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German court issues injunction against FIFA

This ruling could throw a wrench into agent regulation.

Federal Constitutional Court Photo by Bernd Weißbrod/picture alliance via Getty Images

Bayern Munich has had plenty of its own transfer sagas involving struggles with many of the top football agents in the game. FIFA had recently passed yet another regulatory scheme to reduce the amount of money agents can make, limit the role they can play and services they can provide and control how they can charge for them. This system, formally called the FIFA Football Agents Regulations or FFAR is now on hold in Germany due to a recent court ruling.

A Mainz district court judge had initially referred the question of whether the new FFA regulations were an illegal restraint of trade to the European Court of Justice for adjudication. Now another judge in Dortmund has ruled that due to the length of time it will take for the ECJ to hear the case, and the pressing economic interests at stake that while waiting for the fuller ruling the DFB will be prohibited from enforcing FFAR in Germany.

This decision has run contrary to two earlier decisions in the Netherlands which allowed the system to stand.

This is bound to cause some confusion, and argument as to just how the injunction will be enforced in a “united” Europe where different courts have issued different rulings on FFAR. At the very least you can expect agents working on deals to try and due some creative forum shopping to avoid FFAR as different jurisdictions take different approaches to it.

FIFA has already had its first sitting of the new qualification exam and only 52% of candidates who sat the exam passed.

We will try to bring you more analysis and updates on this issue as time and events allow.

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