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Edit article FIFA - Disciplinary Code, edition 2011, First Title: Chapter I, Section 1 to 6 and Chapter II, Section 8;

  • Subjects: Regulations,

    Territory: FIFA - Fédération Internationale de Football Association


    FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC) Web admin note Web admin note Only the Sections that are relevant for the Players Agent Exam have been copied. For the full text of the code please download the attachment at the bottom of this page.

    30 May 2011

    With specific reference to art. 59 par. 4 of the FIFA Statutes, the Executive Committee of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) enforces the following code.

    PRELIMINARY TITLE

    1 Object

    This code describes infringements of the rules in FIFA regulations, determines the sanctions incurred, regulates the organisation and function of the bodies responsible for taking decisions and the procedures to be followed before
    these bodies.

    2 Scope of application: substantive law

    This code applies to every match and competition organised by FIFA. Beyond this scope, it also applies if a match official is harmed and, more generally, if the statutory objectives of FIFA are breached, especially with regard to forgery, corruption and doping. It also applies to any breach of FIFA regulations that does not fall under the jurisdiction of any other body.

    3 Scope of application: natural and legal persons

    The following are subject to this code:

    a) associations;
    b) members of associations, in particular the clubs;
    c) officials;
    d) players;
    e) match officials;
    f) licensed match and players’ agents;
    g) anyone with an authorisation from FIFA, in particular with regard to a match, competition or other event organised by FIFA;
    h) spectators.

    4 Scope of application: time

    This code applies to facts that have arisen after it has come into force. It also applies to previous facts if it is equally favourable or more favourable for the perpetrator of the facts and if the judicial bodies of FIFA are deciding on
    these facts after the code has come into force. By contrast, rules governing procedure apply immediately upon the coming into force of this code

    5 Definitions

    1. Post-match: the time between the final whistle from the referee and the teams’ departure from the confi nes of the stadium.
    2. Pre-match: the time between the teams’ arrival in the confines of the stadium and the whistle for kickoff from the referee.
    3. International match: a match between two teams belonging to different associations (two clubs, one club and one representative team or two representative teams).
    4. Friendly match: a match organised by a football organisation, club or other person between teams chosen for the occasion and possibly belonging to different spheres of operation; the score has an effect only on the match or tournament in question and, in the case of representative teams, on the FIFA rankings.
    5. Official match: a match organised under the auspices of a football organisation for all of the teams or clubs in its sphere of operation; the score has an effect on the rights of participation in other competitions unless the regulations in question stipulate otherwise.
    6. Officials: anyone, with the exception of players, performing an activity connected with football at an association or club, regardless of his title, the type of activity (administrative, sporting or any other) and the duration of the activity; in particular, managers, coaches and support staff are officials.
    7. Match official: the referee, assistant referees, fourth official, match commissioner, referee inspector, the person in charge of safety, and any other persons appointed by FIFA to assume responsibility in connection with a match.
    8. FIFA regulations: the statutes, regulations, directives and circulars of FIFA as well as the Laws of the Game issued by the International Football Association Board.

    6 Gender and number

    Terms referring to natural persons are applicable to both genders. Any term in the singular applies to the plural and vice-versa.

    FIRST TITLE. SUBSTANTIVE LAW

    CHAPTER I. GENERAL PART

    Section 1. Conditions for sanctions

    7 Culpability

    1. Unless otherwise specified, infringements are punishable regardless of whether they have been committed deliberately or negligently.
    2. Exceptionally, a match may have to be played without spectators or on neutral territory, or a certain stadium may be banned purely for safety reasons, without an infringement having been committed.

    8 Acts amounting to attempt

    1. Acts amounting to attempt are also punishable.
    2. In the case of acts amounting to attempt, the body may reduce the sanction envisaged for the actual infringement accordingly. It will determine the extent of the mitigation as it sees fit; it shall not go below the general lower limit of the fine (cf. art. 15 par. 2).

