Sunday, 30 March 2014

Jurisdiction and competency of Player Status Committee - FIFA vs Malaysia

Who decides transfer disputes in Malaysian football?

The FIFA jurisdiction and competency is for ALL employment disputes as spelled out in Art 22 of Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP). The focus of all these dispute is contractual stability - Art 22 (a)-(f). Two important wings for operation of Art. 22 are PSC (Players’ Status Committee) and DRC (Dispute Resolution Chamber). The jurisdiction and competency of PSC is only to adjudicate matters that fall under limb (c) and (f). Disputes on limb (a), (b), (d) and (e) are adjudicated by DRC. In this understanding, FIFA makes a distinction between the competence of the PSC (Art. 23) and the DRC (Art. 24).

Art. 22: Without prejudice to the right of any player or club to seek redress before a civil court for employment-related disputes, FIFA is competent to hear:

a) disputes between clubs and players in relation to the maintenance of contractual stability (articles 13-18) where there has been an ITC request and a claim from an interested party in relation to said ITC request, in particular regarding the issue of the ITC, sporting sanctions or compensation for breach of contract;
b) employment-related disputes between a club and a player of an international dimension, unless an independent arbitration tribunal guaranteeing fair proceedings and respecting the principle of equal representation of players and clubs has been established at national level within the framework of the association and/or a collective bargaining agreement;
c) employment-related disputes between a club or an association and a coach of an international dimension, unless an independent arbitration tribunal guaranteeing fair proceedings exists at national level;
d) disputes relating to training compensation (article 20) and the solidarity mechanism (article 21) between clubs belonging to different associations; 
e) disputes relating to the solidarity mechanism (article 21) between clubs belonging to the same association provided that the transfer of a player at the basis of the dispute occurs between clubs belonging to different associations;
f) disputes between clubs belonging to different associations that do not fall within the cases provided for in a), d) and e).

Legal Analysis:
DRC will therefore adjudicate all disputes in accordance to its jurisdiction with the exception of the issuance of the International Transfer Certificate - ITC (settled by the PSC). DRC has jurisdiction with regard to disputes between players and clubs with respect of contractual stability particularly sport sanctions and compensation for breach of contract [Article 24 (1)]. Sub (b) of Art 24 for example is about employment related disputes.

Previously (RSTP 2005 edition), PSC was the competent body to decide on the employment disputes. The reasons are (a) International dimension - The first requirement of Art 24 is the presence of the international dimension. It means that only international disputes are referred to DRC. (b) Arbitration tribunal - The second requirement is when no independent arbitration tribunal at national level is guaranteed fair proceedings. This further restricted in respect that the arbitration tribunal at the national level should observe the principle of equal representation of players and clubs (within the framework of the arbitration or based on collective bargaining agreement).

It means that if the national association has established an arbitration tribunal composed of members chosen in equal numbers by players and clubs with an independent chairman (for example in Malaysia, under Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre of Arbitration - KLRCA), then this tribunal is competent to decide on such disputes.

However, none of the these requirements is fulfilled here...