A Belgian court has decided that FIFA and the Belgian FA infringed EU legislation protecting the freedom of movement of employment by obstructing a proposed move by Lassana Diarra to RSC Charleroi.
FIFA had made statements to the effect that under FIFA Statutes a club signing the player may be held jointly responsible with the player for meeting a €10m claim for the player’s breach of contract with his former club Lokomotiv Moscow.
As a result, RSC Charleroi pulled out of a deal to sign the player, who missed playing the whole of the 2014-15 season, losing an estimated €6m in earnings.
The court held that Art.17.2 of the FIFA Statutes which holds a player’s new club jointly liable for damages for the player’s breach of contract with a prior club is contrary to EU law.
In addition, the court rejected FIFA’s claim that CAS had exclusive jurisdiction over such matters and that a player cannot be denied access to the civil courts.
Although an appeal is expected, the case has far reaching consequences not just for football, but all sporting federations.
Watch this space.