F.I.F.A. – Commissione per lo Status dei Calciatori (2012-2013) – controversie tra società – ———- F.I.F.A. – Players’ Status Committee (2012-2013) – club vs. club disputes – official version by www.fifa.com – Decision of the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee passed in Zurich, Switzerland, on 18 July 2012, by Geoff Thompson (England) Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee, on a claim presented by the club Club A, from country K as Claimant against the club Club B, from country L as Respondent regarding a contractual dispute arisen between the parties and relating to the player M

F.I.F.A. - Commissione per lo Status dei Calciatori (2012-2013) – controversie tra società – ---------- F.I.F.A. - Players' Status Committee (2012-2013) – club vs. club disputes – official version by www.fifa.com – Decision of the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee passed in Zurich, Switzerland, on 18 July 2012, by Geoff Thompson (England) Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee, on a claim presented by the club Club A, from country K as Claimant against the club Club B, from country L as Respondent regarding a contractual dispute arisen between the parties and relating to the player M I. Facts of the case 1. On 31 January 2011, Club A, from country K (hereinafter: the Claimant) addressed a letter to Club B, from country L (hereinafter: the Respondent), drafted in these terms: “[…] We hereby notify you of our club desire to have your club’s player M joined on secondment basis for four months as of 30/01/2011 until the end of season in consideration for US$ 80,000 (US Dollars eighty thousand only) to be distributed as follows: US$ 60,000 (US Dollars sixty thousand only) to the club - US$ 20,000 (US Dollars twenty thousand only) to the player […]. Therefore, we hope to receive your kind approval so that we can take necessary actions”. 2. On the same day, in response to the letter of the Claimant, the Respondent answered as follows: “[…] We would like to inform you that we have no objection to second the player M to play in your team until the end of football season 2010/2011 […]. Club A [i.e. the Claimant] shall transfer an amount of US$ 60,000 (US Dollars sixty thousand only) to Club B [i.e. the respondent] account […] so that we can send the international transfer certificate of the said player to your esteemed club”. 3. On 16 August 2011, the Claimant lodged a claim in front of FIFA against the Respondent, explaining that on 31 January 2011, the latter had agreed to loan the player M (hereinafter: the player) to the Claimant for an amount of USD 60,000. In this respect, the Claimant further explained that although it had entered the relevant information in the Transfer Matching System (hereinafter: TMS) on 31 January 2011, the Respondent had apparently matched the information “after the end of deadline specified for Transfer Matching System (TMS) which expired on 31/01/2011 at 12:00 pm” and that, consequently, the transfer had to be cancelled. In support of its allegations, the Claimant provided a letter FIFA had sent to the country K Football Association on 8 February 2011 in which the latter was informed that because no transfer contract was ever uploaded into TMS, FIFA was not in a position to grant a request “for a special exemption from the validation exception in the TMS”. 4. The Claimant further alleged that it had nevertheless proceeded with the payment of USD 60,000 to the Respondent on 1 February 2011 as agreed in their exchange of correspondence. Having realised that the transfer would eventually not take place due to “uncontrolled circumstances”, the Claimant had written to the Respondent to ask for the reimbursement of the amount of USD 60,000 on several occasions but claimed to have never received said amount. 5. In view of the above, the Claimant requested FIFA to order the Respondent to reimburse the amount of USD 60,000 as it deemed that the latter had “breached its obligation to send the transfer certificate and failed to adhere to the agreed deadlines concerning the player’s transfer to Club A despite the fact that Club A fulfilled its obligation of transferring the above mentioned amount into the account of Club B”. 6. Although asked by FIFA to do so, the Respondent did not provide any response to the claim. II. Considerations of the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee 1. First of all, the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee (hereinafter also referred to as: the Single Judge) analysed whether he was competent to deal with the matter in hand. In this respect, he referred to art. 21 par. 2 and 3 of the Rules governing the procedures of the Players’ Status Committee and the Dispute Resolution Chamber (edition 2008). Consequently, and since the present matter was submitted to FIFA on 16 August 2011, the Single Judge concluded that the current version, i.e. the 2008 edition, of the Rules governing the procedures of the Players’ Status Committee and the Dispute Resolution Chamber (hereinafter: the Procedural Rules) is applicable to the matter at hand. 2. Furthermore, the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee confirmed that, on the basis of art. 3 par. 1 of the Procedural Rules in connection with art. 23 par. 1 and 3 as well as art. 22 f) of the 2010 edition of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, he was competent to deal with the present matter since it concerned a dispute between two clubs affiliated to different associations. 