World cup 2022: FIFA’s role in football fiesta dispute resolution


By Ebunoluwa Bayode-Ojo, Associate, Olisa Agbakoba Legal, (OAL), Lagos.

For speedy resolution of dispute throughout the Qatar World Cup 2022, a temporary court was established to handle World Cup related complaints throughout the games.

The life span of this court will be for the duration of the World Cup games.

For the duration of the games, a temporary court will be set up to resolve disputes surrounding the World Cup. 

FIFA published the Regulations that will be used by the Ad-hoc divisions of the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) at the World Cup the purpose of which is to provide an arbitral process that is gratuitous, speedy, and just. For example, at the 2016 Olympics, one procedure lasted just 3 hours and 20 minutes from start to finish. Disputes like Doping, match-fixing, and human rights abuse that may arise from the games are addressed.  

The following regulations are key features of the court:

  • Duration – The Regulations will apply between 20 November and 18 December 2022.
  • The special list of referees will consist only of members of the CAS list of football referees.
  • Language of the court – The arbitration may be conducted in English, French or Spanish, which shall be determined by the president of the AHD.
  • The arbitration shall be governed by Chapter 12 of the Swiss Private International Law Act.
  • The arbitration may be conducted by a sole arbitrator or a panel of three arbitrators.
  • Governing law – The dispute shall be decided in accordance with FIFA regulations and, in the alternative, in accordance with Swiss law.
  • Decision/ Award – The award shall be rendered within 48 hours of the submission of the request. Exceptionally, this time limit may be extended if circumstances allow.
  • The Arbitral Formation or the sole arbitrator may make an award on one part of the dispute and refer the other unresolved part to a general CAS procedure.
  • No right of appeal – The award is immediately enforceable and cannot be appealed.
  • In case of divergence between the English, French and Spanish versions of the Rules, the English text prevails.

Apart from the requirement that the arbitrators be exclusively from the CAS list of football referees, the Rules have been drafted in a conservative manner and do not introduce any significant innovations when compared to other similar rules, this is a good move by FIFA to ensure a more speedy resolution procedure for the current World Cup. 


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