A Critical Review of the FIFA’s Release of the Football Players from Ukraine under Annex 7 to Regulations on Status and Transfer of Players

  •  Ammar Alrefaei    


Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, FIFA has issued several regulations addressing the new reality for Ukrainian football. One of those regulations, known as Annex 7 to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) 2022, suspended the contracts of foreign players and coaches with Ukrainian clubs. A measure to protect the players, Annex 7 nevertheless was created and delivered without prior consulting with the Ukrainian Association of Football (UAF) or its clubs. This paper takes a socio-legal approach to critically review Annex 7 through the lens of the existing regulations and applicable laws while also considering such important sports objectives as fairness, competitiveness, and contractual stability. The paper concludes that with Annex 7, FIFA failed to recognize the needs of UAF-affiliated clubs, increased uncertainty, and could have created an undesirable precedent for future conflicts with European football clubs. Several recommendations concerning Annex 7 specifically and the regulatory procedures for FIFA, in general, are made to address these issues.

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