CAS decision: ACF Fiorentina v Mohamed Salah & Chelsea FC

The Court of Arbitration of Sport (“CAS”) has issued its decision in the arbitration procedure between Italian club ACF Fiorentina, Liverpool FC’s new signing Mohamed Salah Ghaly and Chelsea FC concerning a dispute between the parties over a loan agreement from 2015.

The CAS panel dismissed the Italian club’s appeal and confirmed the decision issued by the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber (“FIFA DRC”).

Broadly, the appeal involved a claim by Fiorentina that Chelsea induced Salah to breach his employment contract with the Italian club without just cause, and requested EUR 32m in compensation from both Chelsea and Salah as well as sporting sanctions against both parties.

The panel of CAS arbitrators, including the head of our sports team Mark Hovell, held a hearing at the CAS office in Lausanne, Switzerland in April 2017.

In summary, the panel found in favour of Salah and Chelsea, rejected Fiorentina’s appeal and upheld the FIFA DRC’s decision, ruling that Salah did not breach his employment agreement without just cause and Chelsea did not induce him to terminate the said employment agreement.  

Mark Hovell is a partner and the head of the sports team at Mills & Reeve. He is an experienced arbitrator at the CAS, having presided on over 200 disputes at the CAS including this one. Over the past 20 years, Mark has advised thousands of athletes on their sporting contracts, image rights, and endorsement deals.

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