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

Sport and EU Competition Law: uncharted territories - (II) Mandatory player release systems with no compensation for clubs. By Ben Van Rompuy

The European Commission’s competition decisions in the area of sport, which set out broad principles regarding the interface between sports-related activities and EU competition law, are widely publicized. As a result of the decentralization of EU competition law enforcement, however, enforcement activity has largely shifted to the national level. Since 2004, national competition authorities (NCAs) and national courts are empowered to fully apply the EU competition rules on anti-competitive agreements (Article 101 TFEU) and abuse of a dominant position (Article 102 TFEU).

Even though NCAs and national courts have addressed a series of interesting competition cases (notably dealing with the regulatory aspects of sport) during the last ten years, the academic literature has largely overlooked these developments. This is unfortunate since all stakeholders (sports organisations, clubs, practitioners, etc.) increasingly need to learn from pressing issues arising in national cases and enforcement decisions. In a series of blog posts we will explore these unknown territories of the application of EU competition law to sport.

In this second installment of this blog series, we discuss a recent judgment of the regional court (Landgericht) of Dortmund finding that the International Handball Federation (IHF)’s mandatory release system of players for matches of national teams without compensation infringes EU and German competition law.[1] More...

The CAS Ad Hoc Division in 2014: Business as usual? – Part.1: The Jurisdiction quandary

The year is coming to an end and it has been a relatively busy one for the CAS Ad Hoc divisions. Indeed, the Ad Hoc division was, as usual now since the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996[1], settling  “Olympic” disputes during the Winter Olympics in Sochi. However, it was also, and this is a novelty, present at the Asian Games 2014 in Incheon.  Both divisions have had to deal with seven (published) cases in total (four in Sochi and three in Incheon). The early commentaries available on the web (here, here and there), have been relatively unmoved by this year’s case law. Was it then simply ‘business as usual’, or is there more to learn from the 2014 Ad Hoc awards? Two different dimensions of the 2014 decisions by the Ad Hoc Division seem relevant to elaborate on : the jurisdiction quandary (part. 1) and the selection drama (part. 2). More...

Sports Politics before the CAS II: Where does the freedom of speech of a Karate Official ends? By Thalia Diathesopoulou

On 6 October 2014, the CAS upheld the appeal filed by the former General Secretary of the World Karate Federation (WKF), George Yerolimpos, against the 6 February 2014 decision of the WKF Appeal Tribunal. With the award, the CAS confirmed a six-months membership suspension imposed upon the Appellant by the WKF Disciplinary Tribunal.[1] At a first glance, the case at issue seems to be an ordinary challenge of a disciplinary sanction imposed by a sports governing body. Nevertheless, this appeal lies at the heart of a highly acrimonious political fight for the leadership of the WKF, featuring two former ‘comrades’:  Mr Yerolimpos and Mr Espinos (current president of WKF). As the CAS puts it very lucidly, "this is a story about a power struggle within an international sporting body"[2], a story reminding the Saturn devouring his son myth.

This case, therefore, brings the dirty laundry of sports politics to the fore. Interestingly enough, this time the CAS does not hesitate to grapple with the political dimension of the case. More...

The new “Arrangement” between the European Commission and UEFA: A political capitulation of the EU

Yesterday, the European Commission stunned the European Sports Law world when it announced unexpectedly that it had signed a “partnership agreement with UEFA named (creatively): ‘The Arrangement for Cooperation between the European Commission and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)’. The press release indicates that this agreement is to “commit the two institutions to working together regularly in a tangible and constructive way on matters of shared interest”. The agreement was negotiated (as far as we know) secretly with UEFA. Despite recent meetings between EU Commissioner for sport Vassiliou and UEFA President Platini, the eventuality of such an outcome was never evoked. It is very unlikely that third-interested-parties (FIFPro, ECA, Supporters Direct etc.) were consulted in the process of drafting this Arrangement. This surprising move by an outgoing Commission will be analysed in a three-ponged approach. First, we will discuss the substance of the Arrangement (I). Thereafter, we will consider its potential legal value under EU law (II). Finally, and maybe more importantly, we will confront the political relevance of the agreement (III).  More...

