The jurisprudence of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber

By Frans de Weger hardback second edition 2016 Asser press The Hague The Netherlands pages 495 + xxi isbn 978-94-6265-125-8 price: €158,24 

Association Football, Soccer, is not only the world’s favourite sport, but also its most lucrative one. The FA English Premier League is the world’s most successful league and watched by hundreds of millions of football fans throughout the world. The League sold its live TV rights for the seasons 2016 – 2019 for a record sum of £5.136 billion, which, together with the sale of other rights, brings in £8.3 billion!

The 2016 Summer ‘Transfer Window’ saw another record being broken: the sale in August of the French forward Paul Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United for the world-record sum of £89 million. Also, Wayne Rooney, captain of Manchester United FC and also the England national Team signed a new contract worth £260.000 per week!

With all this money circulating in Soccer, it is not surprising that disputes are bound to arise and need to be settled preferably ‘within the family of sport’. And that is where, apart from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) comes into play.

This Book is an update of an earlier edition by Frans de Weger, who, as the Legal Counsel of the Dutch Federation of Professional Football Clubs (FBO), and also a CAS Member, is very well qualified to write it.

The Book is timely, as, since the publication of the first edition in 2008, the number of cases being dealt with by the FIFA DRC has been steadily increasing.

The FIFA DRC was set up in 2001 to deal with disputes arising under the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, the latest version of which were approved by the FIFA Executive Committee on 17 March, 2016 and came into force on 1 June, 2016. In his Book, he covers the main decisions rendered by the FIFA DRC over a period of 15 years – from 2001 – 2016.

However, as the Author points out, the Book is by no means exhaustive, but aims to provide an overview of the “well-established jurisprudence” of the DRC, and what fascinating and informative reading all of this information makes.

The Author is to be congratulated on his extensive research and fine scholarship and the contribution that his work makes to ‘World Football Law’.

In fact, his Book, which is completed with a List of Abbreviations used in the text and an adequate Index, is a very valuable resource and one that any self-respecting sports lawyer and administrator should not be without; and one, therefore, which I would unhesitatingly recommend!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw International Sports Lawyer