3. Subsequently, the Single Judge analysed which edition of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players should be applicable as to the substance of the matter. In this respect, he referred, on the one hand, to art. 26 par. 1 and 2 of the 2010 edition of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players and, on the other hand, to the fact that the claim was lodged in front of FIFA on 16 August 2011. In view of this, the Single Judge concluded that the current edition of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (edition 2010; hereinafter: the Regulations) is applicable to the case at hand as to the substance. 4. His competence and the applicable regulations having been established, and entering into the substance of the matter, the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee started by acknowledging the above-mentioned facts as well as the arguments and the documentation provided by the Claimant and contained in the file. 5. In this respect and first of all, the Single Judge noted that the Respondent had agreed, on the basis of an exchange of letters with the Claimant, to loan the player to the latter “for four months as of 30/01/2011 until the end of season” for an amount of USD 60,000 to be paid by the Claimant to the Respondent. 6. At this point and as a preliminary remark, the Single Judge was eager to underline that the said exchange of correspondence, i.e. the letter dated 31 January 2011 from the Claimant in which it offered the amount of USD 60,000 to the Respondent for the loan of the player and the response also dated 31 January 2011 from the Respondent in which the latter accepted the offer of the Claimant, had duly created a contractual relationship which was binding between the parties. In other words, the exchange of correspondence, constituted a valid contract between the Claimant and the Respondent. 7. In continuation, the Single Judge remarked that the Claimant had alleged that it had entered the relevant information into TMS on the day the contract was concluded between the parties, i.e. on 31 January 2011, but that the Respondent had apparently only matched the information in question after the deadline established by TMS and that, consequently, the transfer of the player could not be finalised. Furthermore, the Single Judge noted that before FIFA could inform the parties that it was not in a position to grant a request “for a special exemption from the validation exception in the TMS”, the Claimant had gone ahead with the payment of the amount of USD 60,000 to the Respondent, as agreed between the parties in their exchange of correspondence dated 31 January 2011. 8. As a matter of fact, the payment in question was made on 1 February 2011, whereas the letter of FIFA to the country K Football Association by means of which the latter was informed that the transfer could not be finalised as no transfer agreement had been uploaded into TMS was sent on 8 February 2011. In this context, the Single Judge underlined that the document which was uploaded in lieu of the transfer contract was the employment contract concluded between the player and the Claimant on 30 January 2011. 9. Having established the aforementioned, the Single Judge was eager to point out that, whenever a player is transferred on a loan basis or definitively to another club, it is in principle the responsibility of the acquiring club (i.e. the new club) to make sure that the mandatory documents are properly uploaded into TMS so that the player can be registered with its respective association. In this respect, the Single Judge referred to art. 8.2 par. 1 of Annexe 3 of the Regulations, which provides, inter alia, that “When entering the relevant data, depending on the selected instruction type, the new club shall upload at least the following documents into TMS: […] - a copy of the transfer agreement concluded between the new club and the former club, if applicable […]”. 10. The Single Judge further noted that the same article also stipulates that any document not drafted in one of the four official languages of FIFA needs to be accompanied by “either a translation of the document in one of the four official languages of FIFA, or an official confirmation of the association of the club concerned that summarises the pertinent facts of each document in one of the four official languages of FIFA”. 