OFFICIAL STATEMENT: The appeal of Jugovic Kac against the Court of Handball decision was not accepted.
Court of Appeal upholds the first instance decision on the transfer case of Belos
The EHF Court of Appeal has reached a decision following an appeal of the club RK Jugovic Kac (SRB) with regards to the transfer of the player Nemanja Belos to Bregenz Handball (AUT).
On 5 April 2016, the Austrian Handball Federation addressed an official transfer request to the Serbian Handball Federation.
The Serbian Federation argued that the player had a valid contract. Based on the documents and arguments provided by the parties, the EHF Administrative Body of First Instance decided upon the matter and ruled in substance that the player had the status of an amateur at the time of the transfer since he has not been registered on the list of professional players for the season 2015/2016 (nor for the season 2013/2014) provided by the Serbian Federation to the EHF.
Consequently, the player was free to sign with the Austrian club, all transfer rights shall be with the Austrian Federation and education compensation could be requested only for the seasons during which the player was registered on the list of professional players.
Thereafter RK Jugovic Kac filed an appeal with the EHF Court of Appeal, arguing in substance that the player had a valid employment contract and must thus had been regarded as a professional.
EHF Court of Appeal decision
In its decision released on 21 June 2016, the Court of Appeal confirmed the first instance ruling.
The body of appeal found in substance that in order for a player to be granted the status of a professional, while it is true that all criteria relating to the employment relationship between a player and a club as defined in the IHF Player Eligibility Code (Article 2.2) and the IHF Regulations for Transfer Between Federations (Article 3) must be met, this criteria alone is not sufficient.
Indeed, as clearly stated in Article 4 of the Player Eligibility Code, the player must be registered on the list of professional players submitted by the each National Federation for each season. In case of absence from this list the player is considered as amateur.
The panel underlined that the abovementioned Article 4 is clear and the registration as a professional player has clearly a constitutive nature/character and does not only constitute a formal regulation.
Finally, regarding the argument of the appellant with regards to the fact that the club shall not face the consequences of the National Federation’s failure, the panel finds in substance that the strict obligation to submit the list of professional players is undoubtedly attributed to National Federations, a failure of the latters must therefore be automatically identified as a club’s failure.
Consequently, the player must be regarded as an amateur during the two seasons for which he was not registered on the list of professional players submitted by the National Federation to the EHF.
As a consequence, education compensation shall not be requested for the seasons 2013/2014 and 2015/2016, the player shall be regarded as free to be transferred to whatever club since all dispositions applicable to professional players set forth in the IHF Regulations for Transfer Between Regulations which may have constituted valid limitations under the aforementioned regulations are inapplicable to amateur players.
Hence, the first instance decision is upheld.
In compliance with the EHF Legal Regulations, a statement of claim may be filed by any of the parties to the EHF Court of Arbitration (ECA) within 21 days.
TEXT: EHF / br