FIFA transfer rules may be in breach of EU law

FIFA transfer rules may be in breach of EU law

FIFA‘s longstanding transfer rules, which require football clubs to pay compensation when players prematurely end their contracts, may contravene European Union antitrust laws, according to a recent statement from an adviser to the EU’s highest court.

FIFA transfer rules may be in breach of EU law : Advocate General’s Stark Warning

On Tuesday, Advocate General Maciej Szpunar delivered a critical assessment of the current FIFA regulations. His nonbinding opinion highlighted that these rules might unlawfully restrict football clubs’ ability to recruit by imposing severe penalties on players who exit their contracts early. Szpunar’s comments suggested that such restrictions could not only infringe on competition law but also on the principles of free movement within the EU.

“The consequences of a player terminating a contract without just cause are so draconian that it is highly unlikely that a player will choose this path,” Szpunar stated, emphasizing the chilling effect these rules have on players’ career decisions.

The Case of Lassana Diarra: A Legal Battle Against FIFA

The legal scrutiny of FIFA’s transfer rules was significantly propelled by the case of Lassana Diarra, a former professional with notable stints at Real Madrid, Arsenal, and Chelsea FC. Diarra’s legal troubles began after he departed from FC Lokomotiv Moscow in 2015, leading to a contentious battle for compensation under FIFA’s regulations.