Spanish teams to compete with the biggest European Leagues in terms of revenues from the sale of media rights”.[1]Although the signing of the Royal Decree was supposed to close a very long debate and discussion between the relevant stakeholders, its aftermath shows that the Telenovela is not entirely over. 

This blog post will first provide the background story to the selling of media rights in Spain. It will, thereafter, analyse the main points of the Royal Decree and outline how the system will work in practice. Finally, the blog will shortly address the current frictions between the Spanish League (LFP) and the Spanish football federation (RFEF).More...

Asser International Sports Law Blog | Overdue payables in action: Reviewing two years of FIFA jurisprudence on the 12bis procedure – Part 1. By Frans M. de Weger and Frank John Vrolijk.

Asser International Sports Law Blog

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

Overdue payables in action: Reviewing two years of FIFA jurisprudence on the 12bis procedure – Part 1. By Frans M. de Weger and Frank John Vrolijk.

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. [1] 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.

In 2015, FIFA announced a very significant addition to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (hereinafter: “the RSTP”): the inclusion of a new provision on overdue payables by defaulting clubs towards players and other clubs. On 1 April 2015, the 2015 edition of the RSTP gave birth to a fast-track procedure to deal with overdue payables enshrined in Article 12bis (hereinafter: “the 12bis procedure”). In its Circular letter no. 1468, FIFA also strongly urged all of its member associations to make sure that their affiliated clubs were informed of this new provision immediately.

From Article 12bis, which is also laid down in the 2016 edition of the RSTP, it follows that clubs are required to comply with 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 signed with other clubs. In accordance with Article 12bis FIFA is entitled to sanction clubs that have delayed a due payment for more than 30 days without a prima facie contractual basis.

It was a real thorn in the side of FIFA that too many clubs, on a worldwide level, did not comply with their financial contractual obligations without legitimate reasons.[2] With the introduction of this provision, it was not only FIFA’s aim to continue its process to further speed up its proceedings, but also to establish a stronger system regarding overdue payables towards players and clubs. FIFA stressed that it wanted to further improve efficiency and provide clear regulatory steps to deal with overdue payables from clubs to players and from clubs to other clubs.

As from 1 April 2015, the Dispute Resolution Chamber (hereinafter: “the DRC”) and the Players’ Status Committee (hereinafter: “the PSC”) are FIFA’s competent authorities to deal with claims on overdue payables in relation to Article 12bis. Both FIFA committees were given a wide scope of discretion to impose sanctions on defaulting clubs, such as fines and transfer bans. In fact, the possibility to impose sanctions is critical to support a stronger and more efficient dispute resolution system regarding overdue payables, as we will see in the second blog.

The introduction of FIFA’s 12bis procedure also gave rise to many (legal) questions. For example, are only clubs and players entitled to lodge a claim before respectively the PSC and the DRC? Or are other parties, such as coaches and national associations, also entitled to raise their claims under 12bis? Do claims for training compensation and solidarity contribution fall under 12bis? Can the 12bis procedures be considered as a real fast-track procedure? Under what circumstances can an offence be considered a repeated offence? And also, since the imposition of sanctions is key to the efficacy of the 12bis procedure, under what conditions will these sanctions be imposed? These are only a small sample of the questions that arose after the introduction of the 12bis procedure. In this first blog, we will try to answer the most important questions raised based on the jurisprudence of the DRC, PSC and CAS.


General preliminary observations

As a starting point, it must be noted that exactly 137 decisions by the DRC and the PSC regarding Article 12bis have been published by FIFA on its website between 1 April 2015 and 1 April 2017.[3] Of these 137 decisions, 99 decisions have been dealt with by the DRC, including 58 decisions issued by the DRC Single Judge. Additionally, 32 decisions were passed by a Chamber of three judges, whereas 24 of these decisions were passed by circulars and eight were passed by a decision of a sitting Chamber in Zürich, Switzerland. Only nine FIFA decisions were passed by a Chamber of five judges.   

