Court of Appeal of Paris rejects appeal relating to alleged violations of European Union law by FIFA

The entrance of the FIFA headquarters
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An appeal against the decision by the High Court of Rennes of 29 August 2013 relating to alleged violations of European Union law by FIFA was rejected by the Court of Appeal of Paris on 13 April.

The appeal, made by Mr Laurent Piau, had contested the provisions of several editions of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (now revoked) and the legitimacy of FIFA adopting them, alleging violations of European Union law.

In its decision, which included a number of general considerations, the Court of Appeal of Paris considered that it was not necessary to refer to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling, and in particular stated that: “... sporting organisations know the specific nature of each sport... [and] are best placed to establish and apply a set of regulations that meets the objectives of protecting the image and ethics of football... FIFA, an international sporting organisation, has the legitimate authority to determine the rules and monitor ethical matters [concerning the profession of players’ agents] at international level.” The court stressed that those regulations did not violate the freedom of establishment and/or the freedom to provide services within the European Union.

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