Vela Wood has a growing international sports practice, which is focused on representing national associations, regional confederations and soccer (football) officials in proceedings before various international sports entities, including at the international federation level, as well as in arbitration before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

We routinely advise clients on matters related to FIFA’s rules and regulations, the World Anti-Doping Code (“WADA Code”) and the rules and regulations of other international sports associations.

Vela Wood attorneys have advised players, clubs, coaches, and other members of front office leadership in contractual matters, involving clubs throughout Major League Soccer (U.S.A.), Liga MX (Mexico), The Premier League (England), Bundesliga (Germany), Ligue 1 (France), La Liga (Spain), Serie A (Italy), Liga Professional de Fútbol (Argentina), Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A (Brazil), MLS Next Pro (U.S.A.), USL (U.S.A.), Canadian Premier League (Canada). Vela Wood attorneys have been involved in some of the highest-profile transactions, including those involving MLS-record transfer fees.

Select Representative Matters
  • The Qatar Football Association obtaining full dismissal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport of the U.A.E. Football Association’s protest of Qatar’s 4-0 semifinal victory en route to its historic 2019 AFC Asian Cup victory
  • The Vice President of the Asian Football Confederation in proceedings brought against him by the FIFA Ethics Committee, which is believed to be the first time that the FIFA Appeal Committee vacated sanctions imposed by the FIFA Appeal Committee
  • An international regional sports confederation in connection with criminal proceedings brought against a third-party in U.S. federal courts
  • FIFA on questions related to the application of its Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players to domestic collective bargaining agreements between players’ associations and professional sports teams and leagues
  • Drafting and revising MLS’s Roster and Budget Guidelines, and ensuring MLS clubs’ salary budgets comply with league regulations and the Collective Bargaining Agreement
  • The successful negotiation of dozens of transfer agreements and contracts, including more than 25 international and 40 domestic transfers and contract negotiations.

Lead Attorneys

“Winners are not born, they are self-made.”

– Pat Summitt

Katherine (Kate) Porter Partner

“Football always seems the most important of the least important things”

– Jugen Klopp

Andrew Visnovsky Senior Counsel
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