Diawara case: the FIGC National Court of Appeal rejects Roma’s complaint against the defeat inflicted by the sports judge
On 10th November, with decision n° 013/2020-2021 (click here to read the full provision), the Federal National Sports Court rejected the complaint presented by AS Roma against the sanction imposed against it by the Sports Judge, confirming the 0-3 defeat of the match played on 19th September against Hellas Verona FC
The decision of the Sports Judge
The Sports Judge Gerardo Mastandrea, with Official Statement n. 32 of 22th September (click here to read the full text of the decision), had resolved the 0-3 defeat of Roma, as the latter club had not included its player Amadou Diawara in the list of 25 over 22 players – presented the day before the match against Hellas Verona – deploying him on the field.
In particular, the Sports Judge had punished AS Roma’s choice to include Diawara in the list of under 22 players, despite the player having turned 23 on 17 July.
The list of 25 and under 22
The “list of 25” is the one that all the Serie A teams, pursuant to the Official Notice n. 83/A of 20.11.2014, must send to the FIGC via certified e-mail, by 12:00 on the day before the first championship match.
Among the 25 players on the list, at least 4 of them must be “trained in the club” and another 4 “trained in Italy”. By “trained players” we mean those who, between 15 and 21 years of age, have been permanently registered for the Italian club in which they play for a period, even if not continuously, of 36 months or three entire sports seasons.
The “list of 22“, on the other hand – provided for by point 2 of the aforementioned Press Release in addition to the “list of 25” – is the one in which the Serie A clubs enter the names of the players under 22 of their own squad, that is, those who have not still turned 22 at 31 December of the previous football season.
The following point 9 establishes that “the use in a championship match of a player not included in the list of 25 (omissis) entails, for the responsible club, the sanction of the loss of the same (omissis), as this player does not have the title to participation“. This does not apply, however, in case of use of the players on the under 22 list.
The decision of the National Court of Appeal of the FIGC
On the subsequent complaint presented by AS Roma against the provision of the Sports Judge, the Federal National Court of Appeal ruled on 10 November, which fully confirmed the decision of Judge Mastandrea.
Among the reasons for the decision, the clarification provided by the Court on the characteristics of the sanction provided for in point 9 of the aforementioned Official Notice (the loss of the race in case of participation of an athlete not included in the list of 25) deserves to be highlighted.
According to the Court, this rule constitutes a lex specialis with respect to other rules and must be considered “usual“, as well as expressly provided for by the sports system.
For this reason, the sanctioned treatment provided (the defeat of the match at the table) cannot be “graduated” by the sports justice bodies and the clubs cannot invoke the institution of error or the principle of good faith.
The inclusion in the “list of 25”, in fact, constitutes an essential act put in place by the latter with the aim of “making the other participating sisters known to the players against whom they will compete” and to avoid “confusion on the composition of the squads”, in “compliance with the principles of sporting loyalty“.