Store International The Legal Status of Sportsmen and Sportswomen under International, European and Belgian National and Regional Law

The Legal Status of Sportsmen and Sportswomen under International, European and Belgian National and Regional Law

By Roger Blanpain†
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Overview
Although the European Court of Justice ruled in Bosman (1995) that professional sportsmen and sportswomen are free at the end of their contracts, they are still at the mercy of the clubs that employ them. Such pretexts as the "special nature" of sport publicly urged by such European eminences as Tony Blair and Gerhard Schrder have institutionalized the human trafficking of players, depriving them of basic rights guaranteed under all the laws enjoyed by Europeans. They may be well-paid as long as they are in the limelight, but they have no surety. They can be, and are, bought and sold repeatedly, each time returning profits to those who trade in their athletic prowess.

In this searing indictment, Professor Blanpain underscores the demonstrable illegality of the current transfer system imposed by the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA). In abundant detail he describes the complex ramifications of FIFA's rules in the lives of players, clearly revealing how the fundamental rights of players to free movement and freedom of labour are systematically denied. He calls for the courts, from the European Court of Justice on down, to recognize this illegality and act to enforce the Bosman judgement.

Professor Blanpain examines all the crucial legal issues involved. These include the following: the classification of sportsmen and sportswomen as "workers"; the nature of the contract between player and club; the legal capacity of minors to enter into an employment contract; the trade in foreign (frequently African and South American) players with no legal rights in Europe; disciplinary rules; training compensation fees; placement and status of players' agents; dispute resolution; and conflicts with competition law. An extensive array of documents, including the FIFA Transfer Regulations and material leading to the March 2001 agreement between FIFA and the European Commission, is included in a series of annexes.

Pages 306
Publish Date 12/01/2002
Product Line Kluwer Law International
ISBN 9789041119803
SKU 9041119809
Table of Contents
    Some Striking Comments
    List of Main Abbreviations
    Preface

    Part I: Sport: Its Main Social and Political Elements
    1. Importance of Sport
    2. The European Model of Sport
    3. Negative Aspects: Human Trafficking
    4. Bosman : The End of the Transfer System?
    5. In the Wake of Bosman : The Flemish Community and French Community Decrees
    6. The Belgian Collective Agreement on the Terms and Conditions of Employment of Professional Footballers (12 June 1998)
    7. Political Favouritism towards Football
    8. Problems: Bosman Bypassed. Sale of Players during the Course of the Contract of Employment
    9. About-turn: Footballers' Freedom Once Again Restricted
    10. The Agreement of 5 March 2001 between FIFA and the European Commission
    11. The FIFA Transfer Regulations, New Style
    12. Assessment of the New Transfer System and its Motivation

    Part II: The Status of Professional Sportsmen and Sportswomen
    1. Sources of Law
    2. Classification as a "Worker" [Employed Person]
    3. Employment of Foreign Nationals
    4. Legal Capacity: Minors
    5. Contract of Employment
    6. Freedom of Movement for Workers. No discrimination based on nationality
    7. Terms and Conditions of Employment
    8. Fundamental Rights
    9. Disciplinary Powers
    10. Loan of Players
    11. The End of the Contract of Employment
    12. Transfer Fee
    13. Training Compensation
    14. Non-competition Clause
    15. Dispute Resolution
    16. Placement Services and the Status of Players' Agents

    Part III: The Status of Amateur Sportsmen and Sportswomen
    1. General Comments
    2. Belgian Regional Law: The Flemish Community Decree of 24 July 1996
    3. Belgian Regional Law: The French Community Decree of 26 April 1999
    4. International Law: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
    Conclusions
    Annexes
    Bibliography
    Index

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