Sports Politics before the CAS: Early signs of a ‘constitutional’ role for CAS? By Thalia Diathesopoulou

It took almost six months, a record of 26 witnesses and a 68 pages final award for the CAS to put an end to a long-delayed, continuously acrimonious and highly controversial presidential election for the Football Association of Thailand (FAT). Worawi Makudi can sit easy and safe on the throne of the FAT for his fourth consecutive term, since the CAS has dismissed the appeal filed by the other contender, Virach Chanpanich.[1]

Interestingly enough, it is one of the rare times that the CAS Appeal Division has been called to adjudicate on the fairness and regularity of the electoral process of a sports governing body. Having been established as the supreme judge of sports disputes, by reviewing the electoral process of international and national sports federations the CAS adds to its functions a role akin to the one played by a constitutional court in national legal systems. It seems that members of international and national federations increasingly see the CAS as an ultimate guardian of fairness and validity of internal electoral proceedings. Are these features - without prejudice to the CAS role as an arbitral body- the early sign of the emergence of a Constitutional Court for Sport? More...

Olympic Agenda 2020: To bid, or not to bid, that is the question!

This post is an extended version of an article published in August on hostcity.net.

The recent debacle among the candidate cities for the 2022 Winter Games has unveiled the depth of the bidding crisis faced by the Olympic Games. The reform process initiated in the guise of the Olympic Agenda 2020 must take this disenchantment seriously. The Olympic Agenda 2020 took off with a wide public consultation ending in April and is now at the end of the working groups phase. One of the working groups was specifically dedicated to the bidding process and was headed by IOC vice-president John Coates.  More...

The CAS jurisprudence on match-fixing in football: What can we learn from the Turkish cases? - Part 2: The procedural aspects. By Thalia Diathesopoulou

With this blog post, we continue the blog series on Turkish match-fixing cases and our attempt to map the still unchartered waters of the CAS’s match-fixing jurisprudence.

The first blog post addressed two issues related to the substance of match-fixing disputes, namely the legal characterization of the match-fixing related measure of ineligibility under Article 2.08 of the UEL Regulations as administrative or disciplinary measure and the scope of application of Article 2.08. In addition, The Turkish cases have raised procedural and evidentiary issues that need to be dealt with in the framework of match-fixing disputes.

The CAS panels have drawn a clear line between substantial and procedural matters. In this light, the Eskişehirspor panel declared the nature of Article 2.08 UEL Regulations to be administrative and rejected the application of UEFA Disciplinary Regulations to the substance. Nonetheless, it upheld that disciplinary rules and standards still apply to the procedure. This conclusion, however, can be considered puzzling in that disciplinary rules apply to the procedural matters arising by a pure administrative measure. To this extent, and despite the bifurcation of different applicable rules into substantial and procedural matters, the credibility of the qualification of Article 2.08 as administrative seems to be undermined. And here a question arises: How can the application of rules of different nature to substantial and procedural matters in an identical match-fixing dispute be explained?More...

The EU State aid and Sport Saga – A blockade to Florentino Perez’ latest “galactic” ambitions (part 2)

This is the second part of a blog series on the Real Madrid State aid case. In the previous blog on this case, an outline of all the relevant facts was provided and I analysed the first criterion of Article 107(1) TFEU, namely the criterion that an advantage must be conferred upon the recipient for the measure to be considered State aid. Having determined that Real Madrid has indeed benefited from the land transactions, the alleged aid measure has to be scrutinized under the other criteria of Article 107(1): the measure must be granted by a Member State or through State resources; the aid granted must be selective; and it must distorts or threatens to distort competition. In continuation, this blog will also analyze whether the alleged aid measure could be justified and declared compatible with EU law under Article 107(3) TFEU.More...

