Is the current FIFA regulation equally fair

for players and clubs?



By Anta Diop

SKEMA Business School

Paris, France



Underneath the sport aspect of football and the well-known FIFA competitions like the Football Worldcup or the UEFA Champions League, lays another aspect which we could call the « business » aspect of Football. Indeed, the football world is one of competition and rivalry as the clubs are continuously in a race to get the best players in the transfer market. In this world, most of the relationships are governed by contracts, which leads to disputes in case of disagreements. Disputes are particularly frequent between a club and a player because of contract termination linked with an injury or negative results in a medical examination. Therefore, the FIFA regulation includes several clauses to protect both parties from breach of contract.

However, some still argue that FIFA’s regulation benefits the players more than the clubs. To identify what would be the potential other alternatives to deal with disputes in football and understand which alternative is the best one, we will use several methods of qualitative and quantitative analysis and comparison in this paper.

The results of this analysis show us that the current regulation actually protects both clubs and players equally and that keeping the regulation as it is now is the best alternative.

Keywords: contracts, disputes, football, FIFA, dispute resolution, RSTP, breach of contract



A few months ago, on July 15th 2018, France won the Football Worldcup. For one month, from June 14th to July 15th, the Worldcup was all that the whole world was talking about. This football competition is the second most followed sport event in the world behind the Olympic Games. Indeed, football is the most popular sport in the world and is even a part of the culture in certain countries.

The international governing body of football is the FIFA (the International Federation of Association Football). This federation gathers 211 national football associations around the world, which make up 6 confederations that represent the FIFA at the continental level. The FIFA’s authority in the football world is complete as this federation is responsible for organizing major football competition and governing football worldwide. It is also responsible for solving disputes and has a specific body to that effect: the Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC). The main legal document that governs the status and transfers of football players is the « Regulation for the Status and Transfer of Players » (RSTP). The DRC refers to this document to make its decision during dispute resolution.

Disputes are not rare in the football world because most relationships are governed by contracts. Indeed, the relationship between a player and a club for example, or the transfer of a player between two clubs are both governed by contracts. When there is a disagreement between two parties linked by a contract, there is a need for proper dispute resolution. As per Max Wideman’s Comparative Glossary, « a contract is a legally binding agreement between two parties or more, which creates an obligation to do or not to do a particular thing »[1]. It is characterized by competent – that is to say not under age or insane – parties, a subject matter, a legal consideration and a mutuality of agreement and of obligation. In a contract, each party acquires rights and duties relative to the rights and duties of the other parties.

Root cause analysis[2] – 5 Why’s:


To read entire paper, click here


Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director [email protected].

How to cite this paper: Diop, A. (2019). Is the current FIFA regulation equally fair for players and clubs? PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue I (January).  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/pmwj78-Jan2019-Diop-is-current-fifa-regulation-fair-student-paper.pdf


About the Author

Anta Diop

Paris, France




Anta DIOP is a French graduate student pursuing a Master of Science in Project Management at Skema Business School in Paris. She completed two years of preparatory class in economics before entering Skema BS. During her education in Skema, she had the opportunity to travel around the world and live in different countries, she studied in China for one semester and in the United States for another semester. She also gained experience in event and project management thanks to the internships she has integrated in her educational pathway. She passed the PMI exam during her MSc in Project Management and is now a Certified Associate in Project Management. After she finishes school, she would like to go back to Asia and work as a project manager in different industries to build a diverse experience in project management.

Anta lives in Paris and can be contacted at [email protected].


[1] Max Wideman’s Comparative Glossary (http://www.maxwideman.com/pmglossary/)

[2] By Author