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Aborted transfer from Lassana Diarra to Charleroi: the world of football on the way to a second Bosman affair?

It is an important decision that the Court of Appeal of Mons made on Monday and for the player Lassana Diarra and his advisers, Mes Dupont, Hissel, Henry, Barthelemy and Zen-Ruffinen, this is already a small victory. This Court has indeed referred the file concerning the aborted transfer of the player to Charleroi to the CJEU (Court of Justice of the European Union) and this constitutes a capital step in this file.

As a reminder, Lassana Diarra, a former French international, decided 7 years ago to leave Lokomotiv Moscow to sign for Sporting de Charleroi. But now, the FIFA Disputes Committee and the Court of Arbitration for Sport had deemed this breach of contract unlawful and had prohibited him from joining Mambourg. This episode had also prevented the player from exercising his profession for 15 months.

This Monday, with this decision of the Mons Court of Appeal, the file therefore takes a new turn. The European authorities will have to examine the legality of the principle of co-debit (solidarity of the player and the acquiring club for the payment of the indemnity for breach of contract) with regard to the European treaties. But they will also have to give an opinion on the possibility for a federation to put pressure on a complicated file by refusing to issue the international transfer certificate.

This file, a little technical, could lead to an earthquake comparable to that caused by the famous Bosman affair since it affects the principle of the free movement of players and therefore also the methods which govern transfers.

The opinion issued by the CJEU in a few months will therefore be eagerly awaited by the various parties, including FIFA and the Belgian Union.

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