The CAS jurisprudence on match-fixing in football: What can we learn from the Turkish cases? - Part 1 - By Thalia Diathesopoulou

The editor’s note:

Two weeks ago we received the unpublished CAS award rendered in the Eskişehirspor case and decided to comment on it. In this post Thalia Diathesopoulou (Intern at the ASSER International Sports Law Centre) analyses the legal steps followed and interpretations adopted by CAS panels in this case and in a series of other Turkish match-fixing cases. The first part of the post will deal with the question of the legal nature of the ineligibility decision opposed by UEFA to clubs involved in one way or another into match-fixing and with the personal and material scope of UEFA’s rule on which this ineligibility is based. The second part is dedicated to the procedural rules applied in match-fixing cases.


Introduction

The unpredictability of the outcome is a sine qua non feature of sports. It is this inherent uncertainty that draws the line between sports and entertainment and triggers the interest of spectators, broadcasters and sponsors. Thus, match-fixing by jeopardising the integrity and unpredictability of sporting outcomes has been described, along with doping, as one of the major threats to modern sport.[1] More...


Sport and EU Competition Law: uncharted territories - (I) The Swedish Bodybuilding case. By Ben Van Rompuy

The European Commission’s competition decisions in the area of sport, which set out broad principles regarding the interface between sports-related activities and EU competition law, are widely publicized. As a result of the decentralization of EU competition law enforcement, however, enforcement activity has largely shifted to the national level. Since 2004, national competition authorities (NCAs) and national courts are empowered to fully apply the EU competition rules on anti-competitive agreements (Article 101 TFEU) and abuse of a dominant position (Article 102 TFEU).

Even though NCAs have addressed a series of interesting competition cases (notably dealing with the regulatory aspects of sport) during the last ten years, the academic literature has largely overlooked these developments. This is unfortunate since all stakeholders (sports organisations, clubs, practitioners, etc.) increasingly need to learn from pressing issues arising in national cases and enforcement decisions. In a series of blog posts we will explore these unknown territories of the application of EU competition law to sport.More...

Asser International Sports Law Blog | A Bridge Too Far? Bridge Transfers at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. By Antoine Duval and Luis Torres.

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

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.


I. Facts and procedure

Fernando Ortiz is an Argentine professional football player who entered into an employment contract with Vélez Sarsfield, valid until 30 June 2012. After the expiration of the contract, Ortiz signed an employment contract with the Uruguayan team, Institución Atlética Sud América on 11 July 2012, valid until 30 June 2017. Institución was playing in the Second Division in Uruguay at that time. A week later, on 20 July 2012, Ortiz was transferred from Institución back to Argentina. Institución and Racing Club, Ortiz’ new club, agreed a transfer fee (which was not disclosed). The first instalment should be made before 24 July 2012. Ortiz’ new employment contract was valid until 30 June 2014. Both transfers were duly registered in the FIFA Transfer Matching System (TMS). First, on 23 July 2012, the Argentine Federation (AFA) provided the Uruguayan Federation (AUF) the International Transfer Certificate (ITC). After the transfer from Institución to Racing, the AUF sent the same paperwork to the AFA on 3 August 2012. At that time, no payments were made.

Meanwhile, in view of the number of similar transfers, AFA and the Argentine Tax Authorities agreed that the players concerned would not be allowed to play in the Argentine league. This resulted in the parties (Institución, Ortiz and Racing) concluding a Rescission Agreement of the transfer contract, stating that they had “nothing to claim from each other”.[1] This agreement was not uploaded at that time in the TMS. On 23 November 2012, the FIFA TMS body sent a letter[2] to Racing asserting that they were not aware of any proof of payment of the transfer fee, and that this transfer could constitute an infringement of the TMS rules. Racing replied[3] by enclosing the rescission agreement and confirming that no payments were to be made. On June 2013, FIFA TMS opened disciplinary proceedings against Racing, claiming a violation of articles 3 and 9.1 of Annexe 3 RSTP[AD1] . In response Racing blamed Ortiz for trying to benefit himself from such operation and argued that the club had a true sporting interest in signing Ortiz and did not receive any economic benefit out of the transfer. On 14 August 2013, the FIFA TMS body submitted the disciplinary proceeding to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee (FIFA DC) for a proper investigation of the facts.

