Spain: Court of Arbitration for Sport finds in favour of RCD Mallorca in the dispute over the release of Giovanni Dos Santos

Spain

Court of Arbitration for Sport finds in favour of RCD Mallorca in the dispute over the release of Giovanni Dos Santos

RCD  Mallorca  was sanctioned by FIFA on 15 August  2013  for  breach of  Article  1 paragraph  4 e)  of  Annexe  1  of  the FIFA  Regulations  on  the Status  and  Transfer  of Players  because  it  did not  release  the  player Giovanni  Dos  Santos  to the  Mexican national team  14  days  before  the first  Confederations  Cup match  between  Mexico and Italy. RCD Mallorca was sanctioned by FIFA on 15 August 2013 for breach of Article 1 paragraph 4 e) of Annexe 1 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players because it did not release the player Giovanni Dos Santos to the Mexican national team 14 days before the first Confederations Cup match between Mexico and Italy. The penalty imposed on RCD Mallorca consisted of losing a game and the opening of additional disciplinary proceedings leading to a subsequent fine.

Both FIFA and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) argued that since the first Confederations Cup match between Mexico and Italy was on 15 June 2013, players who had been selected had to be released by 1 June.

On 1 June RCD Mallorca had to play its last game of the Spanish League Championship against Real Valladolid in which relegation from the First to the Second Division was at stake. The club decided that Giovanni Dos Santos should play in this important match and chartered a private flight so that at the end of the game he could fly to Houston to join up with his national team.

RCD Mallorca, with the support of the Spanish Professional Football League, filed an appeal against FIFA’s sanction with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) because they argued that Dos Santos had in fact been released to the FMF on 1 June.

The Balearic Island club was represented by Josep de Senespleda from law firm BAa Advocats Associats and the Professional Football League by Lucas Ferrer from law firm Pintó Ruiz & Del Valle.

On 14 March 2014 the CAS ruled in favour of the appeal filed by RCD Mallorca and annulled FIFA’s decision on the grounds that the club had not broken FIFA’s Rules. The Court found that the existing obligation is to release the player 14 days before their first game which does not mean that the player has to join up with the national team’s preparation period equally far in advance.