Shakhtar, Russian clubs lose FIFA transfer rule cases at CAS

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Shakhtar Donetsk and eight Russian soccer clubs lost their appeals Friday against FIFA emergency transfer rules that let foreign players and coaches suspend their contracts during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In separate rulings by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Ukraine’s Shakhtar had its appeal dismissed in a case heard in December which sought 50 million euros ($42 million) compensation from FIFA.

The Russian clubs, led by champion Zenit St. Petersburg, faced FIFA in November at sport’s highest court. Two of the three judges who ruled in that case also heard the Shakhtar appeal.

Both appeals challenged a FIFA decision last June to extend emergency transfer rules for the entire 2022-23 season that were first applied last March for the rest of that season.

The clubs believed giving players the right to move on loan to another country left them open to exploitation by agents and other clubs, and cost them millions in lost transfer fees.

FIFA said it had tried to give clarity for clubs and financial security for players without terminating the contracts entirely. The latter option was favored by FIFPRO, the global group of player unions.

CAS released the emergency verdicts Friday without the detailed legal reasons that should be published within weeks.

The Ukrainian and Russian clubs used different lawyers to put their separate cases. Shakhtar hired the Spanish law firm Vandellos and the Russian clubs’ case was put by Moscow-based SILA Lawyers.

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