Bringing together legal experts and football stakeholders from all around the world, FIFA has concluded the third edition of the Football Law Annual Review (FLAR), which stressed the importance of the ongoing regulatory reforms and the key role of FIFA’s judicial bodies in a changing and dynamic environment.
“Football has changed enormously in the last 20 years and it’s certainly time to look at whether a system that was designed 20 years ago is still suitable and appropriate,” said FIFA Deputy Secretary General (Administration) Alasdair Bell, during his closing address. “This is not a popularity contest. With the benefit of discussing with all stakeholders, we need to do what we think is best for the game and that’s also why this kind of exchange with professionals knowledgeable in this area is beneficial for FIFA.”
The two-day event, staged by videoconference, triggered open discussions that were streamed live on FIFA.com on key topics on the current legal agenda, including the new FIFA eligibility rules to play for representative teams, minimum labour standards for female professional players, the reform of the transfer system, new rules for international transfers involving amateurs and the new rules for the employment of coaches.
The second day of the review also featured a round-table discussion on “What should FIFA do better?”, in which sports lawyers Nan Sato and Ariel Reck, as well as CAS arbitrator Jan Räker and the Association Internationale des Avocats du Football (AIAF) President Patricia Moyersoen debated how world football’s governing body could better meet upcoming challenges.
On the first day of the event, FIFA presented a full legal and compliance overview of 2020 as well as an outlook for 2021.
“We are thrilled by the positive response triggered by the FLAR,” said FIFA Chief Legal & Compliance Officer Emilio García Silvero. “Discussing our agenda in an open manner and listening to the input of external stakeholders is of paramount importance in order to further strengthen the legal foundations of the game across the world.”
As part of the openness and transparency promoted by its current administration, FIFA launched a legal portal (legal.fifa.com) in 2019 to provide all stakeholders involved in FIFA’s legal and compliance activities with direct access to documents of interest. Likewise, the FIFA Legal & Compliance Division has been promoting a variety of initiatives to interact with the football community, while also launching academic projects focusing on different areas, including football law, club management, sports arbitration and anti-doping.