Belgian club Charleroi are to resist pressure from FIFA and continue their legal challenge that could transform international football.
Europe’s G14 group, are backing Charleroi over the issue of the release of players for international duty.
“We’re more determined than ever to go through with it,” said Charleroi lawyer Jean-Pierre Deprez.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has asked the Belgian football federation to intervene to try to force Charleroi to drop their challenge.
The G14 group wants FIFA to provide insurance and compensation to clubs for players who are injured while representing their countries. The group has backed Charleroi’s claim for €1.25m after Abdelmajid Oulmers was injured for eight months when hurt playing for Morocco.
Charleroi paid for Oulmers’ surgery and his salary even though he was unable to play.
The case has officially opened in the Charleroi Commercial Court and will be heard in the new year.
G14 argues that FIFA’s refusal to contribute towards players’ salaries is illegal.
“As it is G14’s wish to seek a once and for all clarification if these regulations are legal, it is sensible for us to join this case,” said G14 general manager Thomas Kurth.
FIFA have been accused of being in breach of European Union law by abusing their dominant position.
Some national federations pay for their players to be released for international duty. German clubs receive €6,000 per player from the German federation but many federations cannot afford to pay such compensation.
Kurth says G14 clubs are not asking for money every time a player is released but a percentage of the income from major competitions such as the World Cup finals. For instance, they would like to receive a proportion of FIFA’s €2.5 billion revenues from next year’s World Cup.
Subscribe to World Soccer – The essential football magazine