FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned CA Independiente of Argentina and Genoa CFC of Italy for misuse of the FIFA Transfer Matching System (“TMS”). The use of TMS is mandatory for all international transfers of professional male players within the scope of eleven-a-side football.
FIFA opened a disciplinary investigation against CA Independiente on 28 September 2012 after both clubs agreed to condition the issuance of the International Transfer Certificate (ITC) for the transfer of the player Julian Alberto Velazquez upon the payment of a significant amount by Genoa CFC in order to complete the data entry.
By signing a transfer contract for which the issuance of the ITC was conditioned upon a payment, CA Independiente breached article 9 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (the “Regulations”), which stipulates that the ITC shall be issued free of charge without any conditions.
CA Independiente, who in addition violated articles 2.4 and 3.1.1 of Annexe 3 of the Regulations by failing to enter the counter-instruction in TMS for the transfer of the player Julian Alberto Velazquez to Genoa CFC, was ordered to pay a fine of CHF 35,000 and was warned about engaging in any such future conduct.
The Argentinian club has still not entered the counter-instruction in TMS for the transfer of the player, which means that the transfer has been blocked since 31 August 2012 and no ITC has been requested. In this respect, CA Independiente was ordered by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee to enter the counter-instruction within a deadline of seven days. Since this deadline has now passed, the committee will consider at its next meeting whether harsher sanctions shall be imposed.
*Genoa CFC *has also been fined CHF 35,000 and warned about its future conduct after breaching article 9 and article 2.4 of Annexe 3 of the Regulations by also failing to submit information and upload relevant documents into TMS once the transfer contract had been signed.
Both clubs were notified on 15 January 2013 of the decisions taken by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on 20 November 2012. The decisions are now final and binding as no appeal has been lodged.
In both cases, the committee was categorical by stating that, “Conditioning the issuance of the ITC is a serious breach of the Regulations, which jeopardises the transparency of international transfers, stains the credibility of the entire transfer system and hinders the possibility of the football authorities to have a more effective monitoring of international transfers. Players’ activities are hindered and prejudiced by such behaviour.”
Furthermore, the committee was clear when indicating that,* “[…] the use of TMS is obligatory. Its purpose is to ensure that football authorities have clear details of the international transfers of players available, and thus improve credibility and transparency of the system […]. In this sense, all users must act in good faith, check TMS at regular intervals on a daily basis and be responsible for ensuring that they have all the necessary equipment to fulfil their obligations.”*