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Court of Arbitration for Sport shows red card to claims against FIFA


In an Award issued on 24 July, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed wide-ranging claims brought by the Professional Football Agents Association (“PROFAA”) against FIFA.

In December 2022, FIFA adopted the FIFA Football Agents Regulations (the “FFAR”). The FFAR establish a licensing system for football agents and regulate, at the international level, how agents provide services in connection with the registration and transfer of players and coaches with and between football clubs. The FFAR also regulate the fees that agents can charge for those services.

PROFAA alleged that certain provisions of the FFAR infringe Articles 101 and 102 TFEU, as well as certain provisions of the Services Directive, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, the General Data Protection Regulation, Swiss competition and personality law, Italian law, French law and the collective bargaining agreement between Major League Soccer and the MLS Players’ Association.

FIFA denied each of PROFAA’s claims, contending that the FFAR are a lawful regulatory measure necessary to ensure the proper functioning of the international transfer system and, ultimately, the integrity of the sport of football.

In a unanimous Award, the Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed PROFAA’s claims in their entirety. The Award addresses a number of interesting and important issues concerning the application of EU and international law to rules adopted by international sports governing bodies.

The Award can be found here.

Victoria Wakefield KC, Matthew Kennedy and Jacob Rabinowitz acted for FIFA, instructed by Ashurst LLP.