On Saturday 20 August 2016, the Brazilian national football team will face Germany in the final of the Olympic football tournament and will hope to win a tournament that has so far eluded them. Brazil has been the runner-up on three past occasions (1984, 1988 and 2012) and won the bronze medal in 1996 and 2008. However, the gold medal remains elusive.
Brazilian fans’ hearts were therefore in their mouths in the first minute of Brazil’s semi-final against Honduras when Neymar, their talismanic striker, appeared to injure his chest in the process of scoring the fastest goal ever goal in the Olympic Games. Fortunately, after some treatment, he was able to continue and helped the seleção to a 6 – 0 victory.
The Brazilian supporters were not the only fans who breathed a sigh of relief. Supporters of Neymar’s club side, Barcelona, will certainly be hoping that one of their star players returns from Rio in full fitness. International tournaments often lead to a number of injuries that result in players missing out on domestic matches and the Barcelona fans will hope that Neymar is not one of the victims.
How is the tension between players’ club sides and the national sides that call them up resolved? The answer is through the FIFA Club Protection Programme (“CPP”), an insurance scheme designed to address the financial impact on clubs of injuries sustained by players while on national duty.
In short, the policy that underpins the CPP provides financial cover when a player suffers a “temporary total disablement” (“TDD”) while on national duty with his representative “A” team. That TDD must prevent the player participating in club footballing activities for more than 28 consecutive days.
If cover is triggered, the amount insured is the player’s fixed salary up to a maximum of €7.5 million per player per accident, calculated on a pro rata basis of up to €20,548 per day, which is payable for a maximum of 365 days.
The CPP undoubtedly provides clubs with some comfort when their players go on international duty. However, it goes without saying that clubs are much more likely to want their players to return without injuries than to have to claim through the CPP. Barcelona will certainly be hoping that Neymar returns in one piece, with or without a gold medal.