A contract between a professional player and a club may only be terminated upon the expiry of the term of the contract or by mutual agreement.

The contract between a player and a club may be terminated for several reasons. However, the abusive termination of a player’s contract can attract several consequences for the party who orchestrated the abusive termination.

In accordance with article 17 of the FIFA statute of October 2020, the following shall apply if a contract is terminated without just cause;

A.    Compensation

In all cases, the party in breach shall pay compensation, and unless otherwise provided for in the contract, compensation for the breach shall be calculated with due consideration for the law of the country concerned, the specificity of sport, and any other objective criteria. These criteria shall include, in particular, the remuneration and other benefits due to the player under the existing contract and/or the new contract, the time remaining on the existing contract up to a maximum of five years, the fees and expenses paid or incurred by the former club (amortized over the term of the contract) and whether the contractual breach falls within a protected period.

Compensation due to a player shall be calculated as follows;

  1. In case the player did not sign any new contract following the termination of his previous contract, as a general rule, the compensation shall be equal to the residual value of the contract that was prematurely terminated,
  2. In case the player signed a new contract by the time of the decision, the value of the new contract for the period corresponding to the time remaining on the prematurely terminated contract shall be deducted from the residual value of the contract that was terminated early (the mitigated compensation). Also, subject to the early termination of the contract being due to overdue payables, in addition to the mitigated compensation, the player shall be entitled to an amount corresponding to three monthly salaries (the additional compensation). In case of egregious circumstances, the additional compensation may be increased up to a maximum of six monthly salaries. The overall compensation may never exceed the rest value of the prematurely terminated contract.
  3. Collective bargaining agreements validly negotiated by employers’ and employees’ representatives at the domestic level in accordance with national law may deviate from the principles stipulated above.

Entitlement to compensation cannot be assigned to a third party. If a professional is required to pay compensation, the professional and his new club shall be jointly and severally liable for its payment. The amount may be stipulated in the contract or agreed between the parties.

B.     Sporting Sanctions

In addition to the obligation to pay compensation, sporting sanctions shall also be imposed on any player found to be in breach of contract during the protected period. This sanction shall be a four-month restriction on playing in official matches. In the case of aggravating circumstances, the restriction shall last six months. These sporting sanctions shall take effect immediately once the player has been notified of the relevant decision. The sporting sanctions shall remain suspended in the period between the last official match of the season and the first official match of the next season, in both cases including national cups and international championships for clubs. This suspension of the sporting sanctions shall, however, not be applicable if the player is an established member of the representative team of the association he is eligible to represent, and the association concerned is participating in the final competition of an international tournament in the period between the last match and the first match of the next season. Unilateral breach without just cause or sporting just cause after the protected period shall not result in sporting sanctions. Disciplinary measures may, however, be imposed outside the protected period for failure to give notice of termination within 15 days of the last official match of the season (including national cups) of the club with which the player is registered. The protected period starts again when, while renewing the contract, the duration of the previous contract is extended.

In addition to the obligation to pay compensation, sporting sanctions shall be imposed on any club found to be in breach of contract or found to be including a breach of contract during the protected period. It shall be presumed, unless established to the contrary, that any club signing a professional who has terminated his contract without just cause has induced that professional to commit a breach. The club shall be banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for two entire and consecutive registration periods. The club shall be able to register new players, either nationally or internationally, only as of the next registration period following the complete serving of the relevant sporting sanction. In particular, it may not make use of the exception and the provisional measures put in place in accordance with article 6 of the FIFA statute of October 2022.

Any person subject to the FIFA statutes and regulations who acts in a manner designed to induce a breach of contract between a professional and a club in order to facilitate the transfer of the player shall be sanctioned.

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