From the 38 decisions of the PSC, 37 were issued by its Single Judge and only one[4] was issued by a Chamber of three judges via a circular. It can be noticed that in most “renouncement of right cases” (in which defaulting clubs have not replied to the claim of the claimant party), a Single Judge has dealt with the case.

Analysing the decisions, it is striking that all claimants in the 137 decisions won their cases. In other words, in none of the decisions of the DRC and the PSC it was found that a “prima facie contractual basis” existed for the respondent party, which would justify non-compliance with the original contract. A sanction was imposed in all decisions.

It can further be observed that in the great majority of the decisions, the respondent party did not reply to the claim. As we will see, the absence of a reply will generally result in more severe 12bis sanctions for the defaulting club.

The jurisprudence of FIFA also illustrates that the 12bis procedure are a step towards swifter proceedings. In the last years we have already noted a positive development with regard to the length of ‘regular’ proceedings before FIFA (not including the 12bis procedures). With regard to the 12bis procedure, FIFA stressed that it has shortened the timeframe for decisions taken on overdue payables, with decisions now being taken within eight weeks and claimants being notified of a decision within nine weeks of lodging their complete claim. After analysing the 12bis decisions of the DRC and the PSC, it is clear that FIFA actually lived up to these expectations. The average duration of a 12bis procedure is two months. It is only exceptionally that a 12bis decision lasted longer (four or ultimately five months) or even took less time (one or one and a half months).[5] As illustrated in Figure 1, approximately 67% of the PSC and the DRC procedures were concluded within eight weeks. Approximately 80% of both FIFA decisions were dealt with within 10 weeks.


Figure 1

 

The scope of Article 12bis

The two years of jurisprudence show that the personal scope of Article 12bis must be interpreted strictly. As follows from the text of Article 12bis(3), only players and clubs are entitled to lodge a claim before FIFA. Put another way, coaches, national associations and intermediaries do not have standing to sue in the 12bis procedure. This textual interpretation of the provision is confirmed by the jurisprudence of the DRC and the PSC. In fact, none of the reviewed decisions of the DRC or the PSC involved a party who was not a club or a player.

Additionally, it can be concluded that claims for training compensation or related to solidarity mechanism are also excluded from the scope of Article 12bis, as this opportunity is not provided in the provision. Moreover, the current jurisprudence does not leave room for any other interpretation. With regard to training compensation and solidarity mechanism, this means that FIFA gives to “overdue payables” a different meaning than the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations, since outstanding amounts for training compensation and solidarity mechanism are considered by UEFA as overdue payables. The same is true for outstanding payments due by clubs to other (than player) club employees and debts by clubs to social/tax authorities; such outstanding amounts will not be considered by FIFA as ‘overdue’ under Article 12bis.

Generally, the DRC deals mainly with contracts signed by clubs with professional players. These include employment contracts but it is to be expected that separate agreements could also fall under the scope of Article 12bis as long as specific elements of that separate agreement suggest that it was in fact meant to be part of the actual employment relationship, as the DRC decided in many other cases (not being 12bis procedures). This is for example the DRC’s position with regard to image right contracts.[6] Based on the jurisprudence reviewed, it follows that termination agreements fall under the scope of Article 12bis.[7] The PSC will only deal with transfer agreements, including both transfers on a definite[8] as well as on a temporary basis[9]. It is to be expected that agreements between clubs that do not concern the status of players, their eligibility to participate in organised football, and their transfer between clubs belonging to different associations, will most likely not fall under Article 12bis.[10]

Finally, it also follows from Article 12bis(3) that the creditor (player or club) must have put the debtor club in default in writing, granting a deadline of at least 10 days to comply with its financial obligations. Regarding this 10-days deadline, FIFA follows a strict interpretation, as we will see in the following paragraph.


