The Legal Status Of Sportsmen And Sportswomen Under International, European And Belgian National And Regional Law

Overview

Although the European Court of Justice ruled in Bosman (1995) that professional sportsmen and sportswomen are free at the end of their contracts, they are still at the mercy of the clubs that employ them. Such pretexts as the 'special nature' of sport publicly urged by such European eminences as Tony Blair and Gerhard Schrder have institutionalized the human trafficking of players, depriving them of basic rights guaranteed under all the laws enjoyed by Europeans. They may be well-paid as long as they are in the ...

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Overview

Although the European Court of Justice ruled in Bosman (1995) that professional sportsmen and sportswomen are free at the end of their contracts, they are still at the mercy of the clubs that employ them. Such pretexts as the 'special nature' of sport publicly urged by such European eminences as Tony Blair and Gerhard Schrder have institutionalized the human trafficking of players, depriving them of basic rights guaranteed under all the laws enjoyed by Europeans. They may be well-paid as long as they are in the limelight, but they have no surety. They can be, and are, bought and sold repeatedly, each time returning profits to those who trade in their athletic prowess.

In this searing indictment, Professor Blanpain underscores the demonstrable illegality of the current transfer system imposed by the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA). In abundant detail he describes the complex ramifications of FIFA's rules in the lives of players, clearly revealing how the fundamental rights of players to free movement and freedom of labour are systematically denied. He calls for the courts, from the European Court of Justice on down, to recognize this illegality and act to enforce the Bosman judgement.

Professor Blanpain examines all the crucial legal issues involved. These include the following: the classification of sportsmen and sportswomen as 'workers'; the nature of the contract between player and club; the legal capacity of minors to enter into an employment contract; the trade in foreign (frequently African and South American) players with no legal rights in Europe; disciplinary rules; training compensation fees; placement and status of players' agents; dispute resolution; and conflicts with competition law. An extensive array of documents, including the FIFA Transfer Regulations and material leading to the March 2001 agreement between FIFA and the European Commission, is included in a series of annexes.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Some Striking Comments
Preface
Pt. I Sport: Its Main Social and Political Elements 1
1 Importance of Sport 1
2 The European Model of Sport 2
3 Negative Aspects: Human Trafficking 5
4 Bosman: The End of the Transfer System? 9
5 In the Wake of Bosman: The Flemish Community and French Community Decrees 22
6 The Belgian Collective Agreement on the Terms and Conditions of Employment of Professional Footballers (12 June 1998) 23
7 Political Favouritism towards Football 23
8 Problems: Bosman Bypassed. Sale of Players during the Course of the Contract of Employment 24
9 About-turn: Footballers' Freedom Once Again Restricted 25
10 The Agreement of 5 March 2001 between FIFA and the European Commission 46
11 The FIFA Transfer Regulations: New Style 51
12 Assessment of the New Transfer System and Its Motivation 56
Pt. II The Status of Professional Sportsmen and Sportswomen 65
1 Sources of Law 65
2 Classification as a 'Worker' 67
3 Employment of Foreign Nationals 72
4 Legal Capacity: Minors 73
5 Contract of Employment 74
6 Freedom of Movement for Workers. No Discrimination based on Nationality 76
7 Terms and Conditions of Employment 78
8 Fundamental Rights 82
9 Disciplinary Powers 86
10 Loan of Players 90
11 The End of the Contract of Employment 93
12 Transfer Fee 98
13 Training Compensation 99
14 Non-competition Clause 102
15 Dispute Resolution 102
16 Placement Services and the Status of Players' Agents 106
Pt. III The Status of Amateur Sportsmen and Sportswomen 117
1 General Comments 117
2 Belgian Regional Law: The Flemish Community Decree of 24 July 1996 118
3 Belgian Regional Law: The French Community Decree of 26 April 1999 136
4 International Law: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 138
Conclusions 141
Annex I Statement by Commissioner Monti on Football Transfers 143
Annex II Press Report on Meeting with Football Leagues: 21 September 2000 144
Annex III Letter from FIFA to Commissioner Monti 145
Annex IV Negotiation Document (FIFA) 146
Annex V International Transfer of Players under 18 Years of Age - Protection of Minors (FIFA) 150
Annex VI The Education Package 152
Annex VII Example (FIFA) 157
Annex VIII Joint Statement by Commissioners Monti, Reding and Diamantopoulou and Presidents of FIFA, Blatter and UEFA, Johansson: Brussels, 14 February 2001 161
Annex IX Letter from FIFA to Commissioner Monti 162
Annex X Letter from Commissioner Monti to FIFA President Blatter 163
Annex XI Outcome of Discussions between the Commission and FIFA-UEFA on FIFA Regulations on International Football Transfers: Brussels, 5 March 2001 164
Annex XII Joint Press Release by FIFA and FIFPro: 31 August 2001 165
Annex XIII Letter from Commissioner Monti to the President of FIFPro 166
Annex XIV Principles for the Amendment of FIFA Rules regarding International Transfers 167
Annex XV Complaint by SETCA to the European Commission regarding the FIFA Circular (1997) - Prohibition of Transfer during the Course of the Contract. The Position Adopted by the Commission 176
Annex XVI FIFA Statutes 191
Annex XVII FIFA Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players 214
Annex XVIII Regulations Governing the Application of the Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players 233
Annex XIX FIFA Circular No. 769 244
Annex XX Players' Agents Regulations 265
Annex XXI Composition of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber 280
Bibliography 281
Index 283
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