FIFA Enforces German Court’s Injunction against its Football Agent Regulations

Implementing the preliminary injunction issued by the District Court of Dortmund, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has suspended the operation of the FIFA Football Agent Regulations (FFAR) in their entirety for all transactions with a link to the German market.

In April, a preliminary ruling on the FFAR was referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) by a Mainz District Court. Considering the anti-competitive aspects of the FFAR and the urgency of the matter, the District Court of Dortmund granted an injunction in May preventing the German Football Association (DFB) from implementing the regulations until a decision was taken by the ECJ.

The regulations have received flak from agents all over the world, with many associations challenging them before Courts. However, the legality of the regulations was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in July 2023. Further, Courts in Belgium, Czechia, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and Switzerland have reportedly ruled in favour of FIFA and rejected injunctions against the FFAR.

Despite such favourable rulings, the implementation of the regulations has been delayed by the Football Association (FA) in England. Interestingly, India has given effect to the FIFA regulations through the release of the AIFF Football Agents Regulations, 2023, on October 1, 2023. As per these regulations, all football agents providing football agent services to a client in India must be registered with the AIFF and licensed by FIFA in accordance with the FFAR.

Last week, FIFA came out with a statement confirming that the FFAR will be duly implemented w.e.f. October 1, 2023, with the only exception applicable to Germany.