    9 Involvement

    1. Anyone who intentionally takes part in committing an infringement, either as instigator or accomplice, is also punishable.
    2. The body will take account of the degree of guilt of the party involved and may reduce the sanction accordingly. It shall not go below the general lower limit of the fine (art. 15 par. 2).

    Section 2. Disciplinary measures

    10 Sanctions common to natural and legal persons

    Both natural and legal persons are punishable by the following sanctions:

    a) warning;
    b) reprimand;
    c) fine;
    d) return of awards.

    11 Sanctions applicable to natural persons

    The following sanctions are applicable only to natural persons:

    a) caution;
    b) expulsion;
    c) match suspension;
    d) ban from dressing rooms and/or substitutes’ bench;
    e) ban from entering a stadium;
    f) ban on taking part in any football-related activity.

    12 Sanctions applicable to legal persons

    The following sanctions are applicable only to legal persons:

    a) transfer ban;
    b) playing a match without spectators;
    c) playing a match on neutral territory;
    d) ban on playing in a particular stadium;
    e) annulment of the result of a match;
    f) expulsion;
    g) forfeit;
    h) deduction of points;
    i) relegation to a lower division.

    13 Warning

    A warning is a reminder of the substance of a disciplinary rule allied with the threat of a sanction in the event of a further infringement.

    14 Reprimand

    A reprimand is an official written pronouncement of disapproval sent to the perpetrator of an infringement.

    15 Fine

    1. A fine is issued in Swiss francs (CHF) or US dollars (USD). It shall be paid in the same currency.
    2. The fine shall not be less than CHF 300, or in the case of a competition subject to an age limit not less than CHF 200, and not more than CHF 1,000,000.
    3. The body that imposes the fine decides the terms and time limits for payment.
    4. Associations are jointly liable for fines imposed on representative team players and officials. The same applies to clubs in respect of their players and officials. The fact that a natural person has left a club or association does not cancel out joint liability.

    16 Return of awards

    The person required to return an award shall return the benefits received, in particular sums of money and symbolic objects (medal, trophy etc.).

    17 Caution

    1. A caution (yellow card) is a warning from the referee to a player during a match to sanction unsporting behaviour of a less serious nature (cf. Law 12 of the Laws of the Game).
    2. Two cautions received during the same match incur an expulsion (indirect red card) and, consequently, automatic suspension from the next match (cf. art. 18 par. 4). The two cautions that incurred the red card are rescinded.
    3. If a player receives a caution in two separate matches of the same FIFA competition, he is automatically suspended from the next match in that competition. The Disciplinary Committee may exceptionally depart from or amend this rule before the start of a particular competition. Any such decision reached by the Disciplinary Committee is final.
    4. If an abandoned match is to be replayed, any caution issued during that match shall be annulled. If the match is not to be replayed, the cautions received by the team responsible for causing the match to be abandoned are upheld; if both teams are responsible, all of the cautions are upheld.
    5. Cautions issued in a match that is subsequently forfeited shall not be annulled.
    6. If a player is guilty of serious unsporting behaviour as defined in Law 12 of the Laws of the Game and is sent off (direct red card), any other caution he has previously received in the same match is upheld.

    18 Expulsion

    1. An expulsion is the order given by the referee to someone to leave the field of play and its surroundings, including the substitutes’ bench, during a match. The person who has been sent off may be allowed into the stands unless he is serving a stadium ban.
    2. Expulsion takes the form of a red card for players. The red card is regarded as direct if it sanctions serious unsporting behaviour as defined by Law 12 of the Laws of the Game; it is regarded as indirect if it is the result of an accumulation of two yellow cards.
    3. An official who has been sent off may give instructions to the person replacing him on the substitutes’ bench. He shall, however, ensure that he does not disturb the spectators or disrupt the flow of play.
    4. An expulsion automatically incurs suspension from the subsequent match, even if imposed in a match that is later abandoned, annulled and/or forfeited. The Disciplinary Committee may extend the duration of the suspension.

