The European Commission’s competition decisions in the
area of sport, which set out broad principles regarding the interface between
sports-related activities and EU competition law, are widely publicized. As a
result of the decentralization of EU competition law enforcement, however,
enforcement activity has largely shifted to the national level. Since 2004,
national competition authorities (NCAs) and national courts are empowered to
fully apply the EU competition rules on anti-competitive agreements (Article
101 TFEU) and abuse of a dominant position (Article 102 TFEU).
Even though NCAs have addressed a series of
interesting competition cases (notably dealing with the regulatory aspects of
sport) during the last ten years, the academic literature has largely overlooked
these developments. This is unfortunate since all stakeholders (sports organisations,
clubs, practitioners, etc.) increasingly need to learn from pressing issues
arising in national cases and enforcement decisions. In a series of blog posts
we will explore these unknown territories of the application of EU competition
law to sport.More...
The CAS denial of the urgent request for
provisional measures filed by the Legia Warszawa SA in the course of its appeal
against the UEFA Appeals Body Decision of 13 August 2014 put a premature end to
Legia’s participation in the play-offs of the UEFA Champion’s League (CL)
2014/2015. Legia’s fans- and fans of Polish football - will now have to wait at
least one more year to watch a Polish team playing in the CL group stage for
the first time since 1996. More...
This is the
first part of a blog series involving the Real
Madrid State aid case.
Apart from being
favoured by many of
Spain’s most important politicians, there have always been suspicions
surrounding the world’s richest football club regarding possible financial aid by the Madrid City Council. Indeed, in
the late 90’s a terrain qualification change by the Madrid City Council proved to
be tremendously favourable to the king’s club. The change allowed Real Madrid
to sell its old training grounds for a huge sum. Though the exact price for the
grounds remains unknown, Real Madrid was suddenly capable of buying players
like Figo and Zidane for record fees. However, the European Commission, even
though agreeing that an advantage was conferred to the club, simply stated that the new
qualification of the terrain in question does not appear to involve any
transfer of resources by the State and could therefore not be regarded as State
aid within the meaning of article 107 TFEU.
between the club and the Council have been a regularity for the last 25
years. A more recent example concerns an
agreement signed on 29 July 2011 (Convenio29-07-2011.pdf (8MB).
The main lesson of this year’s transfer window
is that UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules have a true bite (no pun
intended). Surely, the transfer fees have reached usual highs with Suarez’s
move to FC Barcelona and Rodriguez’s transfer from AS Monaco to Real Madrid and
overall spending are roughly equal to 2013 (or go beyond as in the UK). But clubs sanctioned under the FFP rules
(prominently PSG and Manchester City) have seemingly complied with the
settlements reached with UEFA capping their transfer spending and wages. More...
On the 24th June 2014 the Spanish Audiencia Nacional issued its ruling on a hotly debated sports law topic: The
whereabouts requirements imposed to athletes in the fight against doping. This
blog aims to go beyond the existing commentaries (here and here) of the case, by putting it in the wider
context of a discussion on the legality of the whereabouts requirements. More...
After the success of this year’s World Cup in Brazil, FIFA President
Sepp Blatter can start concentrating on his Presidential campaign for next
June’s FIFA elections. Even though the 78-year old Swiss is not officially a
candidate yet, he is still very popular in large parts of the world, and
therefore the favourite to win the race. Nonetheless, even for the highly
experienced Mr. Blatter these elections will be different. All candidates will
have to respect the newly introduced Electoral Regulations for the FIFA Presidency. More...
The Court of Arbitration for Sport
(CAS) registers approximately 300 cases every year. Recently, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court – which is the sole
judicial authority to review arbitral awards rendered in Switzerland – reminded
in the Matuzalém Case (Case 4A_558/2011) that CAS awards may be enforced in other States that are parties to
the New York
Convention on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards.More...
come as a surprise to laymen, but chess players are subjected to doping testing.
Naturally, then, the questions follow as to why they are tested, and if they are
really tested (at least, with a level of scrutiny comparable to that which
physically-oriented athletes are regularly subjected). More...
The International Sports Law Digest will be a bi-annual post gathering recent material on International and European Sports Law. This is an attempt at providing a useful overview of the new, relevant, academic contributions, cases, awards and disciplinary decisions in the field of European and International Sports Law. If you feel we have overlooked something please do let us know (we will update the post).
Antoine Duval More...
This year’s FIFA congress in Sao Paulo should not be
remembered only for the controversy surrounding the bid for the World Cup 2022
in Qatar. The controversy was surely at the centre of the media coverage, but
in its shadow more long-lasting decisions were taken. For example, the new Regulations on
Working with Intermediaries was approved, which is probably the most
important recent change to FIFA regulations. These new Regulations will
supersede the Regulations on Players’
when they come into force on 1 April 2015. In this blog post we compare the old and
the new Regulations followed by a short analysis and prospective view on the
effects this change could have. More...