In a judgment issued on 24 July 2023, the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT) entertained an appeal filed by a Swiss football club (Appellant or Club) against a CAS Award (CAS 2021/A/8539) rendered in the context of an employment-related dispute against a Spanish assistant coach (Respondent or Coach). The CAS Panel had previously partially accepted the appeal of the Club and amended the first-instance decision passed by the Single Judge of the FIFA Players’ Status Chamber (FIFA PSC) by reducing the amount of compensation due to the Coach for breach of contract by the Club. Before the SFT, the Club challenged CAS and (interestingly) the FIFA jurisdiction to hear the case, held that the dispute should have been considered domestic arbitration, and maintained that the CAS Panel had breached public policy and infringed the Appellant’s right to be heard. The SFT eventually dismissed the appeal.
Facts of the Case
On 2 January 2019, the Club and the Coach entered into an employment contract (Contract), valid from 1 January 2019 until 30 June 2023, by which the Respondent was hired as “assistant coach of the first team of [the Club] as well as Head of Performance Department”. The Contract also contained a jurisdiction clause in favour of FIFA and CAS.
On 25 June 2021, the Coach terminated the Contract, alleging just cause, and lodged a claim before the FIFA PSC against the Club requesting the payment of outstanding remuneration (composed of a monthly salary and bonuses) as well as compensation for breach of contract plus interests.
On 22 July 2021, the Club filed its answer disputing, inter alia, the jurisdiction of the FIFA PSC on the grounds that this was...
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