The story of the Canceling the friendly match between Iran and Canada has become one of the loudest topics in many sports circles these days. The story is that the Iranian and Canadian football federations decided to hold a friendly match on June 5 (the morning of June 16) in Canada in order to prepare their national teams for a strong presence in the 2022 Qatar World Cup. In this regard, an agreement was signed between the two mentioned federations. While the officials of the Iranian Football Federation were preparing the preparations for the trip to Canada and obtaining visas for the national team staff, the Canadian Football Federation issued a statement and announced that the game has been cancelled. The text of the statement after the cancellation of the friendly match between Iran and Canada was as follows: “The Canadian Federation is trying in good faith to ensure the readiness of its men’s national team to participate in the World Cup in Qatar 2022.
Last week, the indefensible geopolitical situation of hosting Iran was significantly divisive, and the match was canceled in response. We have considered the external factors in choosing the right opponent in our initial process, we will try to do better moving forward. “We are working hard to find a replacement opponent and all ticket buyers have been informed that we will be refunding the amount paid.”
After this statement, a wave of protests was created by the officials of the Football Federation and Dragan Skocic, and sports law experts expressed their views in this regard. One of the common practices in the field of concluding international contracts is that before signing the main contract, the parties sign another contract called NDA (A non-disclosure agreement). This contract is actually concluded to create an obligation not to disclose information and details of the original contract. The contract signed between the Iranian Federation and Canada also contains confidential features and the publication of this contract by Iran can have bad consequences. On the other hand, the unpublishability of this contract makes it difficult to examine it carefully from the perspective of sports rights; Because no one is aware of the provisions and details of this contract and agreements between the parties.
The consequence of match
In general, based on international laws, including Swiss law (which is one of the sources cited by FIFA and CAS (International Court of Arbitration)) regarding the termination of contracts related to national friendly games, two situations can be imagined.
1- Two countries agree that in case of unilateral termination of the contract, a specified amount will be paid as a fine.
2- This amount is not specified and the authority dealing with the dispute, according to the will of the parties and the conditions governing the contract, infers the need to pay compensation and determines an amount as a fine.
Mohammad Jamat, media manager of the national team, announced in one of his interviews:
“In the contract between the parties, no amount is included as compensation; Because the costs and incomes of the parties are different. The Iranian Football Federation will follow up the sum of its incomes and expenses as a compensation amount from this federation.
A long time ago, the officials of the Football Federation and those close to the national team announced that the Canadian Football Federation is going to pay Iran 400,000 dollars for the duration of this friendly match. The cancellation of this game, in addition to the loss of 400,000 dollars, took the opportunity of two friendly games (the game against the Canadian national team and the Ecuadorian national team, both of which were supposed to be played in Canada) from the Iranian national team. In addition, this action made it difficult to plan the preparation of the Iranian national team in the longest FIFA Day before the cup. One of the most important negative consequences of the cancellation of the friendly match between Iran and Canada and this unilateral cancellation was damaging the reputation of Iranian football in international forums. So that after this incident, the national team had a problem finding an alternative friendly rival.
The sum of the aforementioned damages and the political cancellation of the game are the reasons that have forced the Iranian authorities to file a complaint against the Canadian Football Federation. If the contract concluded between Iran and Canada mentions the amount of the commitment and the amount of compensation due to the cancellation of the friendly matches that Iran was supposed to play in this country, demanding this compensation is not a complicated task. Also, in the case that the amount of compensation is not mentioned in the contract, but it is inferred from the circumstances governing the contract and the will of both parties, the need to pay compensation (in case of cancellation of the game or friendly games), the investigating authority at his discretion and with Paying attention to things like Iran’s loss of 400,000 dollars and the damage to the credibility of its federation, the loss of the opportunity to prepare on the longest FIFA day before the World Cup, etc. .
It should be noted that if Iran and Canada have denied the need to pay any compensation in case of canceling the game or friendly games in the contract that was concluded, then compensation cannot be claimed because this request is against the agreement of the parties. If the parties to the contract have not determined the competent authority to resolve the dispute, the case can be filed first in FIFA and then in the International Court of Arbitration.
It is important to mention that it is very important to identify the entity or person canceling the game. If the Canadian Federation itself has canceled the game, it will be personally sentenced to pay compensation, but if a third party (such as the sponsor or financial sponsors of the event in question) caused the cancellation of the game, the requirements and consequences of the cancellation of the game will be borne by him. .
The Iranian Football Federation should not be in a hurry to sue Canada for canceling the friendly match between Iran and Canada. The best way is to create a committee consisting of, for example, three lawyers who are proficient in various legal fields such as contract law, international law, football law, etc. To ensure the competence of selected lawyers, their presence in the committee can be subject to the approval of the Ministry of Sports and Youth and the Football Federation. This committee should review the concluded contract as quickly and accurately as possible. Then take the necessary legal actions, including filing a complaint according to the conditions stipulated in the contract. The number of three people is reasonable because there is mutual understanding and sharing of efforts. Also, the number is not so large that it violates the confidentiality principle of the contract.
The role of lawyers in arranging the games contract and canceling the friendly game between Iran and Canada
Finally, it is necessary to remember that sports federations, especially the football federation, should reconsider the process of drafting and signing their international contracts. In many cases, the officials of the federations do not keep the authorities and legal departments in the process of the contract matters in the preparation of international contracts and proceed to sign the contract without consultation and after an international disaster. They expect a miracle by resorting to the legal department.
One of the most important examples in this matter is the disastrous contract of Mark Wilmots, the former head coach of Iran’s national football team. Basic mistakes that cost Iran over 6 million euros. It is suggested that in any international contract, the expert advice of the lawyers of Haziq should be used in the matter of football law. In addition, writing contracts in English is an issue that should not be ignored. Do you remember that one of the strange clauses cited by Wilmots for requesting compensation from Iran is the clause that refers to the payment of 3 months of compensation by the Iranian Federation. At the end of this paragraph, there was a short phrase which was “or certain fee”. Not paying attention to the legal burden of these three words and the signatories’ lack of mastery of the English meaning of this phrase caused Wilmots to request a payment of 6 million euros instead of demanding 3 months of compensation.
Therefore, the most important issue in concluding future contracts is the use of an elite legal force familiar with the English language. Maybe if there were people familiar with football law involved in the process of drawing up the contract between Iran and Canada. They must include in the text of the contract the amount of compensation in case of unilateral termination, as well as the authority to resolve possible disputes, so that the football federation cannot lead to the cancellation of the friendly match between Iran and Canada. This incident deprived Iran of one of the best opportunities to prepare for the World Cup.
Dadista Law Firm is one of the few law firms that works in the field of sports law, including football law. As one of the specialized departments of this institution is related to sports law. The successful experience of this institution in various sports cases shows the use of the best lawyers and lawyers in this field. This institution announces its readiness to provide specialized legal advice to sports federations and people involved in professional sports.