In what types of situation can disciplinary proceedings be opened?
Disciplinary proceedings are opened in situations where it is considered that one or more offences falling within the scope of the Laws of the Game or UEFA’s statutes, regulations, directives or decisions have been committed.
Proceedings are opened by the UEFA administration:
(i) on the basis of official reports;
(ii) where a protest has been lodged;
(iii) at the request of the UEFA Executive Committee, the UEFA President or the UEFA General Secretary;
(iv) at the request of an ethics and disciplinary inspector;
(v) on the basis of documents received from a public authority;
(vi) where a complaint has been filed, subject to prior approval of an ethics and disciplinary inspector.
How can I communicate with the UEFA administration in respect of disciplinary proceedings?
All communications should be emailed to email@example.com and/or faxed to +41 (0)22 707 28 97.
Are parties allowed to submit statements to UEFA after disciplinary proceedings have been opened?
Parties are allowed to submit statements to UEFA after disciplinary proceedings have been opened and before a decision has been reached. The UEFA administration sets and communicates all deadlines for the submission of such statements.
In what language do I have to submit documents for disciplinary proceedings?
Documents submitted as part of disciplinary proceedings must be submitted in one of UEFA’s official languages: English, French or German.
How is UEFA’s disciplinary system structured?
As Article 32 of the UEFA Statutes explains, UEFA has two disciplinary bodies – the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body and the Appeals Body.
Members of those disciplinary bodies are independent and may not belong to any other UEFA organ or committee. They are bound exclusively by UEFA’s statutes, rules and regulations and the law.
The Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body rules on all disciplinary, ethical and other matters that fall within its competences under UEFA’s statutes and regulations. It also has jurisdiction in the event that a UEFA member association and/or one of its members fails to prosecute, or prosecutes in an inappropriate manner, a serious violation of UEFA’s statutory objectives.
In particularly urgent cases (especially those relating to admission to, or exclusion from, UEFA competitions), the chairman may refer the case directly to the Appeals Body for a decision.
The Appeals Body hears appeals against disciplinary decisions taken by the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body, which it either upholds, amends or revokes.
Can I represent myself before the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body or the Appeals Body?
Member associations, clubs, players and officials may choose to represent themselves, or they may appoint a third party to represent them. All representatives must be in possession of a signed power of attorney.
As a party to proceedings, do I have to attend the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body’s hearing?
Proceedings before the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body are normally conducted in writing. However, in exceptional circumstances, and if the chairman agrees, a hearing will be held if a party requests it in writing.
What form do decisions take?
UEFA’s disciplinary bodies typically issue decisions without grounds in the first instance, with only the operative part of the decision being communicated to the parties. The parties then have five days from that date to request, in writing, a decision with grounds. However, doping-related decisions are always issued with grounds.
How long does it take disciplinary bodies to issue decisions without grounds?
Decisions without grounds are normally issued within 48 hours of the relevant disciplinary body meeting.
Can anyone request the grounds of a disciplinary body’s decision?
Only parties to proceedings and the relevant ethics and disciplinary inspector can request the grounds of a decision. The parties have five days from the notification of the operative part of the decision to request, in writing, a decision with grounds. Failure to make such a request results in the decision becoming final and binding and the parties being deemed to have waived their right to lodge an appeal.
Can I request a stay of execution?
Yes. A request for a stay of execution has to be submitted in writing to the chairman of the Appeals Body. The chairman of the Appeals Body may, on receipt of a reasoned request of that kind, award a stay of execution.
How can I appeal against a decision by the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body?
A party can appeal against a decision by the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body by lodging a written ‘declaration of appeal’ with the UEFA administration, for the attention of the Appeals Body, within three days of the issuance of the relevant decision with grounds. Competition regulations may shorten this deadline in the interests of the smooth running of the competition in question.)
Then, within five days of the deadline for submission of the declaration of appeal, the appellant must file, in writing, the grounds for appeal.
That being said, it should be noted that decisions by the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body cannot be appealed against where the disciplinary measure imposed in the first instance is limited to:
• a warning;
• a reprimand;
• an automatic one-match suspension following a dismissal.
Moreover, a decision cannot be appealed against if the party failed to request the grounds of that decision by the relevant deadline.
What must the grounds of appeal contain?
That submission must contain a legal request, an account of the facts, evidence, a list of any proposed witnesses (together with a brief summary of their expected testimony) and the appellant’s conclusions. It must also indicate the appellant’s preference as regards the format of the appeal proceedings, i.e. whether they should take place orally or in writing. In the absence of a stated preference for one or the other, proceedings will be conducted in writing.
