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Philippe Mexes: FIFA grants issuance of transfer certificate, but suspends player for six weeks

French player Philippe Mexes can be registered by the Italian football association (FIGC) on behalf of its club, AS Roma, but will have to serve a six-week suspension beginning on 12 September (the first day of the Italian league championship) for unilateral breach of contract.

On 31 August 2004, the Bureau of the FIFA Players' Status Committee, chaired by Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder (Germany), examined the request submitted by the player Philippe Mexes (formerly of French club AJ Auxerre) that the French football federation (FFF) issue an International Registration Transfer Certificate (IRTC) to the FIGC in order to allow him to play for AS Roma. The Bureau instructed the FFF to issue an IRTC to the FIGC immediately and authorised the latter to register Mexes until receipt of the original certificate.

The FIGC was also requested to take note of the decision reached by the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber on the same day (chair: Slim Aloulou, Tunisia), forbidding Mexes from participating in any official matches for AS Roma for the first six weeks of the Italian league championship, which commences on 12 September 2004.

Adjudicating on the contractual litigation between Mexes and his previous club, AJ Auxerre, the Dispute Resolution Chamber established that Mexes had unilaterally breached his employment contract with AJ Auxerre without just cause during the so-called "protected period". The compensation due by the player to his former club for this breach will be determined by the Dispute Resolution Chamber in separate proceedings.

The Dispute Resolution Chamber also opened an investigation against AS Roma, as the club is presumed to have induced the unilateral breach of Philippe Mexes' contract with AJ Auxerre. An investigation is also ongoing against licensed players' agent Olivier Jouanneaux for the same reason.

The parties were notified of the terms of the decisions on 31 August 2004. The grounds for the decisions will be forwarded to the parties in due course. According to art. 60 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes, an appeal against decisions taken by the Dispute Resolution Chamber may be lodged with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within 10 days of receipt of notification of the grounds for the decision. The decision by the Players' Status Committee may also be appealed before CAS. The statement of appeal must be sent directly to CAS within 10 days of receiving the terms of the decision.

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