Football Lores: The Playing Field of the Dispute Resolution Chamber of the National Soccer League
Author Saleem Seedat
Affiliations: Part-time lecturer, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Past chairperson of the Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) of the National Soccer League (NSL) with its seat in Johannesburg
Source: Industrial Law Journal, Volume 43 Issue 1, 2022, p. 40 – 62
This article outlines the history of the game of football and examines the determined effort in recent times by both FIFA and the national football associations to regulate football not only through rules but by establishing dispute resolution mechanisms. In South Africa, the professional footballing authority established an independent forum, the Dispute Resolution Chamber, to consider all disputes in the football environment. In complying with its mandate as the arbiter of footballing disputes, the chamber developed jurisprudence on issues that are endemic to football. While it reiterated the rights of players, it did not shirk its responsibility to the clubs by finding against those players who were errant. The article examines the challenges to its authority and the key issues with which it was faced in attempting to achieve its goal of establishing a body of consistent, reasonable, and just jurisprudence.