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FIFA launches second edition of Diploma in Football Law

14 Jun 2021

Following the success of the inaugural programme, FIFA – in collaboration with the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) – has today launched the second edition of its Diploma in Football Law. Information about applications, which are open from 15 June to 30 September 2021, can be found at https://www.fifa.com/who-we-are/legal/education/diploma-in-football-law/ and www.cies.ch/en/education/football-law.

In line with FIFA’s vision of making football truly global, the FIFA Diploma in Football Law aims to provide sports legal executives working at FIFA member associations, leagues, clubs, players’ unions and private practices from all around the globe with a working knowledge of the latest and most relevant aspects in the legal field.

Reflecting the international dimension of football and subject to health and travel restrictions, the diploma will comprise virtual and in-person lessons over the course of 13 months, during which renowned football experts, arbitrators and lawyers will offer a full array of theoretical and practical insight across five modules, as follows:

  • Module 1 – Introduction to football law

Doha (Qatar), 21-25 February 2022

  • Module 2 – FIFA transfer regulations (I)

Miami (USA), 16-20 May 2022

  • Module 3 – FIFA transfer regulations (II)

Luque (Paraguay), 5-10 September 2022

  • Module 4 – Other aspects of football law

Cairo (Egypt), 5-9 November 2022

  • Module 5 – CAS proceedings

Zurich (Switzerland), 6-10 March 2023

Further details on the FIFA Diploma in Football Law are available here.

Legal dispute between FIFA and TUI Cruises about free-to-air TV on cruise s...

09 Jun 2021

The legal dispute between FIFA and TUI Cruises that had been pending at the Copyright Dispute Chamber of Hamburg District Court since 1 July 2020 has been resolved by way of a settlement between the parties, who have submitted their settlement agreement to be ratified and published by the court. 

FIFA had filed a lawsuit against TUI Cruises due to the latter having received and broadcast live transmissions by German broadcasters ARD and ZDF of matches from the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ and the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019™ on its cruise ships in international waters. TUI Cruises had not obtained a licence from FIFA’s authorised sales agency permitting said reception and broadcast. 

The court indicated in the oral proceedings on 15 April 2021 that TUI Cruises was obliged to respect FIFA’s copyright in the audiovisual content and recordings of the so called “basic feed” when it transmitted broadcasts of football matches derived from free-to-air programmes on board its ships. In light of the court’s guidance, the legal issues in dispute between FIFA and TUI Cruises have been resolved.

Under the agreed settlement, TUI Cruises recognises FIFA’s copyright in the basic feed, which is produced by FIFA and licensed to international TV broadcasters. TUI Cruises further undertakes to FIFA that it will refrain from using the FIFA basic feed (even if received from ARD or ZDF) on its ships. This includes by means of the on-board TV system available in the cabins or in the catering and entertainment areas, unless TUI Cruises has obtained a suitable licence from FIFA or its official licensing partner for the in-ship rights.

Council of Europe report: FIFA transfer system reform to 'significantly imp...

07 Jun 2021

The Council of Europe, based on the work of its Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), has recognised FIFA’s ongoing efforts to reform the transfer system, stating that the soon‑to‑be‑operational FIFA Clearing House “will represent a milestone in achieving comprehensiveness, transparency and integrity of the transfer system for football players around the world”.

The FIFA Transfer System Reform – Analysis and Recommendations report prepared by Drago Kos, former GRECO President and current President of the OECD Anti‑bribery Working Group in International Business Transactions, states that “the simplification of methods for the calculation of training rewards and their channelling through the FIFA Clearing House might significantly improve the incomes of clubs at lower levels of competition”.

The document acknowledges that the FIFA Football Agent Regulations, due to enter into force in July 2022, are an “important step in the right direction, where the role of agents will be more aligned to the roles of other actors in football – clubs, players, etc. – and the objectives of the transfer system”.

As far as the envisaged reforms relating to the loan of players are concerned, the report remarks: “The new regulations are planned to prevent their misuse, protect careers of young players and ensure the integrity of competitions. Excessive loaning of players has influenced the competitive abilities of the clubs, distorted the uncertainty of the results of sport competitions and slowed down the development of the players’ careers.”

The Council of Europe’s report also tackles other key areas of FIFA’s transfer system reform, including the transfer of minors, squad sizes, home-grown players and transfer windows, and concludes that “the decision of FIFA to review and further develop the transfer system of football players in the world will undoubtedly and significantly improve the overall climate in world football”.

In reviewing many aspects of the football transfer system, the Council of Europe’s report also provides 20 additional proposals aimed at improving the functioning and data management of the Clearing House, the already-enhanced compliance standards for clubs, the provisions regarding conflicts of interest in the draft FIFA Football Agent Regulations and the protection of foreign minor players in transfers.

Since 2017, and in line with FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s Vision 2020-2023: Making Football Truly Global, FIFA has made major steps towards the establishment of a fairer and more transparent transfer system, with the FIFA Council recently endorsing the Third Reform Package. An overview of the main achievements in relation to the reform of the transfer system is available here.

About GRECO:

The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) was established in 1999 by the Council of Europe to monitor States’ compliance with the organisation’s anti-corruption standards.

GRECO’s objective is to improve the capacity of its members to fight corruption by monitoring their compliance with Council of Europe anti-corruption standards through a dynamic process of mutual evaluation and peer pressure. It helps to identify deficiencies in national anti-corruption policies, prompting the necessary legislative, institutional and practical reforms. GRECO also provides a platform for the sharing of best practice in the prevention and detection of corruption.

Membership of GRECO, which is an enlarged agreement, is not limited to Council of Europe member States. Any State which took part in the elaboration of the enlarged partial agreement may join by notifying the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. Moreover, any State which becomes Party to the Criminal or Civil Law Conventions on Corruption automatically accedes to GRECO and its evaluation procedures. Currently, GRECO comprises 50 member States (48 European States, Kazakhstan and the United States of America).

Further details on GRECO are available here.