On 20 September 2022, the Mons Court of Appeal referred a question to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling on the legality of FIFA's current transfer system with regard to the free movement of workers and free competition.
The question referred for a preliminary ruling is worded as follows:
"Are Articles 45 and 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to be interpreted as prohibiting :
· The principle of the solidarity of the player and the club wishing to engage him to pay the compensation due to the club with which the contract has been breached without just cause, as stipulated in Art. 17.2 of the FIFA RSTP, in combination with the sporting sanctions provided for in Art. 17.4 of the same regulations and the financial sanctions provided for in Art. 17.1 ;
· The possibility for the federation of the player’s former club not to issue the international transfer certificate, which is necessary for the player to be hired by a new club, if there is a dispute between the former club and the player (article 9.1 of the FIFA RSTP and article 8.2.7 of annex 3 of the said RSTP)?”.
As a reminder, Article 45 TFEU guarantees the free movement of workers and Article 101 TFEU prohibits agreements and decisions by associations of undertakings which distort competition.
In this case, at first instance, the Commercial Court of Charleroi had considered these provisions of the FIFA regulations as illegal, even going so far as to qualify them purely and simply as "pre-Bosman".
Lassana DIARRA is represented by Jean-Louis DUPONT ("Dupont-Hissel" and Roca Junyent), Martin HISSEL ("Dupont-Hissel" and ELEGIS), Patrick HENRY (ELEGIS), Jean-Emmanuel BARTHELEMY (DBB DEFENSO) and Alexandre ZEN-RUFFINEN (IN-LAW).
The judgment of the Mons Court of Appeal is attached as well as the article published by PaRR.