UK: Withers World Cup | Group Stage | Round 2

#WithersWorldCup #WhoWillWin

Whether or not you are a football fan, a global event such as the FIFA World Cup 2018 brings together communities from all around the world. Teams with different playing styles and fans with different cultures. As we move into round two of the group stages, we continue to highlight the weird and wonderful legal quirks of the participating teams and the similarities and the differences between diverse nations and legal systems. Every day we'll release our brief comparisons of the teams involved in games and our conclusions as to who we think 'wins' in the legal stakes. With our global teams having their say, will our predictions reflect the outcome of the World Cup? Follow us to find out*.

Click here for our comparisons on group games in round one.

Portugal v Morocco – Wednesday 20 June

Let's have an eye at Portugal v Morocco – the latter yet to make their first win in this World Cup!

Both Federations recognize the principle of contractual stability and the right to terminate the employment contract with just cause (e.g. as regards players, for outstanding salaries or 'sporting just cause'). However, while in Morocco the compensation payable as a consequence of the termination without just cause would vary on a case-by-case basis (according to a number of criteria similar of those of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players), under the Portuguese Collective Bargaining Agreement between the First Division and Professional Players' Trade Union the compensation is based on the salary payable until expiry of the employment contract.

A 2-0 win for Portugal!

Stella Riberti, Associate, corporate, Milan

Uruguay v Saudia Arabia – Wednesday 20 June

If Uruguay are looking to compete with Russia for first place in group A they will need to apply the pressure with a win against a Saudi Arabia team who conceded 5 goals in their opener. Luis Suarez and co must fancy their chances based on the first round results, but how will the teams fair when we look at their Arbitration laws?

Saudi Arabia acceded to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958 (the "New York Convention") in 1994. However, there remained uncertainty surrounding the enforcement of arbitral awards in Saudi Arabia. In response to criticism, Saudi Arabia has enacted a new Arbitration Law and Enforcement Law in 2012; and established the Saudi Centre for Commercial Arbitration ("SCCA") which was formally launched in 2016 and published the SCCA Arbitration Rules which are largely based on the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. In June 2017, the Implementing Regulations of the new Arbitration Law were published.

Uruguay acceded to the New York Convention in 1983. However, it has not to date adopted a specific arbitration law. Arbitration in Uruguay continues to be governed by the rules contained in the Civil Procedure Law (Law No. 15982). There have been a limited number of judgments dealing with enforcement of foreign awards in Uruguay since the entry into force of the New York Convention. However, the Uruguayan Supreme Court has traditionally adopted a pro-recognition and enforcement approach in these cases. Uruguay is party to a number of Inter-American and MERCOSUR Conventions dealing with international arbitration and extraterritorial validity of foreign judgments and has established a Conciliation and Arbitration Centre which also acts as an International Court of Arbitration for the MERCOSUR.

1-1 draw.

Yousra Salem, Paralegal, London

Iran v Spain – Wednesday 20 June

Iran are currently the surprise leaders of Group B having beaten Morocco in the first round, while Spain were denied a win from a brilliant last-gasp Cristiano Ronaldo free kick. Having had contrasting starts to their campaigns, how will the two compare when we look at probationary periods?

In Iran probationary periods for employment contracts cannot exceed one month for unskilled workers or three months for skilled workers. In Spain, restrictions on the duration of probation periods also apply. Unless specified in a collective bargaining agreement, the maximum period is two months for employees without higher qualifications or six months for those with.

In each case, employment can be terminated by either party at will during the probation period. However, in Iran, if the employer dismisses the employee, it must pay the employee until the end of the probation period. Being a football manager is a precarious occupation with short average tenure periods. Whilst we'd like to give Iran the win for the additional payments, the longer probation periods in Spain seal the victory!

Libby Payne, Associate, employment, London


Iran, likewise Spain, players are free to select the brand of their football boots when playing for their national team (as well as clubs). However, unlike most of (if not all) players of the Spanish Federation, Iran players do not have personal sponsors. This has been an issue in this World Cup when, just a week away from the first game, the Iran Federation's boots sponsor Nike withdrew their boots supply to the team for the World Cup. The US sportswear giant did so, by leveraging on the recent US economic sanctions against Iran. As a result, several Iran players were left without boots.

3-0 to Spain

Stella Riberti, Associate, corporate, Milan

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