Breach of contract by a Professional Footballer in Belgium

Breach of contract by a Professional Footballer in Belgium

The aim of this article is not to provide an exhaustive, in-depth approach to all aspects of breaches of contract, but to go further into various topics which we find of special interest. In Belgium, the rules governing breaches of contract by professional footballers are many and varied. Naturally, all contracts must comply with the law, but the rules of the sports federations, specifically the Fédération belge de football (URBSFA), also have their part to play.

This article deals exclusively with breaches of contract between footballers and clubs. There are certain specific rules and special cases for other categories of sports professionals, such as football coaches, but these are not discussed here.

Belgian Legislation

First of all, reference should be made to the general legislation applicable, i.e. the Law of 3 July 1978 on Contracts of Employment (hereinafter the General Law on Contracts of Employment).

Certain aspects of the Law of 4 February 1978 on Contracts of Employment for Sports Professionals (hereinafter the Law of 1978 on Sports Professionals) differ from the requirements of the General Law on Contracts of Employment, in particular with regard to breaches of both open-ended and fixed term contracts.

Pursuant to Article 2 of the said law, in order to be considered as a professional a player must meet two main conditions:

  • A commitment to training for or taking part in a competition or other sports event under the authority of another individual;
  • A salary which, up to 30 June 2018, is in excess of EUR 10,200. This threshold is set annually by Royal Decree.

Breaches of contract can...

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