On 6 and 7 November in Zurich, FIFA held the first-ever workshop for all the judges of its bodies in charge of players’ status matters. During the event, 34 judges from FIFA’s Players’ Status Committee (PSC), its Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) and the minors sub-committee of the PSC had the opportunity to exchange and update their knowledge about a broad range of topics with specialists from the FIFA administration and other legal experts.
The aim of the seminar was to further and update the judges’ know-how and ensure that FIFA provides the best possible judicial services to all football stakeholders, including associations, clubs, players, coaches and match agents. After this inaugural edition, the Players’ Status Workshop will be held on a biennial basis.
The event this week at the Home of FIFA had a very extensive programme, touching upon a series of key matters for the current practice and future developments of the decision-making bodies in question. This included an analysis of recent case law of the PSC and DRC as well as the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The judges also had the opportunity to hold detailed discussions on important topics for their daily work, such as the protection of minors, the solidarity mechanism, training compensation and the question of the eligibility and registration of players. They also reviewed recent regulatory changes, particularly the latest amendments to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players and the Procedural Rules, and received an update on the ongoing reform of the transfer system.
All the participants were very positive about the outcome of the two-day event:
“Such a workshop is really useful, as there are different decision-making bodies and we very rarely have the opportunity to all come together, exchange thoughts and get feedback with a view to improving for the benefit of the entire system. It helps us better understand the challenges facing everyone. For instance, I come from Africa and we’ve been able to share our understanding of the challenges surrounding the question of minors with colleagues from other confederations,” said PSC chairman Raymond Hack.
“It is extremely beneficial for the judges to meet and discuss the procedures and regulations with input from FIFA’s legal counsels. It gives us a better understanding of the background, the regulatory changes and the complexities of the topics we deal with,” said DRC chairman Geoff Thompson.
Alexandra Gómez, a FIFPro representative and member of the DRC, added: “It is very important to share knowledge with colleagues and discuss the case law that we are creating. The sessions were very interactive and allowed us to get useful input on a broad range of topics.”
Jérôme Perlemuter, a representative of the World Leagues Forum and DRC member, underlined that: “This workshop was a fantastic opportunity to exchange ideas in an open manner. Usually, when the DRC meets, we have to take decisions on a concrete case and for my part from the viewpoint of the clubs, as the DRC is an equal-representation body. This workshop gave us a platform to think and debate outside the box.”
The European Club Association’s Daan de Jong, also a member of the DRC, concluded: “It is helpful for all judges to come together to share experiences and discuss the latest case law in order to deliver effective dispute resolution at global level.”