Hadi Al Madani
Thursday 10 June 2021
The recent period witnessed a state of controversy over the date of the expiration of Ferjani Sassi’s contract with Zamalek, who is playing his last season in the team, and did not reach an agreement to renew.
Hussein Labib, head of the committee responsible for managing Zamalek affairs, issued a statement a few days ago about a notification from Mohannad Aoun, the player’s agent, in which he said that he informed the club on June 5 that Ferjani Sassi’s contract expired on May 31.
The beginning of the matter was that the player submitted a complaint to the Football Association requesting to obtain his dues, with the club giving the club until May 31 in order to pay it, then the club paid the part it deems due from it, before he received the notice of the termination of the contract.
But the matter leads us to a question about this matter, which is what Ferjani Sassi and his agent based on their decision to end the contract last May 31?
First, we return to the recommendations and proposals of the International Football Association “FIFA” regarding the regulations for players affairs in the time of the Corona virus pandemic, which it issued last season, in which it says in response to a question, “Can the club or employee take a decision not to negotiate the extension of the contract for an (expired) agreement? Exist, if the end of the season timing is extended?
FIFA says: “FIFA strongly recommends that clubs supplement their domestic season contracts with the original lists, in order to protect the integrity of the competition.”
FIFA then added: “Nevertheless, clubs and staff can decide not to negotiate an extension of the (expired) contract in the existing agreement.
And last season witnessed a number of models on this matter, most notably that Al-Ahly refused to extend the contract of Hossam Ashour, which had expired, and Ramadan Sobhi and his club Huddersfield – at that time – refused to extend the loan contract to the player, and Al-Ahly and Ahmed Fathi agreed to extend until the end of the local season and played at that time with Al-Ahly did not prevent him from participating in the Champions League final, which was held for the end of the league.
We conclude from this another point that Ferjani Sassi and his agent may have relied on, which is the “extension of the end-of-season timing”.
Here we return to the TMS system, in which each local association determines the start and end times of the season and the two registration periods through, and can modify them as well.
At first, the Egyptian Federation set the end of the season to be May 31 (see the first photo).
The Egyptian Federation then, after completing the schedule of the league matches until its end, amended the end date of the season to be August 26.
Accordingly, Ferjani Sassi and his agent considered that what happened was an extension by the Football Association of the season, through which the player has the right to agree or not to agree at his own will without there being consequences for the matter.
But this is not all in the matter. There is another dimension of great importance, which is the definition of the term “season” issued by the International Football Association Board, which has witnessed more than one amendment in the recent period.
And FIFA said in the regulation for the transfer of leading players in June 2020, defining the term “season” as: “The period begins with the first match of the local league, and ends with the last match of the local league.”
Then came in January 2021 and defined the term “season” in the same regulation as: “A period of 12 months beginning with the first day of the first transition period determined by the Federation in accordance with Article 6.”
Accordingly, we are faced with an uncertain position between Ferjani Sassi’s consideration that his contract with Zamalek has expired and he may not agree to an extension for the remainder of the season, and Zamalek’s use of the term “season” in the regulations for player transfers and conditions.