In its decision of 5 March 2014, the FIFA DC analysed the two transfers and concluded that they lacked a sporting objective. Even if, from a formal point of view, the first of the two transfers did not involve Racing directly, the FIFA DC considered, taking into account the chronological unfolding of the transfers, that the transfer of Ortiz to Institución would not make sense (according to the playing level of Institución and Ortiz), if his subsequent transfer to another club, in this case Racing Club, was not already planned. Accordingly, the FIFA DC found that the two “parts of the operation” cannot be considered separate. Hence, the whole bridge transfer scheme was deemed known to all parties involved. Thus, the FIFA DC concluded that Racing was involved in the operations carried out and therefore liable to face sanctions.[4]

Moreover, the FIFA DC drew attention to the effects the rescission agreement should have had in a rational context. Indeed, in a normal constellation, one would have expected Ortiz to return to Institución, instead the fact that he stayed on to play at Racing corroborated the non-sporting interest of the transfer. The FIFA DC considered that the aim of the TMS rules is to create transparency (Article 1 Annexe 3 RSTP) in players’ international transfers. In the view of the FIFA DC, Racing, however, used the TMS fraudulently to give a sporting appearance to such a transfer. Therefore, Racing is found to have infringed Articles 3(1)[5] and 9.1(2)[6] Annexe 3 FIFA RSTP, since the transfer was conducted through the TMS for illegitimate purposes and it did not act in good faith. As a consequence of this infringement, the Argentine club was fined CHF 15,000 and warned in accordance with the FIFA Disciplinary Code.[7] In the same proceedings, the Uruguayan club was sanctioned with a transfer ban for two complete and consecutive transfer periods and a fine of CHF 40,000.

Racing Club decided to appeal the decision to the CAS. The Argentine club based its appeal[8] on the grounds that there is no legal basis in the FIFA Regulations to sanction the club for correctly registering a transfer without a sporting reason in the FIFA TMS system.  


II. Commentary

First, we need to explicate in greater details the functioning and purposes of bridge transfers. Before, tackling the substance of the award rendered by the CAS.


A.    What is a bridge transfer?

As explained by Ariel Reck[9] (who was Racing’s lawyer in the present case), a bridge transfer has three main characteristics:

  • A bridge transfer is made for no apparent sporting reason, there is a non-sporting purpose underlying the move.

  • Secondly, there are three clubs involved in this triangular structure: on the one hand the club where the player was firstly registered (club of origin); secondly, the so-called ‘bridge club’, which will usually be a club of a lower level than the player involved and the final club of destination, i.e. the club where the player was intended to play for from the beginning. The lack of balance between the player and the bridge club is usually evident.

  • The last feature is the short period of time that the player is engaged with the bridge club. Frequently, such a player does not play any game at all with this club.

There are three important reasons why football clubs enter into a triangular agreement that constitutes a bridge transfer:

  1. The bridge transfer helps to reduce the cost of training compensation or payments to be made under FIFA’s solidarity contribution mechanism.

  2. The bridge transfer allows the use of a club to circumvent the FIFA rule that prohibits TPO.[10]

  3. The bridge transfer is used to evade taxes.


1.   Reducing training compensation

As far as the reduction of the value of the training compensation is concerned, it should be noted that there is already an award dealing with this matter, though without making an explicit reference to the notion of “bridge transfer”. In 2009, CAS rendered an award in a dispute between MTK Budapest and FC Internazionale. In this case, Inter was interested in signing a Hungarian player from MTK Budapest. After negotiations between the two clubs broke down, the player entered into a professional contract with a Maltese club. Yet, after nine days at the Maltese club, the player was transferred to Inter. According to the FIFA’s training compensation rules[11], if the player would have been transferred directly from MTK Budapest to the Italian club, the payable amount to the Hungarian team, for the three seasons that the player was trained by MTK Budapest, would have been €160,000.[12] The Panel, found this transfer to be irrational and considered that the training efforts of MTK Budapest should in any case be rewarded. Therefore, it decided that Inter should pay a training compensation to the Hungarian team.

