Legal & Compliance

A significant number of important milestones for FIFA’s Legal & Compliance Division were reached in 2023, with key publications and programmes throughout the year.

Commentary on the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP), third edition

The commentary is a crucial document that supports member associations, clubs, players, leagues, coaches and football legal experts in ensuring that the RSTP is applied consistently across the global football community. The third edition encompasses the latest amendments to the RSTP as well as detailed information on the regulations and case law of the FIFA Football Tribunal and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The commentary is a landmark achievement and further confirmation of FIFA’s ongoing commitment to ensuring transparency and education on football law across the globe. After the adoption of the RSTP in 2001 following fruitful cooperation with the European Commission, FIFA published the first edition of the commentary in 2007, followed by another edition in 2021 as part of FIFA’s commitment to modernising football’s regulatory framework.

The third edition of Commentary on the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players:

  • Aimed at supporting football stakeholders and legal experts

  • Facilitates consistent application of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players

  • Follows on from two previous editions published in 2007 and 2021

Legal Handbook, 2023 edition

In September 2023, FIFA published the 2023 edition of its Legal Handbook, which features a unique overview of the latest regulations, statutory documents and circulars issued by world football’s governing body, thus providing valuable support to the football community at large.

The FIFA Legal Handbook was published in 2020 for the first time; the 2023 edition includes the recent changes and amendments to all the FIFA regulations and rules applicable to football organisations and matches.

The Legal Handbook contains the updated versions of the most relevant FIFA Rules and Regulations, including Circular Letters and official Guides.

Football Tribunal Report 2022/2023

Also in September 2023, FIFA published the second edition of the Football Tribunal Report, which covers the period from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the Football Tribunal’s activities as well as those of the FIFA Players’ Status Department, which is part of the FIFA Legal & Compliance Division and acts as a secretariat to the Football Tribunal. During the period in question, the department received a record number of 18,353 cases, applications and enquiries, compared to 14,540 in the 2021-2022 period. The Football Tribunal, which is composed of three chambers: the Players’ Status Chamber, the Dispute Resolution Chamber and the Agents Chamber, was implemented on 1 October 2021 to consolidate the existing FIFA decision-making bodies into a single umbrella body. In this context, since 1 May 2023, all proceedings before the Football Tribunal outside the FIFA Transfer Matching system are exclusively initiated and conducted through the FIFA Legal Portal, which was launched a year earlier. The portal is a modern online platform that enables football stakeholders and legal representatives to lodge a claim and follow the relevant proceedings before the Football Tribunal in a fully digital, user-friendly environment.

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 22:  FIFA Chief Legal & Compliance Officer Emilio García Silvero poses for a portrait during the 3rd FIFA Football Law Annual Review during the FIFA Football Law Annual Review from Home of FIFA on March 22, 2021 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/FIFA)

FIFA will continue to modernise its regulatory framework, while also continuing to implement its transfer reform initiatives, in line with the strategic objectives for the global game 2023-2027.

Emilio García Silvero
FIFA Chief Legal & Compliance Officer
Colombia v South Korea: Group H - FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ Integrity Task Force

The FIFA Women’s World Cup Integrity Task Force, which was established to safeguard the competition from match manipulation and integrity-related threats, concluded its successful work in monitoring the betting markets and in game action in real time during all 64 matches at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™. The task force concluded that no suspicious betting activities or match manipulation threats had been identified around any game that took place during the tournament. This was the second edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ to be monitored by the task force, which was launched ahead of the 2019 finals. The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Integrity Task Force comprised representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, INTERPOL, the Council of Europe’s Group of Copenhagen, United Lotteries for Integrity in Sports, the International Betting Integrity Association, Sportradar, Sport Integrity Australia and the New Zealand Police. During the competition, FIFA centralised the collection of information from betting monitoring reports based on market activity data from various jurisdictions, including law enforcement entities and physical surveillance at competition venues. The monitoring of both the betting markets and in-game action in real time during all of the group- and knockout-stage matches through to the final, which was played on 20 August, found no match manipulation threats. The collaborative effort between FIFA and key international stakeholders in the field of sports integrity ensured an experienced, coordinated and timely response – based on information and data – to any alert during the competition, with each participating stakeholder contributing their specific expertise (investigative and/or technical) throughout the tournament. In parallel, FIFA continued to work with confederations, member associations and other integrity stakeholders in the fight against match manipulation. In line with its core objective to promote the integrity of football, FIFA takes the battle against match manipulation very seriously and any suspicious activities can be reported via its confidential, dedicated, highly secure and web-based whistle-blowing system.

