FIFA is committed to guaranteeing the rights of individuals who lack the financial means to defend themselves properly in proceedings before the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, the FIFA Appeal Committee and the Ethics Committee. Article 42 FIFA Disciplinary Code and article 38bis FIFA Code of Ethics provide for three types of legal aid:
- Releasing the applicant from his/her obligation to pay the costs of the relevant proceedings;
- Appointing a pro bono counsel to assist the individual; and
- Paying reasonable travel and accommodation costs of the applicant, if needed (as well as those of any witnesses, experts and pro bono counsel).
For the avoidance of doubt, legal aid is not available to member associations, clubs or other entities that are not natural persons.
The following lawyers have been selected by FIFA to act as pro bono counsel in FIFA proceedings: CLICK HERE.
How to apply for legal aid and pro bono counsel?
An applicant may apply for legal aid and pro bono counsel by sending an email to FIFA at firstname.lastname@example.org, explaining the need for his/her application. In addition, the applicant must provide all necessary information to establish his/her financial situation.
The FIFA secretariat of the Disciplinary Committee or Ethics Committee, respectively, will decide on applications at its sole discretion. The request will not be granted if it is clear that the applicant has sufficient financial means.
The decision of FIFA is final and without appeal. The applicant may, however, request that his/her application be reconsidered should his/her financial situation deteriorate significantly after the initial review.
Legal aid and pro bono counsel may be requested by a defendant as soon as a case is opened against him/her. Although legal aid and pro bono counsel may be requested at any time during the proceedings, applicants are encouraged to submit their applications for legal aid and pro bono counsel as soon as possible.