On the other hand, by means of a comparable manoeuvre, the solidarity mechanism can also be manipulated. The RSTP provisions on the solidarity mechanism are only applicable to international transfers (Article 1(1) RSTP). The transfers between two clubs of the same association are “governed by specific regulations issued by the association concerned” (Article 1(2) RSTP). Thus, one can reduce the amount of the solidarity contribution via a bridge construction. The first (international) transfer is concluded for a low amount, which would be subject to the solidarity contribution. Later, a second (national) transfer is concluded for the real amount.[13]


2.   Circumventing the FIFA TPO ban

Another purpose for the use of bridge transfers is to circumvent the FIFA rules prohibiting agents (or intermediaries) or other third parties to acquire economic rights from players. This is “a way to anchor a players economic rights to a club”[14] instead of a mere third party (agent or a company). By controlling a club, the former third-party owners are able to continue investing in players while making sure that this investment is at least formally in conformity with the RSTP. With this mechanism, a third party, who controls a club (a bridge club), also enjoys the legal protection awarded by the FIFA RSTP to clubs, for example, in case of breach of the contract without just cause (17 RSTP).


 3.   Reducing Taxes

Bridge transfers are also designed to reduce taxes or hide the financial beneficiary of the amounts.[15] Bridge clubs, in these cases, are based in “tax heavens”. Consequently, two transfers need to be concluded: One from the team of origin to the bridge club, and the other one from the bridge club to the club of destination. If the bridge transfer is made with the sole purpose of reducing taxes, the fee for the first transfer would be low because this transfer fee is highly taxed. The second transfer would be concluded for a higher amount and the fee will be taxed at a low rate.

Secondly, a bridge transfer could also be used to disguise a compensation for a player (this mechanism is generally used by free agents) or payments to third parties. Usually, players who move to a new club as free agents tend to receive higher salaries than players who have been transferred to another club while still on a contract with their old club. In order to prevent the payment of high income taxes, a player and a bridge club agree to share the transfer payment made by the club of destination. Thus, the bridge club is rewarded for taking part in the bridge transfer; this reward is usually limited to a small share of the total transfer sum.[16]

The third alternative is the configuration at play in the Racing case. In Uruguay, clubs are considered cultural institutions and according to the Article 69 ‘Constitución Nacional’ (National Constitution), they are exempted from paying taxes, even on transfers of players. The clubs take the legal form of either ‘Sports Association’ or ‘Sociedad Anónima Deportiva (Public limited sports company), the latter being considered a cultural institution as well. A recent Uruguayan judgment[17] extended the tax exemption to the ‘Socidades Anónimas Deportivas’. However, since bridge transfers have no sporting interest and are aimed at an economic profit derived from reducing the tax burden, the Uruguayan court also held that bridge transfers are not to be tax exempted.  


B.    The Racing case: FIFA’s interpretative bridge too far

1.     The argument of the parties

Racing Club argued in front of CAS that neither Article 3(1), nor Article 9.1(2) of Annexe 3 FIFA RSTP could constitute a sufficient legal basis to impose sanctions in case of a bridge transfer. Basically, “neither the Regulations nor the TMS generates a new substantive law”.[18] No provision states that transfers with a purely economic purpose violate any FIFA provision, which “precludes any sanction based on such concept”.[19] Racing Club also pleaded the ‘principle of estoppel’. As neither FIFA nor the FIFA TMS have sanctioned bridge transfers in the past, Racing Club is of the opinion that the FIFA DC is estopped from sanctioning them in the case at hand.