Integrity conclusions

  • No suspicious betting or match manipulation threats identified during the 64 matches

  • Second successive edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup to have been monitored

  • Task force composed of members from international expert organisations

FIFA Clearing House

In June 2023, French amateur club SC Malesherbois became the first recipient of a payment processed by the FIFA Clearing House, the licensed institution established by FIFA to centralise and automate financial flows between clubs related to training rewards and to promote financial transparency and integrity within the international transfer system. The transaction, amounting to EUR 159,990, was triggered by the international transfer of a player who was trained by SC Malesherbois as an amateur between the ages of 12 and 15 and had recently been signed by a top European club. The payment was in excess of the French club’s annual budget and represents the largest amount it has received for training a player to date, with similar payments expected from future instalments related to this transfer.

FIFA Legal Portal

In its efforts to modernise and streamline the proceedings before its decision-making and judicial bodies and in order to facilitate the filing and management of claims, the use of FIFA’s new Legal Portal became mandatory on 1 May 2023. In May 2022, FIFA launched the FIFA Legal Portal, which for the first time enabled football stakeholders – such as clubs, players, associations, intermediaries, law firms with a power of attorney, and anyone involved in proceedings – to lodge a claim with the relevant FIFA decision-making or judicial body. As a result of and in line with the circular letter, and after an adequate transitional period of one year, all proceedings before its decision-making and judicial bodies will now exclusively be initiated through the portal, and correspondence concerning proceedings before the FIFA Football Tribunal and FIFA judicial bodies will solely be conducted via the portal. Proceedings will still be governed by the respective FIFA regulations. However, the notification of correspondence, submissions, decisions and other documents will be handled through the FIFA Legal Portal.

The portal is aimed at ensuring simple, secure and transparent communication between FIFA and the parties involved, as well as a better understanding of the proceedings and heightened traceability. To that effect, a user manual providing further information and a step-by-step guide to the FIFA Legal Portal was also published. Member associations, clubs, players, officials and all those involved in FIFA’s legal proceedings before the relevant FIFA decision-making or judicial body will now have to register on the FIFA Legal Portal at

First CAS & Football Annual Report

In February, FIFA published the CAS & Football Annual Report 2022, a detailed document reflecting the activities of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in football-related matters at global level in 2022, and, in particular, in relation to appeals filed against FIFA decisions during that year. Article 57 of the FIFA Statutes recognises the jurisdiction of CAS to deal with appeals against final decisions passed by FIFA’s legal bodies. By means of this provision, the various football stakeholders (e.g. member associations, confederations, players, clubs, officials and coaches) can be sure that resolutions passed by FIFA, its member associations, confederations and leagues are reviewed by an independent arbitration tribunal. As part of FIFA’s ongoing efforts to increase the transparency of its activities, the report provides relevant information and statistics related to the numerous appeals filed before CAS in football matters worldwide. It also offers a detailed description of the most relevant case law from CAS and the Swiss Federal Tribunal as notified in 2022.

Diploma in Football Law – second edition graduation

The second edition of the FIFA Diploma in Football Law concluded with a graduation ceremony at the Castillo de Chapultepec in Mexico City in May 2023. For over a year, legal executives from law firms specialising in sports law, as well as from clubs, member associations and other football stakeholders from around the world participated in five intensive modules. The course began in February 2022 at FIFA’s offices in Zurich, with further modules held at the CONCACAF headquarters in Miami, CONMEBOL headquarters in Asunción and CAF headquarters in Cairo with the final module in Mexico City, coinciding with the fifth edition of the Football Law Annual Review. The diplomas were handed to participants by FIFA Chief Legal & Compliance Officer Emilio García Silvero.

It was an honour to attend the second edition of the FIFA Diploma in Football Law. This great professional experience that we had in the last 13 months took all of us around the world to enhance our knowledge in actual football regulatory matters.

Felipe Ramos Carvalho
Participant, Legal Counsel at São Paulo FC

Diploma in Football Law – third edition launched

Following the success of the two previous editions, FIFA – in collaboration with the International Centre for Sports Studies – launched the third edition of its Diploma in Football Law in May 2023. In line with FIFA’s vision of making football truly global, the FIFA Diploma in Football Law is aimed at providing sports legal executives working at FIFA member associations, confederations, leagues, clubs, players’ and agents’ unions and private practices from all around the globe with a working knowledge of the latest and most relevant aspects in the legal field. The diploma, which comprises five modules on key facets of football law, each lasting five days and the first of which was held in Q1 2024, is held over a period of 13 months in five different locations around the world.

