As part of the recently signed agreement between FIFA and the International Council for Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) for the 2023-2026, FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) have established a specific legal aid fund for football (the FIFA-CAS Football Legal Aid Fund – FLAF), in order to provide assistance to football stakeholders appealing cases before the CAS.
The FLAF, which will begin operating as from 1 February 2023, is the first such fund exclusively dedicated to football-related matters, either at national or international level. It ensures that CAS proceedings involving the FLAF will:
- be available to any natural persons, including agents with a FIFA licence, without sufficient financial means to proceed at the CAS.
- be free of any Court Office Fee.
- be free of any administrative and procedural costs, including arbitrator fees.
- exceptionally and only once per calendar year, be available to football clubs affiliated to a member association of FIFA and belonging to the club category IV of the FIFA table on the categorization of clubs for training compensation.
- be decided by a Sole Arbitrator from the specialized CAS Football List, who will carry out such work on a pro bono basis.
The FLAF shall be solely funded by an annual contribution from FIFA.
The CAS Legal Aid set up also guarantees a pro bono counsel system to assist individuals in their potential CAS disputes.
The funds of the FLAF shall exclusively be used to cover the lump sum for travel and accommodation costs of the relevant party and pro bono counsel, as well as those of witnesses, experts and interpreters.
The Guidelines on Legal Aid before the CAS can be downloaded here .