FIFA recognises that “although (the FIFA regulations) are not applicable to the present matter, (they) present an unambiguous view of what falls within the scope of the Regulations in general terms”.[20] The body argues that this loophole might be covered by the association’s usual practice or, if not, by the rules that they would lay down if they were acting as legislators. Also, FIFA argues that the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC) has to be read in accordance with the language used, the grammar and syntax of the provisions, the historical background and the regulatory context. In other words, FIFA pleads that the Panel must sanction the club interpreting the FIFA rules by analogy, if the wording of articles 76 FDC[21] and 62 FIFA Statutes[22] in connection with the TMS rules invoked is not sufficient to ground the decision of the FIFA DC.


2.     The decision of the Panel

In the view of the Panel, the FIFA DC was competent to render a decision in this matter. However, this decision must be grounded on a legal basis found in the FIFA regulations. The key question in the present case is whether Articles 3(1) and 9.1(2) Annexe 3 FIFA RSTP can constitute such a legal basis.

Therefore, taking into account that Racing was sanctioned for having violated the provisions of Annexe 3 by having entered untrue or false data and/or having misused the TMS for illegitimate purposes in bad faith by concluding a “bridge transfer”, the Panel must decide whether the transfer breached these provisions, and if it did so, whether the sanction is proportionate according the TMS rules.

The Panel considers that it is “undisputed that the present case involves a transfer structure which, […], is to be considered as a “bridge transfer”.[23] The Panel considers that Racing Club could not ignore that it was involved in a bridge transfer and was not acting in good faith when arguing that the transfer via Institución was conducted exclusively on the basis of a sporting interest. However, this does not imply per se that Racing acted in bad faith as far as the TMS registration of the Player’s transfer from Institución to Racing is concerned.[24] Indeed, FIFA had to satisfy its burden of proof and demonstrate to the comfortable satisfaction of the Panel that Racing Club had entered untrue or false data and/or misused the TMS for illegitimate purposes. In this regard, the Panel finds that “insufficient evidence is available to prove that the Appellant must be assumed not to have acted in good faith in connection with Player’s transfer registration in the TMS”, as “it has not been proven that the Appellant has registered misleading or false information in the TMS”.[25]

If FIFA is to outlaw the recourse to bridge transfers it must do so in an express fashion. In other words, “the parties involved, in conformity with the principle of legality, shall be provided with specific guidelines in order to know how to act when international transfers of players take place”.[26] Critically, “the lack of such clear and specific set of rules does not justify, in the eyes of the Panel, the “secondary use” of the TMS rules for these purposes”[27]. The principle of legality implies that a sanction must be based on a previously existing legal rule. The CAS had emphasized this principle at various instances in its earlier jurisprudence.[28] Consequently, the Panel found that the “bridge interpretation” used by the FIFA DC to sanction Racing for taking part in a transfer construct qualified as a bridge transfer was going too far and could not be followed. In short, “the current TMS rules represent neither an appropriate nor an effective tool for combating and/or sanctioning bridge transfers”.[29] Hence, the arbitrators decided to reduce the sanction imposed to a mere reprimand.

This is not to say that the Panel endorses the recourse to bridge transfers. Instead, it clearly states that it “concurs entirely with the Respondent (FIFA) that measures should be applied against bridge transfers when such transfers are conducted for the purpose of engaging in unlawful practices, such as tax evasion, or to circumvent the rules concerning, for instance, the payment of training compensation or solidarity contributions, or to assure third party's anonymity in relation to the relevant authorities”.[30]

Yet, the basic rule of law principle requiring that FIFA must first devised clearly positivized rules on the basis of which it can then adopt the required sanctions must be respected. This is a bold move by the Panel in light of the bad reputation of bridge transfers. FIFA, as any public or private authority, cannot free itself from the duty of acting in the framework of the regulations it has adopted. The decision is an important reminder of the limits faced by the discretionary power of International Sports Governing Bodies when CAS Panels review their disciplinary decisions. These Bodies do not have an absolute discretion to exercise the disciplinary power that they derive from their statutes. This power is checked by reference to the same legal principles restricting State power in a national context. Thus, it is the duty of FIFA to make sure that it disposes of an appropriate legal basis to act. Consequently, in the (near) future, instead of jumping an interpretative bridge too far, it is advisable that FIFA adopts specific rules to tackle the potential ethical and legal challenges posed by the surging use of bridge transfers.