Executive Programme in Sports Arbitration

In August 2023, FIFA hosted the third and final module of the FIFA Executive Programme in Sports Arbitration at the Home of FIFA, with a focus on CAS leading cases in sport. A range of high-profile legal experts from all over the world attended the course, which is not only aimed at educating legal practitioners on sports arbitration but also at creating an indispensable bridge between theory and practice.

FIFA is the most active international body in adjudicating cases before CAS with hundreds of disputes annually, including disciplinary, anti-doping and contractual cases. Subsequently, FIFA’s Legal & Compliance Division has accumulated tremendous experience and wishes to share the knowledge and insights it has gained with other stakeholders worldwide.

Executive Programme in Anti-doping, 2nd edition

In May 2023, the second edition of the FIFA Executive Programme in Anti-Doping came to an end, with the participants completing the third and final module in Zurich. The programme is aimed at providing an in-depth analysis of the main regulatory, institutional and scientific aspects of anti-doping in sport.

The Ad Hoc European Committee for the World Anti-Doping Agency (CAHAMA) holds its 62nd meeting

FIFA Football Agent Regulations

In October 2023, FIFA enforced the full implementation of the FIFA Football Agent Regulations (FFAR). This included the mandatory use of licensed football agents, the cap on service fees and new provisions to ensure the protection of minors. Following the first two exams and the legacy licence applications submitted to date, a total of approximately 5,000 licences were issued. Those who hold a licence, will be eligible to perform football agent services from 1 October 2023. Unsuccessful applicants will have the opportunity to retake the exam in May and November 2024. FIFA will organise further exams in the coming years. As part of the new regulations, potential disputes in connection with representation agreements entered into from 1 October 2023 are handled by the Agents Chamber of the Football Tribunal, thus ensuring that any conflicts concerning football agent services are resolved fairly and equally for all participants in the international transfer system. FIFA believes that the FFAR provides a reasonable and proportionate framework to help resolve systemic failures in the player transfer system and wishes to underscore that the regulations have been universally recognised by football stakeholders and the most important political authorities in Europe.

FIFA Football Agent Regulations


Compliance at the core of every FIFA tournament

With no time to lose after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, a complex compliance effort in the six months of 2023 was set in motion and the Compliance team was firmly focused on FIFA’s next tournaments. With operations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in full swing, the Compliance team continued to conduct routine due diligence screenings, which focused on sanctions and embargoes, anti-bribery and anti-corruption concerns. FIFA assisted with last-minute due diligence requests for regional supporters and sponsors and provided specific advice on detailed compliance and sanctions clauses requested by counterparts. Throughout the preparation for the tournament, FIFA kept closely aligned with the Local FIFA Subsidiary colleagues, who oversaw operations from FIFA’s offshore offices in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, supporting them in all areas.

Attention turns to 2026

After having delivered the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, preparations got under way for the next edition of the FIFA World Cup, the FIFA World Cup 26, which will be held in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Australia v England: Semi Final - FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023

Due diligence

Due diligence screenings are now an embedded organizational procedure, and the Compliance team continues to support the organisation with its use of the tool, while encouraging other teams to introduce it to existing processes. In February 2023, the Compliance team assisted with the screening of match officials and guest lists for the Play-Off Tournament for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™. Since then, the team has been involved in several due diligence screenings of potential regional and national supporters, as well as a sales agent for the purposes of finalising a sponsorship package.

FTC Women's Football Filming at HoF

Ahead of the big kick-off in July 2023, we continued to liaise with internal stakeholders – Travel Operations and Guest Operations in particular – conducting screenings across tournament match officials and guest lists. We also advised on various topics, including routine sanctions and reputational risk considerations, which were raised with higher management. In terms of assisting teams in establishing more streamlined processes, we continued to support the FIFA Quality Programme by reviewing and updating a due diligence questionnaire that is completed as part of third-party engagements. The team also assisted the FIFA Foundation in the due diligence module to conduct screenings of potential beneficiaries of the FIFA Foundation Community Programme.

Modernising FIFA’s compliance programme

For FIFA committee members, mandatory compliance training is now completed via the portal. In May 2023, the Governance, Audit and Compliance Committee members were the first to successfully undergo training via the platform.