    19 Match suspension

    1. A suspension from a match is a ban on taking part in a future match or competition and on attending it in the area immediately surrounding the field of play.
    2. An official who is suspended in application of par. 1 is automatically banned from the dressing rooms in accordance with art. 20.
    3. The suspension is imposed in terms of matches, days or months. Unless otherwise specified, it may not exceed twenty-four matches or twenty-four months.
    4. If the suspension is to be served in terms of matches, only those matches actually played count towards execution of the suspension. If a match is abandoned, cancelled or forfeited (except for a violation of art. 55), a suspension is only considered to have been served if the team to which the suspended player belongs is not responsible for the facts that led to the abandonment, cancellation or forfeit of the match.
    5. A match suspension is regarded as no longer pending if a match is retroactively forfeited because a player took part in a match despite being ineligible (art. 55). This also applies to the match suspension imposed on the player who took part in the match despite being ineligible.
    6. If a suspension is combined with a fine, the suspension may be prolonged until the fine has been paid in full.

    20 Ban from dressing rooms and/or substitutes’ bench

    A ban from dressing rooms and/or substitutes’ benches deprives someone of the right to enter a team’s dressing rooms and/or the area immediately surrounding the field of play, and in particular to sit on the substitutes’ bench.

    21 Stadium ban

    A stadium ban prohibits someone from entering the confines of one or several stadiums.

    22 Ban on taking part in any football-related activity

    A person may be banned from taking part in any kind of football-related
    activity (administrative, sports or any other).

    23 Transfer ban

    A transfer ban prevents a club from registering any player during the period in question.

    24 Playing a match without spectators

    The obligation to play a match behind closed doors requires an association or a club to have a certain match played without spectators.

    25 Playing a match on neutral ground

    The obligation to play a match on neutral ground requires an association or a club to have a certain match played in another country on in a different region of the same country.

    26 Ban on playing in a particular stadium

    A ban on playing in a certain stadium deprives an association or a club of the right to have its team play in a certain stadium.

    27 Annulment of the result of a match

    The result of a match is annulled if the result reached on the field of play is disregarded.

    28 Expulsion from a competition

    Expulsion is the deprivation of the right of an association or a club to take part in the current and/or a future competition.

    29 Relegation to a lower division

    A club may be relegated to a lower division.

    30 Deduction of points

    A club may have points deducted from those already attained in the current or a future championship.

    31 Forfeit

    1. A team sanctioned with a forfeit is considered to have lost the match by 3-0.
    2. If the goal difference at the end of the match is greater than three, the result on the pitch is upheld.

    31bis Replay of a match

    A match may be replayed if it could not take place or could not be played in full for reasons other than force majeure, but due to the behaviour of a team or behaviour for which an association or a club is liable.

    Section 3. Common rules

    32 Combined sanctions

    Unless otherwise specified, the sanctions provided for in Chapter I (General Part) and Chapter II (Special Part) of this code may be combined.

    33 Partial suspension of implementation of sanctions

    1. The body that pronounces

      a match suspension (cf. art. 19),
      a ban on access to dressing rooms and/or the substitutes’ bench (cf. art. 20),
      a ban on taking part in any football-related activity (cf. art. 22),
      the obligation to play a match without spectators (cf. art. 24),
      the obligation to play a match on neutral ground (cf. art. 25) or
      a ban on playing in a certain stadium (cf. art. 26)
      may examine whether it is possible to suspend the implementation of the sanction partially.

    2. Partial suspension is permissible only if the duration of the sanction does not exceed six matches or six months and if the relevant circumstances allow it, in particular the previous record of the person sanctioned.

    3. The body decides which part of the sanction may be suspended. In any case, half of the sanction is definite.

    4. By suspending implementation of the sanction, the body subjects the person sanctioned to a probationary period of anything from six months to two years.

