F.I.F.A. – Players’ Status Committee / Commissione per lo Status dei Calciatori – club vs club disputes / controversie tra società – (2020-2021) – fifa.com – atto non ufficiale – Decision 12 January 2021
Decision of the
Single Judge of the Players' Status Committee
passed in Zurich, Switzerland, on 12 January 2021,
regarding an employment-related dispute concerning the player Wasiu Olalere Oladeju
Stefano La Porta (Italy), Single Judge of the PSC
JESUS AMIGOS FC, Nigeria
Represented by Mr. Johnny Precious
KS DINAMO TIRANA, Albania
1. In the years 2017 and 2018, the following three decisions, involving the Nigerian club Jesus Amigos FC (hereinafter: the Claimant) and the Albanian club KS Dinamo Tirana (hereinafter: the Respondent) were passed by the subcommittee of the Dispute Resolution Chamber via the TMS:
- Case TMS 1734, decision dated 18 December 2017, by means of which the Nigerian club Jesus Amigos FC was awarded an amount of EUR 30,000 as training compensation to be paid by the Albaina club KS Dinamo Tirana for the transfer of the player Effiong Ekemini Eyoh.
- Case TMS 1733, decision dated 18 December 2017, by means of which the Nigerian club Jesus Amigos FC was awarded an amount of EUR 60,000 as training compensation to be paid by the Albaina club KS Dinamo Tirana for the transfer of the player Ugochukwu Gospel Osuagwu;
- Case TMS 1732, decision dated 30 July 2018, by means of which the Nigerian club Jesus Amigos FC was awarded an amount of EUR 30,000 as training compensation to be paid by the Albaina club KS Dinamo Tirana for the transfer of the player Wasiu Olalere Oladeju.
2. On 29 October 2018, the parties concluded a settlement agreement, based on which inter alia the following was agreed:
‘In summary, the parties agree to collaborate in the future to transfer promising players from Jesus Amigos Football Club to KF Dinamo’
‘4. Mutual release of all claims. In consideration for their faithful performance of the terms of this Settlement Agreement, the parties, for themselves, their successors, do hereby relinquish, waive, release, acquit and forever discharge each other of and from any and all claims, disputes, actions, charges, contractual obligations, complaints, causes of action, rights, demands, debts, damages, or accountings of whatever nature, at law or in equity, known or unknown, asserted or not asserted, which have now or may have in the future against one another, based on any actions or events which occurred prior to the date of this Settlement Agreement, including without limitation the aforesaid controversies and those arising out of or related to the aforesaid cases TMS 1732, 1733, 1734 any claims for attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in connection with them, and any claims for interest, except as provided for in this Settlement Agreement’.
‘5. This agreement shall become final and binding on all parties if Dinamo take immediate steps to execute it. Execution at this stage shall be deemed or be carried out if the player Wasiu Oladeju Olalere is recalled and registered by Dinamo immediately before the close of the January 2019 window and if Dinamo send their scouts to make the first selection of players before the commencement of the 2019 2020 football season in August 2019. This Settlement agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the parties respective heirs, successors, assigns and personal representatives’.
3. The Claimant did not put the Respondent in default, nor undertook any other actions.
4. According to the information contained in the TMS, the Nigerian player Wasiu Oladeju Olalere transferred from the Claimant to the Respondent on 6 September 2016.
5. What is more, on 14 February 2017, the aforementioned player transferred back from the Respondent to the Claimant.
6. On 16 October 2020, the Claimant lodged a claim against the Respondent, claiming the payment of the overdue amount of EUR 120,000, as outstanding amounts as per the decisions 1732, 1733 and 1734.
7. In its claim, the Claimant explains that ‘unfortunately, the Respondent has taken no steps whatever in performance of this settlement agreement and this fundamental breach is deemed a breach of the agreement’.
8. Despite having been invited to do so, the Respondent failed to reply to the Claimant’s claim.
II. CONSIDERATIONS OF THE SINGLE JUDGE OF THE PSC
1. First of all, the Single Judge of the PSC (hereinafter also referred to as Single Judge) analysed whether he was competent to deal with the case at hand. Taking into account the wording of art. 21 of the June 2020 edition of the Rules Governing the Procedures of the Players’ Status Committee and the Dispute Resolution Chamber (hereinafter: the Procedural Rules), the aforementioned edition of the Procedural Rules is applicable to the matter at hand.
2. Subsequently, the Single Judge of the PSC referred to art. 3 par. 1 of the Procedural Rules and emphasised that, in accordance with art. 24 par. 1 in combination with art. 22 lit. f) of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, the Single Judge of the PSC is competent to deal with matters which concern employment-related disputes with an international dimension between two clubs belonging to different associations.