The FIFA logo is seen outside the FIFA headquarters

Compliance advisory

The Compliance Subdivision continued to take a proactive approach across FIFA and worked with every department to provide support where needed and ensured that the organisation followed best practice policies and procedures in everything it did. The team worked with all stakeholders from the Legal & Compliance Division to assess whether registered risks were still actual risks, as well as assessing potential new risks. We aligned with various stakeholders in the Ethics and Compliance teams on screening procedures for referees and match officials.

Member associations

Amendments were proposed to the FIFA Forward explanatory notes and guidelines and the second draft of the Central Review Manual was reviewed and amended ahead of it being issued to member associations.


The team reviewed and advised on the updated FIFA Safeguarding Policy from a compliance perspective.

Partnerships & Media

The team continued to participate in the bid opening process for broadcasting rights to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Europe. In-depth due diligence and the review of compliance clauses for both new and renewed contracts with various partners and sponsors were routinely conducted.


The team was involved in the user acceptance testing phase of a new procurement form, providing key input on relevant compliance questions for a specific section incorporating a compliance review workflow.

Monitoring and testing

A review of a random sample of expense claims was carried out across one department and discrepancies in spending and FIFA’s policies were raised directly with the individuals concerned. The exercise was also used as an opportunity to continue to educate and remind employees of FIFA’s internal policies.

Human Rights & Anti-Discrimination

The team helped facilitate new user accounts for additional staff to monitor the FIFA Reporting Portal for the duration of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

Audit, Risk & Advisory

Bidding process for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2027™ and FIFA World Cup 2030 and 2034™

The internal audit team collaborated closely with an independent audit company mandated to observe and monitor the bidding and selection process as applied by FIFA members, management and staff against the applicable FIFA requirements and guidelines for this process.

Internal Audit

The internal audit function supports FIFA in achieving its objectives by applying a systematic and disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of FIFA’s governance, risk management and control processes. Internal audits enhance organizational value by ensuring FIFA’s operations, programmes and processes are fit for purpose, effectively performed and efficiently delivered. As an independent function, the Audit, Risk & Advisory Subdivision adds value to FIFA and its senior management by providing objective assurance and advice to support the adoption of strong governance and best practices, thereby protecting FIFA’s assets, reputation and sustainability. This includes recommending improvements to eliminate errors, reduce inefficiencies and/or to mature processes, as well as monitoring the implementation of recommendations via FIFA’s internal audit portal. Via its reporting and monitoring, the internal audit function also has an important role to support the Governance, Audit and Compliance Committee in discharging their oversight responsibilities.

New Zealand v Mexico: Group B - FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Costa Rica 2022

Risk management

The purpose of risk management is the creation and protection of value. It improves performance, encourages innovation and supports the achievement of FIFA’s objectives. FIFA operates a modern risk management system aligned with ISO 31000:2018, which provides guidance to identify, measure, manage, monitor and report significant risks to the achievement of FIFA’s objectives and to identify opportunities. The Audit, Risk & Advisory Subdivision provides senior management and the Governance, Audit and Compliance Committee with objective and independent information about FIFA’s key risks and measures to address them. Risk management is an ongoing exercise that evolves over time as risks and opportunities change. The introduction of risk management and ensuring its ongoing effectiveness require strong and sustained commitment by FIFA’s senior management, as well as strategic and rigorous planning to achieve commitment at all levels.

A detailed view of FIFA World Cup 26 Winner's Trophy

Risk management and other functions

Different groups within organisations play a distinct role within the three-lines-of-defence framework, from business units to compliance, internal audit, and other risk management personnel. Risks identified in the risk management process may require the risk owners to define adequate controls in collaboration with FIFA’s internal control system managed by the Finance Division. Internal audits at FIFA are risk-based. This means that: (1) FIFA’s annual internal audit plan is developed based on key risk areas; and (2) individual audits focus on identified risks considering existing measures for risk treatment.


The Audit, Risk & Advisory Subdivision also offers advisory services to stakeholders across the organisation.

FIFA World Cup 26™ risk management

The Audit, Risk & Advisory Subdivision ensures that risk management at FIFA’s subsidiary FIFA World Cup 26 is in line with FIFA’s overall risk management framework and methodology. The subdivision also provides supports with risk identification and assists the development of mitigation plans.


FIFA Council meetings in 2023

The FIFA Council met five times in 2023, with a wide range of key decisions taken or ratified – including the new International Match Calendars for men’s football and women’s football and the hosting of the FIFA World Cup 2030™ and FIFA World Cup 2034™.


As part of FIFA’s statutory commitment to transparency, the annual compensation paid to the key members of FIFA senior management, the chairpersons and deputy chairpersons of its committees and the members of the FIFA Council is published.