Academic journal article The International Sports Law Journal

When Is the Training Period of a Player Completed before the Age of 21?

Academic journal article The International Sports Law Journal

When Is the Training Period of a Player Completed before the Age of 21?

Article excerpt


According to Paragraph one of the first Article of Annex 4 of the current Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Player (hereinafter: "RSTP"), a player's training takes place between the ages of 12 and 23 for training incurred up to the age of 21, unless it is evident that a player has already terminated his training period before the age of 21. In order to lay emphasis on the aforementioned basic principle of the said Article, in Paragraph two of the sixth Article of the RSTP, it is stated that inside the territory of the EU/EEA, the final season of training may occur before the season in which the player had his 21st birthday if it is established that the player completed his training before that time. In other words, according to the RSTP, training compensation will be payable until the end of the season in which the player reaches the age of 23, although the calculation of the amount will be based on the years between 12 and the age when it is established that the player actually completed his training period.

The Dispute Resolution Chamber of FIFA (hereinafter: "DRC") as well as the Court of Arbitration for Sport (hereinafter: "CAS"), as being the authoritative committees at international level in the world of professional football, provided the football world with several decisions regarding the question under what circumstances the training period of a player is completed. This article will contain an extensive survey of all relevant decisions of the DRC and the CAS related to this question. Firstly, the relevant decisions of the DRC will be discussed. (1) The most important decisions will be discussed in a chronological course of time as from the first published decision in 2004 until now. Since parties have the possibility to appeal against decisions of the DRC before the CAS, the decisions of the CAS will also be analyzed and the line with the CAS will also have the same structure as with the DRC. (2) Please do note that all relevant cases will be discussed, however this does not mean that all decisions will be brought to the attention since the DRC and the CAS do not publish all their cases. The cases to be handled do give us a clear survey of the point of view of the DRC and the CAS. Please note that each case will be concluded with final remarks (see the italicized text). In the final conclusion of this article all relevant criteria that can be derived from the jurisprudence of the said courts, in order to establish whether or not the training period of a player is completed, will be high-lighted and enumerated.

This article is meant for anyone interested in this subject. Although this article has a scientific character since all cases before the DRC and the CAS will be discussed extensively, it must also be emphasized that it has great value for the daily practice of international professional football. Especially football clubs will be made more aware under what specific circumstances a training period of a player can be completed.

Decisions DRC

DRC 22 July 2004

In a decision of the DRC of 22 July 2004, the DRC took note of the new club's defence according to which the player finished his actual training period by the time he had started the 2001/2002 season with his former club. The new club was of the opinion that a shorter education period had taken place as result of which the training period of the player was completed in the season before that of his 21st birthday.

The new club submitted that in the playing season 2000/2001, the player was fielded on a regular basis, i.e. 15 times, in the club's A-team, scoring 3 goals. At that time the player concerned had already spent many years as a professional player from an early age and could thus be considered to have been a particularly successful player.

The new club's arguments before the DRC in this respect were accepted by the Chamber. Without any further explanation, the DRC concluded in the matter at hand, that the 2001/2002 training period would not be taken into consideration for calculation purposes. …

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