Asser International Sports Law Blog

Our International Sports Law Diary
The Asser International Sports Law Centre is part of the T.M.C. Asser Instituut

Blog Symposium: Third-party entitlement to shares of transfer fees: problems and solutions - By Dr. Raffaele Poli (Head of CIES Football Observatory)

Introduction: FIFA’s TPO ban and its compatibility with EU competition law.
Day 1: FIFA must regulate TPO, not ban it.
Day 3: The Impact of the TPO Ban on South American Football.
Day 4: Third Party Investment from a UK Perspective.
Day 5: Why FIFA's TPO ban is justified.

Editor’s note: Raffaele Poli is a human geographer. Since 2002, he has studied the labour and transfer markets of football players. Within the context of his PhD thesis on the transfer networks of African footballers, he set up the CIES Football Observatory based at the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) located in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Since 2005, this research group develops original research in the area of football from a multidisciplinary perspective combining quantitative and qualitative methods. Raffaele was also involved in a recent study on TPO providing FIFA with more background information on its functioning and regulation (the executive summary is available here).

This is the third blog of our Symposium on FIFA’s TPO ban, it is meant to provide an interdisciplinary view on the question. Therefore, it will venture beyond the purely legal aspects of the ban to introduce its social, political and economical context and the related challenges it faces. More...






Blog Symposium: FIFA must regulate TPO, not ban it. The point of view of La Liga.

Introduction: FIFA’s TPO ban and its compatibility with EU competition law.
Day 2: Third-party entitlement to shares of transfer fees: problems and solutions
Day 3: The Impact of the TPO Ban on South American Football.
Day 4: Third Party Investment from a UK Perspective.
Day 5: Why FIFA's TPO ban is justified.

Editor's note: This is the first blog of our symposium on FIFA's TPO ban, it features the position of La Liga regarding the ban and especially highlights some alternative regulatory measures it would favour. La Liga has launched a complaint in front of the European Commission challenging the compatibility of the ban with EU law, its ability to show that realistic less restrictive alternatives were available is key to winning this challenge. We wish to thank La Liga for sharing its legal (and political) analysis of FIFA's TPO ban with us.

INTRODUCTION

The Spanish Football League (La Liga) has argued for months that the funding of clubs through the conveyance of part of players' economic rights (TPO) is a useful practice for clubs. However, it also recognized that the practice must be strictly regulated. In July 2014, it approved a provisional regulation that was sent to many of the relevant stakeholders, including FIFA’s Legal Affairs Department. More...






Blog Symposium: FIFA’s TPO ban and its compatibility with EU competition law - Introduction - Antoine Duval & Oskar van Maren

Day 1: FIFA must regulate TPO, not ban it.
Day 2: Third-party entitlement to shares of transfer fees: problems and solutions
Day 3: The Impact of the TPO Ban on South American Football.
Day 4: Third Party Investment from a UK Perspective.
Day 5: Why FIFA's TPO ban is justified.

On 22 December 2014, FIFA officially introduced an amendment to its Regulations on the Status and Transfers of Players banning third-party ownership of players’ economic rights (TPO) in football. This decision to put a definitive end to the use of TPO in football is controversial, especially in countries where TPO is a mainstream financing mechanism for clubs, and has led the Portuguese and Spanish football leagues to launch a complaint in front of the European Commission, asking it to find the FIFA ban contrary to EU competition law.

Next week, we will feature a Blog Symposium discussing the FIFA TPO ban and its compatibility with EU competition law. We are proud and honoured to welcome contributions from both the complainant (the Spanish football league, La Liga) and the defendant (FIFA) and three renowned experts on TPO matters: Daniel Geey ( Competition lawyer at Fieldfisher, aka @FootballLaw), Ariel Reck (lawyer at Reck Sports law in Argentina, aka @arielreck) and Raffaele Poli (Social scientist and head of the CIES Football Observatory). The contributions will focus on different aspects of the functioning of TPO and on the impact and consequences of the ban. More...