The parties and the ethics and disciplinary inspector are not authorised to produce further written submissions or evidence after the deadline for filing the grounds for appeal.
Do I have to pay an appeal fee in order to lodge an appeal before the Appeals Body?
Yes. The appeal fee is €1,000, payable on submission of the grounds for appeal at the latest.
That fee must be paid to the following bank account:
Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS)
Account number: 235-90 186444.6
Bank code: 235
Swift: UBS WCH ZH 80A
IBAN: CH30 00235235901864446
Bank’s address: UBS AG, CH-3001 Berne, Switzerland
VAT number in Switzerland: CHE-116.317.087
Fiscal number in Switzerland/canton de Vaud: 21 652
What happens if I miss an Appeals Body deadline?
If an appellant fails to respect a deadline, the chairman will declare their appeal inadmissible.
What role do UEFA’s ethics and disciplinary inspectors play?
The ethics and disciplinary inspectors represent UEFA in proceedings before the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body and the Appeals Body. They have the power to:
(i) initiate disciplinary investigations;
(ii) request the opening of proceedings and propose that disciplinary measures be imposed on member associations, clubs and individuals;
(iii) lodge appeals against decisions by the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body.
They also support UEFA in the event that a party appeals against a decision by the Appeals Body before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Am I allowed to speak my own language during an Appeals Body hearing, even if it is not one of UEFA’s official languages?
Yes, but you have to ask the UEFA administration in advance, so that interpreters can be organised as required.
As a party to proceedings, do I have to attend the Appeals Body hearing?
Yes, you or your legal representative have to attend the Appeals Body hearing if you have requested that the proceedings be conducted orally.
How much do disciplinary proceedings cost?
The costs of proceedings before the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body are borne by UEFA – except in protest cases, where they are borne by the losing party.
The way that the costs of proceedings before the Appeals Body are allocated depends on the outcome of those proceedings – except in the case of disciplinary proceedings opened against individuals charged with doping violations, which are free of costs. For all other proceedings, the Appeals Body decides at its own discretion how the costs of proceedings are to be allocated to the various parties or borne by UEFA. Appeals against such decisions are not admissible. The appeal fee may be either deducted from the costs of proceedings or reimbursed.
Costs that are caused abusively by a particular party are charged to the party responsible, irrespective of the outcome of the proceedings.
Each party bears its own costs, including those of its own witnesses, representatives, legal advisers and counsel.
Individuals who lack the financial means to properly defend themselves in proceedings before UEFA’s disciplinary bodies may ask for legal aid or pro bono counsel.
Are disciplinary bodies’ hearings open to the public?
No, hearings are restricted to the parties and their legal representatives – except in the case of doping violations, where a hearing may be made public if the defendant requests it and that request is approved by the chairman of the relevant disciplinary body.
Can I appeal against an Appeals Body decision?
Yes, you can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in accordance with the UEFA Statutes and the CAS’s Code of Sports-related Arbitration.
Are disciplinary bodies’ decisions published anywhere?
The UEFA administration publishes decisions taken by its disciplinary bodies on its website.
Where such a decision contains confidential information, the UEFA administration may decide, ex officio or following a request by one of the parties or the ethics and disciplinary inspector within seven days of notification of the decision, to publish an anonymised version. Doping-related decisions constitute an exception in this regard, since they are subject to the specific provisions of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations.
How can I submit a protest?
Protests must be submitted in writing, indicating the relevant grounds, and must reach the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body within 24 hours of the end of the match in question (unless the relevant competition regulations shorten that deadline).
Moreover, a protest fee of €1,000 must be transferred to the above-mentioned bank account by the same deadline.
That being said, protests are only admissible if they are based on:
(i) an ineligible player’s participation in a match as a consequence of that player not fulfilling the conditions defined in the relevant competition regulations;
(ii) an unfit field of play – as long as the referee was informed as soon as the problem was reported or observed (whether in writing before the match, or orally by a team captain, in the presence of the captain of the opposing team, during the match);
(iii) an obvious error by the referee (such as mistaking the identity of the person penalised) in which case the protest may be directed only at the disciplinary consequences of the referee’s obvious error;
(iv) an obvious violation of a rule by the referee that had a decisive influence on the final result of the match;
(v) any other significant incident that had a decisive influence on the final result of the match.
Protests may not be lodged against factual decisions taken by the referee.
All protests that do not comply with the above requirements will be declared inadmissible by the chairman of the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body.
Where can I find more information about UEFA’s disciplinary proceedings?
All the latest news and information on disciplinary matters is published here: www.uefa.com/insideuefa/disciplinary/