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On September 18, 2015, FIFPro, the union representing footballers worldwide, filed a complaint against FIFA’s transfer system with the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition, considering it to be anticompetitive and unjustified. FIFPro claimed that the transfer system did not meet the objectives the European Commission approved in 2001, regarding achieving a balance between the players’ fundamental right to the freedom of movement and the stability of contracts, with the legitimate aim of achieving the integrity of the sport and the stability of the championships.

The commission announced these objectives in 2001, after (i) discontinuing its investigation of FIFA’s previous rules on the international transfers of players, and (ii) the rules were modified based on the commission’s objectives. Read the commission’s press release announcing the discontinuing of the investigation here.

FIFPro announced that it will withdraw the complaint it filed in 2015after having signed a six-year cooperation agreement with FIFA resolving the competition issues.

Also, FIFA and FIFPro have signed another agreement in the framework of the new Football Stakeholders Committee (Commission of Interest Groups, a meeting forum for the main actors in the world of football), which the European Club Association and the World Leagues Forum have also signed. The new agreement will streamline dispute resolution between clubs and players, particularly regarding outstanding debts and other forms of abusive conduct. From now on, players that do not receive their pay on time (the rules establish a two-month deadline) or are subject to other forms of abusive conduct will have the possibility to terminate their contracts and leave the club.

One of the measures agreed on is the establishment of a task force to study and review the current transfer system. Other joint initiatives include the continued rollout of club licensing, establishment of national dispute resolution chambers and exploring minimum contract requirements with all stakeholders at global level. Lastly, the measures will also cover (i) players’ health and safety (particularly regarding the international match calendar); and (ii) the promotion of equality and the interests of female players, and of professional womens’ football in general.

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Autores:

Consejera

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Es consejera del Grupo de Competencia y Derecho de la UE en Madrid. Previamente, trabajó como responsable interno de los asuntos de competencia en el Grupo Telefónica y como Directora Legal adjunta de The Coca-Cola Company para España y Portugal. Está especializado en derecho europeo y de defensa de la competencia comunitario y español.

carolina.fernandez@cuatrecasas.com

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