On Thursday afternoon it was reported that a ruling has been handed down in Brussels that could change the face of football as we know it in the same way the Bosman ruling altered the game forever.
In an historic judgement, a Brussels Court of Appeal ruled that football’s governing bodies insistence on the obligatory use of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is illegal.
The ruling, dated 28 August and stretching to 25-pages, holss that FIFA and UEFA’s rule that legal disputes must be heard exclusively by the CAS violate article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights and article 47 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.
This opens up the possibility that clubs and players can take legal action against FIFA, UEFA or other clubs using the domestic courts of their own country.
The legal battle was started in 2015 when a case was brought by Jean-Louis Dupont, known for his work on the Bosman case, and Martin Hissel. It all started in relation to FIFA’s prohibition on the use of investment funds for the ownership of players that blocked Belgian side, RFC and investment fund Doyen Sports doing just that.
In short, FIFA and UEFA used to insist that all legal disputes were settled by the CAS and nobody else. The court in Brussels found that this is illegal.
With the possibility that old cases, already heard by the CAS, could be reopened, this is one can of worms that is just bursting and, at the time of writing, the UK press doesn’t seem at all bothered.