The FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players: Transnational Law-Making in the Shadow of Bosman

37 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2016 Last revised: 30 Jun 2017

Date Written: April 1, 2016


This chapter retraces the emergence of a new FIFA transfer system in the wake of the Bosman ruling. It purposes to show the complexity and plurality of the legal game surrounding the regulation of global football. After the Bosman ruling many believed it was a comeback of the state in the self-regulatory sphere of sports regulation. Yet, the legal interaction between EU law and the private rules of FIFA regulating the transfers of football players across borders is more intricate. As we will show, the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (FIFA RSTP) put in place after the Bosman ruling were negotiated under the shadow of an EU Competition law investigation triggered by the EU Commission. These negotiations involving a wide range of actors ended in 2001 with an agreement signed between the EU Commission and UEFA and FIFA. Thereafter, a reformed transnational system was put in place by FIFA to regulate international transfers of football players and enshrined in the FIFA RSTP. This legislative story illustrates the public-private nature of transnational law-making in the sporting world. Instead of perceiving these transnational rules as purely self-regulatory or purely subjected to national or European law, this case study demonstrate that we need to better grasp the fact that in reality both orientations are in tension and impossible to disentangle.

Keywords: FIFA, FIFA RSTP, Bosman, Lex Sportiva, Sports Law, EU Law, Legal Pluralism, Court of Arbitration for Sport, Arbitration, Transnational Law

JEL Classification: K1, K10, K40, K41

Suggested Citation

Duval, Antoine, The FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players: Transnational Law-Making in the Shadow of Bosman (April 1, 2016). Forthcoming, A. Duval and B. Van Rompuy, The Legacy of Bosman, Springer, T.M.C. Asser Press, 2016 , T.M.C. Asser Institute for International & European Law 2016-6, Available at SSRN:

Antoine Duval (Contact Author)

T.M.C. Asser Instituut ( email )

P.O. Box 30461
2500 GL The Hague, 2517JN

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