    5. If the person benefiting from a suspended sanction commits another infringement during the probationary period, the suspension is automatically revoked and the sanction applied; it is added to the sanction pronounced for the new infringement.

    6. Special provisions may apply in certain circumstances. In the case of anti-doping rule violations, this article is not applicable.

    34 Time sanctions: calculation of time limit

    The duration of a time sanction can be interrupted by rest periods during or
    between seasons.

    35 Centralisation of sanctions

    1. Records of cautions, expulsions and match suspensions are stored in the central computer system of FIFA. The Disciplinary Committee secretary confirms them in writing to the association or club concerned or, in the case of final competitions, to the head of the delegation concerned.
    2. This communication serves only as confirmation: sanctions (cautions, expulsions, automatic match suspensions) have an immediate effect on subsequent matches even if the letter of confirmation reaches the association, club or head of delegation concerned later.
    3. To ensure that the relevant records are complete, the confederations shall inform FIFA of all sanctions that have been pronounced during their own competitions and are likely to be carried over to a FIFA competition (cf. art. 38 par. 2) or future competitions organised by the confederations.

    Section 4. Carrying over and cancelling cautions and match suspensions

    36 Carrying over cautions

    1. Cautions received during one competition are not carried over to another competition.
    2. They are, however, carried over from one round to the next in the same competition. The Disciplinary Committee may exceptionally depart from this rule before the start of a particular competition. This provision is subject to art. 37.

    37 Cancellation of cautions

    1. Upon its own initiative or at the request of a confederation, the Disciplinary Committee may cancel cautions that have not resulted in an expulsion so as to restore the balance among several teams that have not played the same number of matches during the first round of a competition, or in other exceptional circumstances.
    2. In any case, the committee may do this only once in any competition.
    3. The Disciplinary Committee’s decision is final.

    38 Carrying over match suspensions

    1. As a general rule, every match suspension (of players and other persons) is carried over from one round to the next in the same competition.
    2. Match suspensions in relation to an expulsion pronounced on a player outside of a competition (separate match[es]) or not served during the competition for which they were intended (elimination or the last match in the competition) are carried over as follows:
      a) FIFA World CupTM: carried over to the representative team’s subsequent official match;
      b) competitions subject to an age limit: carried over to the representative team’s next offi cial match in the same age group. Where the suspension cannot be served in the same age group, it shall be carried over to the next highest age category;
      c) FIFA Confederations Cup: carried over to the representative team’s next official match;
      d) FIFA Club World Cup: carried over to the club’s next official match;
      e) confederation competitions for representative teams: carried over to the representative team’s next official match in a competition organised by FIFA;
      f) competitions in which teams have been chosen in accordance with certain criteria (cultural, geographical, historical etc.): if the regulations of these competitions refer to the FIFA regulations for disciplinary sanctions, the suspension is carried over to the representative team’s next official match;
      g) friendly matches: carried over to the representative team’s next friendly match.

    3. If a representative team is hosting a final competition and is consequently not required to participate in qualifying matches to reach the final competition of this tournament and its next official match is in that final competition, any match suspension pronounced in accordance with par. 2 of this article shall be carried over to the representative team’s next friendly match.

    4. In no case may match suspensions resulting from several cautions issued to a player in different matches of the same competition be carried over to another competition.

    5. Par. 2 likewise applies to suspensions pronounced against persons other than players.

    Section 5. Determining the sanction

    39 General rule

    1. The body pronouncing the sanction decides the scope and duration of it.
    2. Sanctions may be limited to a geographical area or to one or more specific categories of match or competition.
    3. Unless otherwise specified, the duration of a sanction is always defined.
    4. The body shall take account of all relevant factors in the case and the degree of the offender’s guilt when imposing the sanction.

