On 24 May 2023, FIFA and the German Football Association (DFB) were notified of a preliminary injunction (the “Injunction”) granted by the District Court of Dortmund (Landgericht Dortmund) in the procedure 8 O 1/23 (Kart), prohibiting FIFA from enforcing specific provisions of the FIFA Football Agent Regulations (FFAR).
In September 2023, FIFA published information about how it would implement the Injunction in practical terms for the time that it is in effect or at least until such time as the Court of Justice of the European Union renders a decision in the pending procedures concerning the FFAR.
This is an update to the previously published information, and the approach outlined here replaces the previous one.
Provisions subject to the Injunction
The following provisions of the FFAR are subject to the Injunction (the “Suspended FFAR Rules”):
The service fee cap (art. 15 pars 1-4)
The rules concerning service fee payments (art. 14 pars 6, 8 and 11)
The client pays rule (art. 14 pars 2 and 10)
The rules regarding the timing of service fee payments (art. 14 pars 7 and 12)
The prohibition of double representation (art. 12 pars 8-10)
The reporting obligations (art. 16 par. 2 h), j), k) and 4)
The rules regarding disclosure and publication (art. 19)
The submission rule (art. 4 par. 2; art. 16 par. 2 b); art. 3 pars 2 c) and d); art. 20; and art. 21)
The rule that service fee payments must be made via the FIFA Clearing House (art. 14 par. 13)
The current legal situation and the ongoing threat of further enforcement requests against FIFA give rise to regulatory uncertainty and, in particular, unequal legal standards within the international transfer system, in particular between Europe and the rest of the world.
As world football’s governing body, FIFA has a duty to prevent such uncertainty and inequality and to protect competitive balance worldwide.
In light of the foregoing, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has approved the worldwide temporary suspension of the Suspended FFAR Rules, up until such time as the Court of Justice of the European Union renders a final decision in the pending procedures concerning the FFAR.
Implementation of national football agent regulations
FIFA instructs the DFB to implement national football agent regulations excluding the Suspended FFAR Rules.
Further, FIFA recommends that all of the other FIFA member associations also suspend the equivalent provisions from their national football agent regulations, unless they conflict with mandatory provisions of the law applicable in the territory of the member association.
Further information and questions
FIFA has published details of the Injunction in all official FIFA languages at www.fifa.com/legal/football-regulatory/agents.
FIFA is ready and willing to answer any questions related to the implementation of the Injunction and asks stakeholders to send their queries to AgentsDepartment@fifa.org.
Finally, it is worth noting that the Injunction is inconsistent with previous judicial decisions in other European countries, the CAS awardand even previous decisions in Germany, including from appeals courts.
FIFA wishes to emphasise that the FFAR are the result of a long and inclusive consultation process involving players, clubs, leagues, member associations and football agents themselves. FIFA believes that the FFAR provide a reasonable and proportionate framework to help resolve systemic failures in the player transfer system and wishes to underscore that the regulations have been universally recognised by all football stakeholders and the most important political authorities in Europe.