The CAS and Mutu - Episode 4 - Interpreting the FIFA Transfer Regulations with a little help from EU Law

On 21 January 2015, the Court of arbitration for sport (CAS) rendered its award in the latest avatar of the Mutu case, aka THE sports law case that keeps on giving (this decision might still be appealed to the Swiss Federal tribunal and a complaint by Mutu is still pending in front of the European Court of Human Right). The decision was finally published on the CAS website on Tuesday. Basically, the core question focuses on the interpretation of Article 14. 3 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players in its 2001 version. More precisely, whether, in case of a dismissal of a player (Mutu) due to a breach of the contract without just cause by the player, the new club (Juventus and/or Livorno) bears the duty to pay the compensation due by the player to his former club (Chelsea). Despite winning maybe the most high profile case in the history of the CAS, Chelsea has been desperately hunting for its money since the rendering of the award (as far as the US), but it is a daunting task. Thus, the English football club had the idea to turn against Mutu’s first employers after his dismissal in 2005, Juventus and Livorno, with success in front of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC), but as we will see the CAS decided otherwise[1]. More...

The UCI Report: The new dawn of professional cycling?

The world of professional cycling and doping have been closely intertwined for many years. Cycling’s International governing Body, Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), is currently trying to clean up the image of the sport and strengthen its credibility. In order to achieve this goal, in January 2014 the UCI established the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) “to conduct a wide ranging independent investigation into the causes of the pattern of doping that developed within cycling and allegations which implicate the UCI and other governing bodies and officials over ineffective investigation of such doping practices.”[1] The final report was submitted to the UCI President on 26 February 2015 and published on the UCI website on 9 March 2015. The report outlines the history of the relationship between cycling and doping throughout the years. Furthermore, it scrutinizes the role of the UCI during the years in which doping usage was at its maximum and addresses the allegations made against the UCI, including allegations of corruption, bad governance, as well as failure to apply or enforce its own anti-doping rules. Finally, the report turns to the state of doping in cycling today, before listing some of the key practical recommendations.[2]

Since the day of publication, articles and commentaries (here and here) on the report have been burgeoning and many of the stakeholders have expressed their views (here and here). However, given the fact that the report is over 200 pages long, commentators could only focus on a limited number of aspects of the report, or only take into account the position of a few stakeholders. In the following two blogs we will try to give a comprehensive overview of the report in a synthetic fashion.

This first blogpost will focus on the relevant findings and recommendations of the report. In continuation, a second blogpost will address the reforms engaged by the UCI and other long and short term consequences the report could have on professional cycling. Will the recommendations lead to a different governing structure within the UCI, or will the report fundamentally change the way the UCI and other sport governing bodies deal with the doping problem? More...

Book Review - Camille Boillat & Raffaele Poli: Governance models across football associations and leagues (2014)

Camille Boillat & Raffaele Poli: Governance models across football associations and leagues (2014)

Vol. 4, Centre International d'Etude du Sport, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, softback, 114 pages, ISBN 2-940241-24-4, Price: €24




Source: http://www.cies.ch/en/cies/news/news/article/new-publication-in-the-collection-editions-cies-governance-models-across-football-associations-an/

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The aftermath of the Pechstein ruling: Can the Swiss Federal Tribunal save CAS arbitration? By Thalia Diathesopoulou

It took only days for the de facto immunity of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) awards from State court interference to collapse like a house of cards on the grounds of the public policy exception mandated under Article V(2)(b) of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards . On 15 January 2015, the Munich Court of Appeals signalled an unprecedented turn in the longstanding legal dispute between the German speed skater, Claudia Pechstein, and the International Skating Union (ISU). It refused to recognise a CAS arbitral award, confirming the validity of a doping ban, on the grounds that it violated a core principle of German cartel law which forms part of the German public policy. A few weeks before, namely on 30 December 2014, the Court of Appeal of Bremen held a CAS award, which ordered the German Club, SV Wilhelmshaven, to pay ‘training compensation’, unenforceable for non-compliance with mandatory European Union law and, thereby, for violation of German ordre public. More...

‘The reform of football': Yes, but how? By Marco van der Harst

'Can't fight corruption with con tricks
They use the law to commit crime
And I dread, dread to think what the future will bring
When we're living in gangster time'
The Specials - Gangsters


The pressing need for change 

The Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) of the Council of Europe (CoE), which is composed of 318 MPs chosen from the national parliaments of the 47 CoE member states, unanimously adopted a report entitled ‘the reform of football’ on January 27, 2015. A draft resolution on the report will be debated during the PACE April 2015 session and, interestingly, (only?) FIFA’s president Sepp Blatter has been sent an invitation

The PACE report highlights the pressing need of reforming the governance of football by FIFA and UEFA respectively. Accordingly, the report contains some interesting recommendations to improve FIFA’s (e.g., Qatargate[1]) and UEFA’s governance (e.g., gender representation). Unfortunately, it remains unclear how the report’s recommendations will actually be implemented and enforced. 

