Swiss Federal Tribunal Decision 4A_600/2016: Domestic Arbitration and the Plea of Arbitrariness

Swiss Federal Tribunal Decision 4A_600/2016: Domestic Arbitration and the Plea of Arbitrariness

The decision 4A_600/2016 of the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT), rendered on 29 June 2017, puts an end to the proceedings involving the former UEFA President Michel Platini before the FIFA Ethics Committee, the FIFA Appeals Committee and before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

In a rather lengthy judgment, the SFT rejected the arguments brought forward by Mr Platini and his legal team, concluding that the Award rendered by the CAS (TAS 2016/A/4474 Michel Platini c. Fédération Internationale de Football Association; See Football Legal # 6 (November 2016), p. 142) was not arbitrary and confirming the sanction imposed against Mr Platini.

This article gives a brief overview on the factual and procedural background of this case and it summarizes the main findings of the SFT.  

Factual and Procedural Background[1]

In December 2015, the FIFA Ethics Committee banned Mr Platini for eight years from engaging in any activity related to football at a national and international level and it imposed a fine of CHF 80,000 (approx. EUR 70,000) against Mr Platini. The main reasons for this decision were that Mr Platini had received a payment of CHF 2,000,000 (approx. EUR 1,700,000) from FIFA, paid on the initiative of the then President, Joseph S. Blatter, without a valid legal basis. In addition, Mr Platini had requested, and obtained, benefits under a retirement plan for FIFA Executive Committee Members, although he did not act as a Member of the FIFA Executive Committee for the relevant (extended) period of time.

The FIFA Appeals Committee subsequently reduced the ban...

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