    40 Repeated infringements

    1. Unless otherwise specified, the body may increase the sanction to be pronounced as deemed appropriate if an infringement has been repeated.
    2. These provisions are subject to the special rules governing repeated anti-doping rule violations.

    41 Concurrent infringements

    1. If several fines are pronounced against someone as a result of one or more infringements, the relevant body bases the fi ne on the most serious offence committed and, depending on the circumstances, may increase the sanction by up to fifty per cent of the maximum sanction specified for that offence.
    2. The same applies if a person incurs several time sanctions of a similar type (two or more match suspensions, two or more stadium bans etc.) as the result of one or several infringements.
    3. The body that determines the fine in accordance with par. 1 is not obliged to adhere to the general upper limit of the fi ne (cf. art. 15 par. 2).

    Section 6. Limitation period

    42 Limitation period for prosecution

    1. Infringements committed during a match may no longer be prosecuted after a lapse of two years. As a general rule, other infringements may not be prosecuted after a lapse of ten years.
    2. Anti-doping rule violations may not be prosecuted after eight years have elapsed.
    3. Prosecution for corruption (cf. art. 62) is not subject to a limitation period.

    43 Commencement of the limitation period

    The limitation period runs as follows:

    a) from the day on which the perpetrator committed the infringement;
    b) if the infringement is recurrent, from the day on which the most recent
    infringement was committed;
    c) if the infringement lasted a certain period, from the day on which it
    ended.

    44 Interruption

    The limitation period is interrupted if the Disciplinary Committee commences proceedings before it has expired.

    45 Limitation period for the enforcement of sanctions

    1. The limitation period for sanctions is five years.
    2. The limitation period begins on the day on which the decision comes into force.

    CHAPTER II. SPECIAL PART

    Section 8. Failure to respect decisions

    64 [only]

    1. Anyone who fails to pay another person (such as a player, a coach or a club) or FIFA a sum of money in full or part, even though instructed to do so by a body, a committee or an instance of FIFA or a subsequent CAS appeal decision (financial decision), or anyone who fails to comply with another decision (non- financial decision) passed by a body, a committee or an instance of FIFA, or by CAS (subsequent appeal decision):
      a) will be fined for failing to comply with a decision;
      b) will be granted a final deadline by the judicial bodies of FIFA in which to pay the amount due or to comply with the (non-financial) decision;
      c) (only for clubs:) will be warned and notified that, in the case of default or failure to comply with a decision within the period stipulated, points will be deducted or relegation to a lower division ordered. A transfer ban may also be pronounced;
      d) (only for associations) will be warned and notified that, in the case of default or failure to comply with a decision within the period stipulated, further disciplinary measures will be imposed. An expulsion from a FIFA competition may also be pronounced.
    2. If a club disregards the final time limit, the relevant association shall be requested to implement the sanctions threatened.
    3. If points are deducted, they shall be proportionate to the amount owed.
    4. A ban on any football-related activity may also be imposed against natural persons.
    5. Any appeal against a decision passed in accordance with this article shall be lodged with CAS directly.
    6. Any financial or non-financial decision that has been pronounced against a club by a court of arbitration within the relevant association or National Dispute Resolution Chamber (NDRC), both duly recognised by FIFA, shall be enforced by the association of the deciding body that has pronounced the decision in accordance with the principles established in this article and in compliance with the applicable disciplinary regulations.
    7. Any financial or non-financial decision that has been pronounced against a natural person by a court of arbitration within the relevant association or NDRC, both duly recognised by FIFA, shall be enforced by the association of the deciding body that has pronounced the decision or by the natural person’s new association if the natural person has in the meantime registered (or otherwise signed a contract in the case of a coach) with a club affiliated to another association, in accordance with the principles established in this article and in compliance with the applicable disciplinary regulations.

    Attachments: FIFA - Disciplinaire Code (FDC) 2011 (279.62 KB)

    Last update by: Matthijs Lambregts on February 11, 2012 18:55

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