FIFA’s new Football Tribunal dispute chambers open for business

October 1 – FIFA’s new Football Tribunal comes into operation officially today (October 1) as the world governing body seeks to further streamline and modernise its dispute processes into a more efficient decision-making system.

FIFA’s existing dispute resolutions protocols have made over 6,000 decisions and adjudicated on more than 15,000 player registration applications and first registration of minors.

The new FIFA Football Tribunal framework consolidates the existing FIFA decision-making bodies into a single umbrella body and will be comprised of three specific chambers, detailed by FIFA as:

  • the Dispute Resolution Chamber, which will decide employment-related disputes between players and clubs, as well as disputes related to training rewards;
  • the Players’ Status Chamber, which will decide employment-related disputes between coaches and clubs or associations, transfer-related disputes between clubs, and regulatory applications related to the international transfer system and the eligibility of players to participate for representative teams; and
  • the Agents Chamber, which will decide disputes involving football agents, following the approval of the FIFA Football Agent Regulations.

Key new elements of the system are that it is available free of charge to what FIFA describes as a ‘natural’ person (player, coach, football agent or match agent); if procedural costs are required to be paid they must be paid within 10 days (ie no long tailing of applications that are often played out in the media); the introduction of an expedited decision-making process for preliminary procedural matters; and the option to invite complainants to undertake a voluntary and free mediation process which, if successful, will ratify a a final and binding settlement agreement.

FIFA said “it is anticipated that the Dispute Resolution Chamber will decide approximately 3,500 disputes per year, while the Players’ Status Chamber will rule on approximately 700 disputes and 6,000 regulatory applications on an annual basis.”

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