Following on from Philip Rolfe’s excellent CFCnet article looking at Fifa’s decision on Gael Kakuta I’d like to hone in on one aspect that wasn’t fully covered – the timescale of the ruling given.

Philip asks “Why has it taken so long?” and states “there are questions to be answered on the part of the DRC and on the part of Lens, and those will surely shape the appeals process”.

The European Club Association (ECA) agree, stating yesterday “The FIFA panel which last week banned Chelsea from signing players until 2011 is too slow in making decisions”.

So what is the timescale for ruling on such disputes? Uefa lay this down as part of the Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players in Article 25:

“As a rule, the single judge and the DRC judge shall adjudicate within 30 days of receipt of a valid request and the Players’ Status Committee or the Dispute Resolution Chamber shall adjudicate within 60 days.”

But also

“The Players’ Status Committee, the Dispute Resolution Chamber, the single judge or the DRC judge (as the case may be) shall not hear any case subject to these Regulations if more than two years have elapsed from the event giving rise to the dispute”.

Chelsea’s Yearbook lists Gael Kakuta as signing Scholarship forms on 1st July 2007, age 16, subsequently signing Professional at 17 on 1st July 2008.

These details will be confirmed on Kakuta’s Player Passport, lodged with the FA at the time of signing.

Irrespective when RC Lens made a complaint to Fifa about the transfer, the event giving rise to the case is 1st July 2007 – the effective date of Kakuta’s signing with Chelsea.

The announcement from Fifa of the DRC’s decision states that they met on August 27th 2009. A date that is 2 years, 1 month and 26 days after the event giving rise to the dispute.

In accordance with Fifa’s published rules, the DRC “shall not hear any case subject to these Regulations if more than two years have elapsed from the event giving rise to the dispute”.

An open and shut case.