Barça could terminate Umtiti's contract without facing FIFA sanctions

FIFA only establishes a three-year protection period for players

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FC Barcelona would be able to unilaterally terminate Samuel Umtiti's contract without facing economic or disciplinary sanctions by FIFA.

The key lies in how many years the player has been contracted to FC Barcelona. This is the centre back's sixth season at Camp Nou, having signed for the club in 2016 and then extended his deal in 2018. Umtiti therefore finds himself outside of FIFA's "protected period", which covers the first three years of a player's contract

According to Article 17 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, in the case of the termination of a contract without just sporting cause, the party who terminates the contract will have to compensate the other party. In this case, FC Barcelona would have to compensate the player, with the amount to be determined "in accordance with national legislation, the characteristics of the sport and other objective criteria". It should be considered that the Frenchman has two years left on his current deal.

However, Barça will not find themselves on the receiving end of sanctions from FIFA because Umtiti is no longer covered by body's so-called "protected period". If he were still in the first 3 years of his contract, Barça would have been subjected to the following ruling: "sporting sanctions should be imposed on a club that terminates a contract during the protected period, or has induced the termination of a contract. Any club signing a contract with a professional player who has terminated his contract without just cause must be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, to have induced the professional player to terminate the contract. The sanction shall be to prohibit the club from registering new players, both at national and international level, for two complete and consecutive registration periods".

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