11. With this in mind, the Single Judge emphasised that, in the matter in hand and as confirmed by FIFA in its letter dated 8 February 2011 sent to the country K Football Association, the Claimant had failed to upload into TMS the relevant transfer contract, i.e. the relevant document(s) which constituted the contractual basis for the loan of the player. As a matter of fact, the document uploaded in place of the mandatory transfer contract, was the employment contract concluded between the Claimant and the player on 30 January 2011 and which was drafted only in the language of country K. 12. Having established the above, the Single Judge was eager to emphasise that no fault could be reproached on the Respondent. The Single Judge also noted that was no evidence on file according to which it could be established that the player had returned to the Claimant after the relevant transfer was cancelled. 13. On account of the above-mentioned considerations, the Single Judge formed the opinion that the player had not been able to register with the country K Football Association due to the Claimant’s own fault and that, therefore, the Respondent should not be held liable for the damage suffered by the Claimant as a result of the latter’s failure to comply with the strict provisions of the Regulations in relation to the transfer of players via TMS. 14. In view of the above, the Single Judge came to the conclusion that, having itself been at the origin of the non-finalisation of the transfer of the player, the Claimant could not benefit from its own fault and recover the amount of USD 60,000 which had been agreed upon. Furthermore, and for the sake of completeness, the Single Judge was eager to emphasise that, as a general rule, the payment of transfer compensation should be concomitant or subsequent to the finalisation of the transfer, precisely in order to avoid the risk of the transfer effectively not being finalised. Consequently, the Single Judge decided to reject the claim of the Claimant. 15. Finally, the Single Judge referred to art. 25 par. 2 of the Regulations in combination with art. 18 par. 1 of the Procedural Rules, according to which, in proceedings before the Players’ Status Committee including its Single Judge, costs in the maximum amount of currency of country M 25,000 are levied. The relevant provision further states that the costs are to be borne in consideration of the parties’ degree of success in the proceedings. 16. In respect of the above and taking into account that the claim of the Claimant has been rejected, the Single Judge concluded that the latter has to bear the entire costs of the current proceedings before FIFA. Furthermore and according to Annexe A of the Procedural Rules, the costs of the proceedings are to be levied on the basis of the amount in dispute. On that basis, the Single Judge held that the amount to be taken into consideration in the present proceedings is USD 60,000. Consequently, the Single Judge concluded that the maximum amount of costs of the proceedings corresponds to currency of country M 10,000. 17. In conclusion, and in view of the circumstances of the present matter as well as the fact that the case was decided by the Single Judge and not by the Players’ Status Committee in corpore, the Single Judge determined the costs of the current proceedings to the amount of currency of country M 7,000. Consequently, the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee decided that the amount of currency of country M 7,000 has to be paid by the Claimant in order to cover the costs of the present procedure. III. Decision of the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee 1. The claim of the Claimant, Club A, is rejected. 2. The costs of the proceedings in the amount of currency of country M 7,000 are to be paid by the Claimant, Club A. Given that the latter has already paid the amount of currency of country M 2,000 as advance of costs at the start of the present proceedings, Club A has to pay the amount of currency of country M 5,000 within 30 days as from the date of notification of the present decision to the following bank account, with reference to case nr. XX-XXXXX: Note relating to the motivated decision (legal remedy): According to article 67 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes, this decision may be appealed against before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The statement of appeal must be sent to the CAS directly within 21 days of receipt of notification of this decision and shall contain all the elements in accordance with point 2 of the directives issued by the CAS, a copy of which we enclose hereto. Within another 10 days following the expiry of the time limit for filing the statement of appeal, the appellant shall file a brief stating the facts and legal arguments giving rise to the appeal with the CAS (cf. point 4 of the directives). The full address and contact numbers of the CAS are the following: Court of Arbitration for Sport Avenue de Beaumont 2 1012 Lausanne Switzerland Tel: +41 21 613 50 00 Fax: +41 21 613 50 01 e-mail: info@tas-cas.org www.tas-cas.org For the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee Jérôme Valcke Secretary General Encl. CAS Directives
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