A 3-member Panel of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”) has unanimously ordered FIFA ‘s Executive Committee to transfer the GFA’s application for FIFA membership to the FIFA Congress and ordered that the FIFA Congress take all necessary measures to admit the GFA as a full member of FIFA as soon as possible.
The ruling comes almost 20 years after the GFA submitted an application for FIFA Membership under the 1996 FIFA Statutes then in force. After its application was processed, it was transmitted to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) for the GFA first to become a UEFA member. In May 2013, as a result of a decade of CAS arbitration led by Michael Beloff QC and Adam Lewis QC, the GFA became a member of UEFA (as to which, see http://www.blackstonechambers.com/news/cases/gibraltar_football.html and http://www.blackstonechambers.com/news/cases/gibraltar_football_1.html). Gibraltar went on to participate in qualifiers for the UEFA EURO 2016 Championships.
The GFA also sought FIFA‘s completion of its pending membership application. On 26 September 2014, FIFA’s Executive Committee rejected that application. The CAS Panel has now held that the GFA complied with FIFA’s admission criteria in 1997, and that it did not need to comply with later criteria FIFA introduced to its Statutes in 2004 after the GFA 's application, which included that an applicant come from a country recognized by the UN.
The report of the decision is available on CAS’ website:
Adam Lewis QC and Ravi Mehta acted for the GFA.