[1] CAS 2014/A/3536 Racing Club Asociación Civil v. FIFA, paragraph 2.9

[2] Ibid, paragraph 2.10

[3] Ibid, paragraph 2.13

[4] Ibid, paragraph 2.19

[5]All users shall act in good faith.”

[6] “Sanctions may also be imposed on any association or club found to have entered untrue or false data into the system or for having misused TMS for illegitimate purposes.”

[7] Articles 10.c) and 15 for the fine and Articles 10.a) and 13 for the warning.

[8] CAS 2014/A/3536 Racing Club Asociación Civil v. FIFA, paragraph 7.2.2

[9] World Sports Law Report – April 2014, by Ariel Reck.

[10] CAS 2014/A/3536 Racing Club Asociación Civil v. FIFA, paragraph 7.3.2(o)

[11] Article 20 and Annexe 4 FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.

[12] CAS 2009/A/1757 MTK Budapest v. Internazionale Milano, paragraph 24.

[13] Ariel Reck, “What is a ‘bridge transfer’ in football”.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16]El otro triángulo de las Bermudas: los pases fantasmas a Uruguay y Chile”, 18 August 2012, Perfil.com

[17] Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo (Uruguay), fallo no. 301, 16 abril 2015.

[18] CAS 2014/A/3536 Racing Club Asociación Civil v. FIFA, paragraph 7.2.2.d)

[19] Ibid.

[20] CAS 2014/A/3536 Racing Club Asociación Civil v. FIFA, paragraph 7.3.2.k)

[21] “The FIFA Disciplinary Committee is authorised to sanction any breach of FIFA regulations which does not come under the jurisdiction of another body.”

[22] “1.The function of the Disciplinary Committee shall be governed by the FIFA Disciplinary Code. The committee shall pass decisions only when at least three members are present. In certain cases, the chairman may rule alone. 2. The Disciplinary Committee may pronounce the sanctions described in these Statutes and the FIFA Disciplinary Code on Members, Clubs, Officials, Players, intermediaries and licensed match agents. 3. These provisions are subject to the disciplinary powers of the Congress and Executive Committee with regard to the suspension and expulsion of Members. 4. The Executive Committee shall issue the FIFA Disciplinary Code.”

[23] Ibid, para.9.11

[24] Ibid, par. 9.14

[25] Ibid, para.9.15

[26] Ibid, par. 9.18

[27] Ibid.

[28] "In the Panel’s opinion, this provision of the Olympic Charter is to be properly read in accordance with the “principle of legality” (“principe de légalité” in French), requiring that the offences and the sanctions be clearly and previously defined by the law and precluding the “adjustment” of existing rules to apply them to situations or behaviours that the legislator did not clearly intend to penalize. CAS arbitrators have drawn inspiration from this general principle of law in reference to sports disciplinary issues, and have formulated and applied what has been termed as “predictability test”. Indeed, CAS awards have consistently held that sports organizations cannot impose sanctions without a proper legal or regulatory basis and that such sanctions must be predictable. In other words, offences and sanctions must be provided by clear rules enacted beforehand." CAS 2008/A/1545 Andrea Anderson, LaTasha Colander Clark, Jearl Miles-

Clark, Torri Edwards, Chryste Gaines, Monique Hennagan, Passion Richardson v. International Olympic Committee (IOC), award of 16 July 2010, para.30. See also CAS 2011/A/2670 Masar Omeragik v. Macedonian Football Federation (FFM),  award of 25 January 2013, para.8.13.

[29] Ibid. Para.9.19

[30] Ibid, para.913


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