The Role of CAS in Settling Sports-Related Disputes •Why regular courts can’t entertain football-related suits

By Daily Sports on June 4, 2016

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is an institution independent of any sports organisation which provides for services in order to facilitate the settlement of sports-related disputes through arbitration or mediation by means of procedural rules adapted to the specific needs of the sports world. Many cases have been decided by CAS in recent times. Some of those cases include: Amos Adamu v. FIFA (CAS 2011/A/2426), Football Association of Serbia v. UEFA (CAS 2015/A/3875), Nigeria Football Federation v. FIFA (CAS 2014/A/3744), Nigeria Football Federation v. FIFA (CAS 2014/A/3766) etc.

As earlier noted, the CAS is an independent institution serving sports throughout the world. Its job is to settle all sports-related legal disputes. Now we must quickly state that contrary to what many people think, the jurisdiction of CAS is not limited to football but extends to all sports.

Article 68 (2) of the FIFA Statute provides extensively that ‘recourse to ordinary courts of law is prohibited unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations. Recourse to ordinary courts of law for all types of provisional measures is also prohibited’.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is the member association recognised by CAF and FIFA as being responsible for the organisation and supervision of football in Nigeria. It is for the purpose of meeting the obligation to establish a domestic dispute resolution tribunal that Articles 4(3), 53, 68 and 69 of the NFF Statutes provide as follows:


3. NFF shall provide the necessary institutional means to resolve any internal dispute that may arise between Members, Clubs, Officials and Players of NFF.


  1. 1.      The Players’ Status Committee shall set up and monitor compliance with transfer regulations in accordance with the FIFA Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players and determine the status of Players for various competition of NFF. The Executive Committee may draw up special regulations governing the Players’ Status Committee’s powers of jurisdiction. The Players’ Status Committee shall consist of a Chairman, a deputy Chairman and three members.
  2. 2.      Players’ status disputes involving NFF, its Members, and Players, Officials and match and players’ agents shall be settled by an Arbitration Tribunal in accordance with these Statutes.


NFF shall create an Arbitration Tribunal, which shall deal with all internal national disputes between NFF, its members, players, officials, match and players agent that do not fall under jurisdiction of its judicial bodies. The executive committee shall draw up special regulations regarding the composition, jurisdiction, procedural rules of this Arbitration Tribunal.


  1. 1.      NFF, its Members, Players, Officials and match and player’s agents will not take any dispute to Ordinary Courts unless specifically provided for in these Statutes and FIFA regulations. Any disagreement shall be submitted to the jurisdiction of FIFA, CAF, WAFU or NFF.
  2. 2.      NFF shall have jurisdiction on internal national disputes i.e. disputes between parties belonging to NFF. FIFA shall have jurisdiction on international disputes i.e. disputes between parties belonging to different Associations and/or Confederations.”

The above provisions of the NFF Statute have been painstakingly engraved herein to establish that indeed there is an instrument for the ‘amicable’ resolution of internal disputes especially disputes arising between Football players and clubs in Nigeria, and this cannot function properly if lawyers are not fully involved in the arbitral processes.

•Amobi Ezeaku, Esq. is the Team Manager of Rangers International FC of Enugu. Your comments and reactions are welcome. Please send to 08038338272, 08158461730 or by e-mail to;

Source Daily Sports

Posted June 4, 2016

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