3. In continuation, the Single Judge of the PSC analysed which edition of the Regulations of the Status and Transfer of Players should be applicable to the present matter. In this respect, the Single Judge of the PSC confirmed that in accordance with art. 26 par. 1 and 2 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, and considering that the claim was lodged on 16 October 2020, the June 2020 edition of the aforementioned regulations (hereinafter: the Regulations) is applicable to the matter at hand.
4. With the above having been established, the Single Judge of the PSC entered into the substance of the matter. In doing so, it started to acknowledge the facts of the case as well as the documents contained in the file. However, the Single Judge of the PSC emphasized that in the following considerations it will refer only to facts, arguments and documentary evidence, which it considered pertinent for the assessment of the matter at hand.
5. In this respect, the Single Judge noted that in the years 2017 and 2018, the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber apparently passed three decisions, in which the Respondent was ordered to pay specific amounts of training compensation to the Claimant, in relation with the transfer of three Nigerian players.
6. Moreover, the Single Judge noted that on 29 October 2018, the Claimant and the Respondent concluded a settlement agreement, on the basis of which it was inter alia agreed that the parties would collaborate in the future ‘to transfer promising players from Jesus Amigos Football Club to KF Dinamo’. Moreover, the parties allegedly agreed that if the Respondent would fulfil its obligations under the settlement agreement, the amounts awarded as training compensation as per the three decisions of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber would be waived by the Claimant.
7. Finally, the parties agreed that the settlement agreement would only become final and binding on all parties ‘if Dinamo take immediate steps to execute it. Execution at this stage shall be deemed or be carried out if the player Wasiu Oladeju Olalere is recalled and registered by Dinamo immediately before the close of the January 2019 window and if Dinamo send their scouts to make the first selection of players before the commencement of the 2019 2020 football season in August 2019’.
8. Subsequently, the Single Judge observed that the Claimant lodged a claim before FIFA, claiming the payment of the amount of EUR 120,000 as outstanding amounts per the decisions TMS 1732, 1733 and 1734, as the Respondent allegedly did not fulfil its obligations under the settlement agreement.
9. Moreover, the Single Judge noted that that the Respondent failed to present its response to the claim of the Claimant, in spite of having been invited to do so. By not presenting its position to the claim, the Single Judge was of the opinion that the Respondent renounced its right of defence.
10. As a consequence of the aforementioned consideration, the Single Judge concurred that in accordance with art. 9 par. 3 of the Procedural Rules, he shall take a decision upon the basis of the documentation already on file; in other words, upon the statements and documents presented by the Claimant.
11. In view of the above, the Single Judge considered that the main legal issue at stake is to determine whether the Respondent was indeed in breach of the settlement agreement, as a result of which the Claimant would be still entitled to the amounts awarded to him in the decisions TMS 1732, 1733 and 1734.
12. In this regard, the Single Judge first of all referred to art. 12 par. 3 of the Procedural Rules, in accordance with which any party claiming a right on the basis of an alleged fact shall carry the burden of proof.
13. Analysing the documentation on file, the Single Judge noted that the Claimant failed to present any documentary evidence in support of his allegation that the Respondent had failed to respect the conditions laid down in the settlement agreement.
14. Furthermore, the Single Judge noted based on article 5 of the settlement agreement, it appears that the settlement agreement never became final and binding on the parties, as there is no documentary evidence on file, based on which it could be concluded that the transfer of the player Wasiu Oladeju Olalare did take place in the January 2019 transfer window.
15. In the light of all of the above, and in particular bearing in mind the fact that the Claimant did not provide any documentary evidence to substantiate his claim, the Single Judge decided that he must reject the claim put forward by the Claimant.
16. In continuation, the Single Judge of the PSC referred to art. 25 par. 2 of the Regulations in combination with art. 18 par. 1 of the Procedural Rules, according to which in the proceedings before the Players’ Status Committee costs in the maximum amount of CHF 25,000 are levied. The costs are to be borne in consideration of the parties’ degree of success in the proceedings.
17. In this respect, the Single Judge of the PSC referred to the COVID-19 Football Regulatory Issues – FAQ, published on 11 June 2020 which establish that, given the current circumstances, for any claim lodged between 10 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 (both inclusive), there will be no requirement to pay an advance of costs and no procedural costs shall be ordered. Therefore, the Single Judge established that the present decision shall be rendered without costs.
III. DECISION OF THE PLAYERS' STATUS COMMITTEE
1. The claim of the Claimant, Jesus Amigos FC, is rejected.
For the Players' Status Committee:
Emilio García Silvero
Chief Legal & Compliance Officer
NOTE RELATED TO THE APPEAL PROCEDURE:
According to article 58 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes, this decision may be appealed against before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within 21 days of receipt of the notification of this decision.
NOTE RELATED TO THE PUBLICATION:
FIFA may publish this decision. For reasons of confidentiality, FIFA may decide, at the request of a party within five days of the notification of the motivated decision, to publish an anonymised or a redacted version (cf. article 20 of the Procedural Rules).
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