The existence of an ‘overdue payable’ 

As follows from the wording of Article 12bis and the corresponding jurisprudence, two prerequisites must be met to establish that an overdue payable exists under Article 12bis. First, the club must have delayed a due payment for more than 30 days without a “prima facie contractual basis”. Second, the creditor (which is the player or club) must have put the debtor club in default in writing, granting a deadline of at least 10 days to comply with its financial obligations. In all the published decisions the FIFA committees verified that a 10-days deadline had been granted. We can therefore assume that this 10-days deadline is a prerequisite for the DRC and the PSC to proceed with the claim. Although Article 12bis is not entirely clear as regards the start of the “10-days deadline”, the jurisprudence shows that it runs as soon as the 30 days have elapsed.[11]

Disputes can arise with regard to the fulfilment of the “10-days deadline”. For example, in the CAS award of 9 May 2016, the player had filed a statement of claim before the DRC on 25 March 2015 and then sent a letter to the club on 30 March 2015 (i.e. five days after filing a claim at the DRC) putting the club in default for the overdue payment. The club however argued that this was a violation of Article 12bis(3) of the RSTP, edition 2015, as it did not make any legal sense whatsoever to address a default notice to a party after lodging a claim at FIFA. The CAS however stated that it was clear that the player had already given the club ample opportunity (the player stated that it had already provided three separate notices of default) to fulfil its obligations in conformity with Article 12bis.[12] The CAS therefore found it curious that the FIFA administration still requested the player to issue yet another default notice in such a situation when it was clear that the player had already given the club many opportunities to fulfil its obligations. This part of the award is interesting. On the one hand it shows that (the) FIFA (administration) obliges creditors to send a “10-days deadline” default letter under all circumstances, while on the other hand it is to be expected that the CAS might show more flexibility. Interestingly, in a case before the PSC, the claimant club put the respondent club in default of payment, starting the 10-days deadline on the exact same date of the submission. This practice was accepted by the PSC.[13] In other words, in order to gain time, claimants might be able to lodge a claim in front of FIFA before the “10-days deadline” of Article 12bis has passed.  

To establish whether “overdue payables” exist, it is decisive that the “overdue payables” existed after 1 April 2015 (the date on which Article 12bis came into force). This is also confirmed by the CAS. In its CAS award of 17 June 2016, the Italian club Pescara referred to the fact that the agreement between Pescara and the Belgian club Standard Liège was entered into on 10 July 2012, while Article 12bis did not take effect until 1 April 2015. Pescara stated that it had no means to know that Article 12bis would be enacted nearly three years later. The Sole Arbitrator however found it decisive and stressed that the claim made by Standard Liège was made after 1 April 2015 and that Standard Liège referred clearly to the overdue payables from Pescara. At the end, all that matters, according to the CAS, was the existence of overdue payables at the assessment date and that the assessment date was after 1 April 2015.[14]

For the sake of clarity, the fact that the DRC and the PSC have decided in 12bis procedures that a defaulting club must pay to the claimant overdue payables does not touch upon the question whether the contract has been terminated with just cause. To put it bluntly, a decision in a 12bis procedure does not justify a unilateral termination based on Article 14 of the RSTP; no legal connection exists in this regard. The jurisprudence of the DRC in relation to its ‘regular’ proceedings (not being 12bis procedures) generally shows that a valid ground for unilateral termination exists only in case there is outstanding remuneration for a period of three (or sometimes two) months.[15] This means the existence of an overdue payable under Article 12bis does not automatically give the claimant the legal right to unilaterally terminate the contract with the defaulting club. It should also be noted in this regard that it follows from Article 12bis(9) that the terms of Article 12bis are without prejudice to the application of further measures derived from Article 17 RSTP in case of a unilateral termination of the contractual relationship.


In the second blog we will focus specifically on the sanctions available to FIFA under Article 12bis and will provide explanatory guidelines covering the sanctions imposed during the period surveyed.


