CAS Bayal Sall decision favours contractual stability

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) recently issued a decision on an appeal lodged by Senegalese international Moustapha Bayal Sall and his current team AS Saint-Etienne, fully confirming a previous decision from the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC). This decision by CAS supports FIFA's aim of safeguarding the principle of maintenance of contractual stability between professional football players and clubs.

The CAS confirmed on 25 June 2008 that Bayal Sall and Saint-Etienne shall jointly pay compensation for breach of contract in the amount of $150,000 to the Norwegian club IK Start, and that the player shall be banned from participating in official matches for a period of four months as from the start of the next season.

In its decision of 10 August 2007, the DRC had determined that the player had, while being under contract with IK Start, signed another contract with AS St-Etienne partially covering the same period of time without previously having obtained the consent of the Norwegian club. The DRC had issued the same verdict, which has now been confirmed by CAS.

During the proceedings before the DRC and the CAS, the player denied having intended to sign an employment agreement with IK Start and declared that he never considered himself contractually bound to the Norwegian club, but these appeals were dismissed by both the DRC and the CAS, which considered that a valid contract had been signed and unilaterally breached by Bayal Sall.