The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) recently issued a decision in the appeal arbitration proceedings between the Egyptian international player Mahmoud Abdel Razek, Egyptian side Zamalek SC, the Greek club PAOK FC and FIFA, confirming a previous decision from the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC). This decision by the CAS supports FIFA's aim of safeguarding the principle of maintenance of contractual stability between professional football players and clubs.
The CAS confirmed on 20 June 2008 that Razek and Zamalek SC shall jointly pay compensation for breach of contract to the Greek club PAOK FC, at the amount of 990,000 euros, and that the player shall be banned from participating in official matches for a period of six months.
In its decision on 2 November 2007, the DRC had determined that the player had breached his contract with PAOK FC by leaving the club for a holiday in Egypt in April 2006, but never resuming duty afterwards. Upon arrival in his home country, the player was summoned for military service and signed a five-year employment contract with the Egyptian club Zamalek SC. The verdict of the DRC has now been confirmed by the CAS.
During the proceedings before the CAS, the player and Zamalek SC claimed that the player had just cause to terminate his contract with PAOK FC due to his military service in Egypt, which prevented him from leaving his home country. This reasoning was, however, dismissed by the CAS, which considered that the player had been aware of the mandatory military service in Egypt for all men aged between 19 and 30, and had to anticipate that he could be called up for such duty whenever he entered the country.