The PSG had the right to keep Hatem Ben Arfa away

The PSG had the right to keep Hatem Ben Arfa away
For the first time, French employment judges had to rule on the question of the exclusion of a professional footballer by his employer club. In the case opposing French footballer, Mr Hatem Ben Arfa against his former employer club, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), the Paris Labor Court held that, in light of the employment contract and the usual practices in professional clubs, the choice of whether or not to select a player and field him in one or more matches was related to the autonomous management powers that professional football clubs have.
Labor Court of Paris, 16 December 2019, no. 19/00954, Hatem Ben Arfa


More precisely, this is a first instance ruling handed down by the Conseil de Prud’ hommes of Paris (French labor court), which is already on appeal. Nevertheless, it a very instructive case. First of all, it is the first time that labor judges have had the opportunity to rule on this increasingly frequent problem that affects professional players. Sometimes, footballers indeed feel sidelined by their employer club. However, the interest of this ruling is not limited to this issue alone, since it also addresses other particular aspects of the employment relationship in professional football, such as the ethics bonus (prime d’éthique).

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