Imagine that you signed a football contract with a club, then you failed the medical examination or were refused a work permit in the country. Consequently, the club decides to terminate the contract. Would that be right or wrong in law?
Sometimes, football contracts are signed and the validity of such contracts are based on certain conditions, usually known as “conditions precedent”. While some conditions precedent may be valid, there are certain others which have been expressly declared invalid pursuant to FIFA Regulations (the RSTP) and previous decisions of it’s Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC).
For instance, the validity of a contract signed between a player and a club cannot be made subject to:
1. A successful medical examination (Article 18, Para 4 RSTP 2018); or
2. The successful application for a work permit (Article 18, Para 4 RSTP 2018); or
3. The issuance of an International Transfer Certificate (ITC) (DRC Decision of 23rd September 2005); or
4. The non-registration or non-approval of the employment contract under National laws (DRC Decision of 9th November 2009, No. 114707); or
5. The execution of administrative formalities by the club (DRC Decision of 25th October 2012, No. 10121176).
6. Also, It cannot be rendered invalid by the club because the club exhausted it’s foreign players’ quota restrictions (DRC Decision of 28th June 2013, No. 06131375).
Please note that invalid conditions precedent are not limited to the circumstances mentioned above, but they are some of the most common that have caused legal disputes. Simply bear it in mind that any condition precedent which generally is not the responsibility of a player nor within his/her control to be made fulfilled, cannot invalidate a football contract. Thus, the prospective club of a player is expected to have carried out its due research and taken all necessary steps before concluding an employment contract with the player.
Written by: ‘Tosin Akinyemi, Esq.