The report is a welcomed secondary effect of the recent Qatargate directly involving former FIFA officials such as Jack Warner, Chuck Blazer, and Mohamed Bin Hammam[2] and highlighting the dramatic failures of FIFA’s governance in putting its house in order. Thus, it is undeniably time to correct the governance of football by FIFA and its confederate member UEFA – nolens volens. The real question is how to do it.



            Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images                   Photograph: Octav Ganea/AP

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SV Wilhelmshaven: a Rebel with a cause! Challenging the compatibility of FIFA’s training compensation system with EU law

Due to the legitimate excitement over the recent Pechstein ruling, many have overlooked a previous German decision rendered in the Wilhelmshaven SV case (the German press did report on the decision here and here). The few academic commentaries (see here and here) focused on the fact that the German Court had not recognized the res judicata effect of a CAS award. Thus, it placed Germany at the spearhead of a mounting rebellion against the legitimacy of the CAS and the validity of its awards. None of the commentators weighed in on the substance of the decision, however. Contrary to the Court in Pechstein, the judges decided to evaluate the compatibility of the FIFA rules on training compensations with the EU free movement rights. To properly report on the decision and assess the threat it may constitute for the FIFA training compensation system, we will first summarize the facts of the case (I), briefly explicate the mode of functioning of the FIFA training compensation system (II), and finally reconstruct the reasoning of the Court on the compatibility of the FIFA rules with EU law (III).More...

In Egypt, Broadcasting Football is a Question of Sovereignty … for Now! By Tarek Badawy, Inji Fathalla, and Nadim Magdy

On 15 April 2014, the Cairo Economic Court (the “Court") issued a seminal judgment declaring the broadcasting of a football match a sovereign act of State.[1]


Background

In Al-Jazeera v. the Minister of Culture, Minister of Information, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Radio and Television Union, a case registered under 819/5JY, the Al-Jazeera TV Network (the “Plaintiff” or “Al-Jazeera”) sued the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (“ERTU” or the “Union”) et al. (collectively, the “Respondents”) seeking compensation for material and moral damages amounting to three (3) million USD, in addition to interest, for their alleged breach of the Plaintiff’s exclusive right to broadcast a World Cup-qualification match in Egypt.  Al-Jazeera obtained such exclusive right through an agreement it signed with Sportfive, a sports marketing company that had acquired the right to broadcast Confederation of African Football (“CAF”) World Cup-qualification matches.

ERTU reportedly broadcasted the much-anticipated match between Egypt and Ghana live on 15 October 2013 without obtaining Al-Jazeera’s written approval, in violation of the Plaintiff’s intellectual property rights.

More...


Asser International Sports Law Blog | The CAS jurisprudence on match-fixing in football: What can we learn from the Turkish cases? - Part 1 - By Thalia Diathesopoulou

Asser International Sports Law Blog

Our International Sports Law Diary
The Asser International Sports Law Centre is part of the T.M.C. Asser Instituut

The CAS jurisprudence on match-fixing in football: What can we learn from the Turkish cases? - Part 1 - By Thalia Diathesopoulou

The editor’s note:

Two weeks ago we received the unpublished CAS award rendered in the Eskişehirspor case and decided to comment on it. In this post Thalia Diathesopoulou (Intern at the ASSER International Sports Law Centre) analyses the legal steps followed and interpretations adopted by CAS panels in this case and in a series of other Turkish match-fixing cases. The first part of the post will deal with the question of the legal nature of the ineligibility decision opposed by UEFA to clubs involved in one way or another into match-fixing and with the personal and material scope of UEFA’s rule on which this ineligibility is based. The second part is dedicated to the procedural rules applied in match-fixing cases.


