A discourse on the non-application of the training compensation system to female footballers and its ramifications

Ouno, Sharon Adhiambo
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Strathmore University
Compared to previous centuries in which female footballers faced disparaging discrimination, the 21st Century is considered as a time of progress when it comes to gender equality. It is, however, worrying that article 20 of the FIFA RSTP seems not to reflect the level of progression expected of an organisation such as FIFA. This paper aims to show that the exclusion of women from training compensation is not only to some extent disadvantageous and discriminatory but also enhances existing inequalities. The paper undertakes to do this by answering the following research questions; Is training compensation significant to the football industry and is it efficacious? Is the exclusion of female players from receiving training compensation discriminatory and if it is, is it justified? Is there need to amend article 20 to be gender inclusive and how does the exclusion affect female players? The paper makes use of the theories of discrimination and equality to justify the amendment of article 20 of the FIFA Regulations on the Transfer and Status of Players (RSTP). This research draws inspiration from an award that was issued by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) which affirmed that the ‘difference in financial reality’ argument often used to exclude women from training compensation is superfluous. Drawing lessons from the Bernard case, the 2011 case presented before the Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC), and the 2016 CAS award in Spartak Subotica v FC Barcelona ,this paper makes the case for the need to revisit article 20 of the FIFA RSTP to fix its failures among which is, its lack of gender inclusivity.
Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Bachelor of Laws Degree, Strathmore University Law School