Earlier this week, it was announced that five-time FIFA World Player of the Year Marta will join WPS expansion team Western New York Flash. She arrives from 2010 champion Gold Pride, which folded shortly after lifting the crown. In the meanwhile, Marta has been playing in her native Brazil for Santos, an arrangement that Jeff Kassouf explains violates FIFA regulations and the terms of Marta’s contract with FC Gold Pride.
FC Gold Pride never agreed to a loan deal with Santos because the Pride -- which ceased operations but never filed for bankruptcy -- insisted to be compensated by Santos for any such move. Marta signed with Santos anyway, clearly violating the terms of her contract at the time (which is now in the hands of the Flash).
“I think it is important that all players uphold their contract,” FC Gold Pride General Manager Ilisa Kessler. “If a player just decides that they are going to loan themselves out without the club that holds their contract then I think the whole fabric of what we are doing here is broken.”
Kassouf writes, "Imagine Lionel Messi deciding to sign a short contract with a hometown Argentine club without Barcelona's consent. The move would never even happen. Barcelona and FIFA would be under intense media scrutiny and FIFA would surely never allow the move to happen. Look no farther than the Los Angeles Galaxy’s refusal to loan David Beckham to Tottenham this winter. Beckham is under contract with the Galaxy, which holds the power to deny any move (as it did). ... The best player in the world just breached her contract with a United States professional club."