[1] This contribution discusses the jurisprudence of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) and the Players’ Status Committee (PSC) as published on FIFA’s website in the period between 1 April 2015 and 1 April 2017. Decisions published after the date of 1 April 2017 (even if issued before this date) will fall outside the scope of this contribution. The awards of the CAS in  relation to Article 12bis will also be discussed in this contribution. However, only the awards as published on the website of CAS before 1 April 2017 will be discussed in this contribution. As far as we know, several cases regarding art. 12bis are currently also pending before CAS.

[2] As was also introduced in FIFA Circular no. 1468, dated 23 January 2015, the new Art. 12bis is added to the list of provisions that are binding at national level and must be included in the association’s regulations (cf. Art. 1(3)(a) of the RSTP.

[3] Dispute Resolution Chamber: http://www.fifa.com/governance/disciplinary/dispute-resolution-system.html. Accessed 1 April 2017. Players’ Status Committee: http://www.fifa.com/governance/disciplinary/dispute-resolution-system.html. Accessed 1 April 2017.

[4] PSC 20 June 2016, no. op0616676.

[5] See for the shorter procedures: inter alia DRC 18 May 2016, no. op0516646, DRC 29 February 2016, no. op0216229, DRC 15 July 2016, no. op0916308 and DRC 30 November 2015, no. 11151578. See for the longer procedures: inter alia DRC 3 June 2016, no. op0616046, DRC 7 April 2016, no. op04161633, DRC 15 October 2015, no. op1015914 and DRC 1 October 2015, no. 1015648.

[6] DRC 13 December 2013, no. 12131045 and DRC 17 January 2014, no. 114396. See also DRC 30 August 2013, no. 08133402, DRC 10 February 2015, no. 02151030 and DRC 28 March 2014, no. 03141211. See also CAS 2014/A/3579 Anorthosis Famagusta FC v. Emanuel Perrone, award of 11 May 2015.

[7] See inter alia DRC 26 November 2015, no. op11151356.

[8] See inter alia PSC 13 September 2016, no. op09161090.

[9] See inter alia PSC 11 June 2015, no. op0615618 and PSC 20 February 2017, no. op02172015.

[10] Art. 1(1) RSTP, edition 2016.

[11] Moreover, parties should be aware that the 30 days deadline will start to run only after the so-called “grace periods” has passed, which also explicitly follows from the applicable jurisprudence of FIFA. A grace period can be considered as the period immediately after the deadline for an obligation during which the amount due, or other action that would have been taken as a result of failing to meet the deadline, is waived provided that the obligation is satisfied during the grace period. See DRC 14 November 2016, no. 11161545-E. Also in “regular” DRC cases so-called “grace periods” are accepted. See inter alia DRC 6 November 2014, no. 11141064.

[12] See CAS 2015/A/4153 Al-Gharafa SC v. Nicolas Fedor & FIFA, award of 9 May 2016. From this award it follows that FIFA applied the incorrect version of the RSTP in its decision of 22 June 2015 as a result of which Art. 12bis was not applicable.

[13] PSC 30 November 2015, no. 10151052.

[14] Also in its award of 17 June 2016, another Sole Arbitrator stressed that as Art. 12bis has been implemented within the 2015 edition of the RSTP, FIFA has the power to impose a sanction listed in Art. 12bis(4) RSTP in that specific case. See CAS 2015/A/4310 Al Hilal Saudi Club v. Abdou Kader Mangane, award of 17 June 2016.

[15] See inter alia DRC 7 September 2011, no. 9111901 (two months) and DRC 11 May 2011, no. 129795 (three months). See also DRC 17 December 2015, no. 12151368. Please note that CAS will hold on to a period of three months in order to establish that a just cause exists; See inter alia CAS 2015/A/4158 Qingdao Zhongneng Football Club v. Blaz Sliskovic, award of 28 April 2016.


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