Introduction

The unpredictability of the outcome is a sine qua non feature of sports. It is this inherent uncertainty that draws the line between sports and entertainment and triggers the interest of spectators, broadcasters and sponsors. Thus, match-fixing by jeopardising the integrity and unpredictability of sporting outcomes has been described, along with doping, as one of the major threats to modern sport.[1] 

It does not come as a surprise, therefore, that the fight against match-fixing has been elevated over the past years to a general interest issue, being also included in European Commission’s Agenda on sports as a priority. The urge to protect the integrity of sport, has stimulated the adoption by sports-governing bodies, and especially UEFA and FIFA, of regulations specifically intended to combat match-fixing. The evolution of UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (UEFA DR) in the last 10 years has been remarkable: it follows a path from a broad capture of match-fixing conduct by reference to the general values of loyalty, integrity and sportsmanship[2] in the 2004 version, to the explicit - first ever- reference to the offence of match-fixing in the revised 2013 edition.[3]

In this context, the CAS has been called to implement these rules in a series of match-fixing cases. Especially Turkey’s unprecedented match-fixing scandal in 2011 led to a series of important CAS awards tackling match-fixing. The latest episode of this Turkish series was written on 2 September 2014: following Fenerbahçe and Besiktas, it was Eskişehirspor’s turn to face a CAS ruling on a match-fixing related case.

CAS jurisprudence on match-fixing being in its infancy, the approach of the CAS panels towards procedural, evidentiary and matters of substance in match-fixing disputes is still uncertain. Considering the magnitude of the match-fixing threat and the CAS role as a ‘cartographer’ of the so called lex sportiva, it is worthwhile to monitor the emerging trends of CAS on these integrity-related issues. This blog series will, therefore, use the Turkish cases as a vehicle in order to build a legal roadmap in match-fixing cases and shed light on four issues that have been extensively addressed in recent CAS jurisprudence: the qualification of the legal nature of the measure of ineligibility as a result of a Club’s involvement in match-fixing, the scope of application of this measure, the standard of proof to be applied and, finally, the admissibility of evidence in match-fixing cases

Particularly, two substantial problems that emerged in match-fixing disputes, i.e. the legal qualification of the match-fixing related measure of ineligibility under Article 2.08 of the UEL Regulations as administrative or disciplinary measure (1) and the scope of application of Article 2.08 (2), will constitute the axes of this first blog series. 


The 2011 Turkish match-fixing series in brief

In the summer of 2011, following Turkish’s police investigation into 19 football matches suspected of being fixed, 61 individuals were arrested, including club managers and Turkish national players. Fenerbahçe, Besiktas and Eskişehirspor were connected with match-fixing allegations in domestic tournaments in 2011.

Istanbul giant Fenerbahçe was at the epicentre of this match-fixing scandal, with its Chairman, Aziz Yildirim, being convicted by Istanbul’s 16th High Criminal Court of establishing and leading a criminal organisation, which rigged four games and offered payments to players or rival clubs to fix three others. Particularly, among other matches, it was found that under the leadership of the then President of Fenerbahçe, match-fixing agreements were made for the matches of Eskişehirspor against Fenerbahçe and Eskişehirspor against Trabzonspor dating from 9 April 2011 and 22 April 2011 respectively. The Eskişehirspor head coach and the player were found guilty for match-fixing in the match with Trabzonspor and were sentenced to imprisonment. Furthermore, the High Criminal Court convicted Besiktas’ Officials of match-fixing activities with regard to the Final Cup played between Besiktas and Istanbul BB on 11 May 2011.

As a result of this alleged match-fixing involvement Fenerbahçe was banned by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) from participating in the 2011-2012 CL. Later on, the 25 July 2013, Fenerbahçe was found ineligible by the UEFA Appeals Body (UAB) to participate in the next two UEFA club competitions including the 2013/14 UEFA CL, since it could not comply with the UEFA Champions League (UEL) admission requirements. Similarly, Besiktas and Eskişehirspor, in 2013 and 2014 respectively, were considered by the UAB ineligible to participate in the next UEL season, on the grounds of a breach of the UEL admission criteria and particularly of Article 2.08.

A next round of proceedings was brought before the CAS. On 28 and 30 August 2013, the CAS rejected Fenerbahçe’s and Besictas’ appeals.[4] One year later, on 2 September 2014, Eskişehirspor faced the same fate. Interestingly enough, the Eskişehirspor panel was the first CAS panel to deal with the sanction of a club victim of a match-fixing arrangement.

The outcome of the Turkish cases is not necessarily surprising. The CAS practice has been consistently embracing the UEFA zero tolerance policy against match-fixing. However, the legal reasoning followed by CAS to reach a similar outcome differs significantly fostering legal uncertainty in the match-fixing context. At this point, therefore, this blog post will attempt to map the reasoning of the CAS over the following thorny issues which were particularly raised in the Turkish cases: the legal nature of the measure of ineligibility under Article 2.08 of the UEL Regulations (1) and the scope of application of Article 2.08 (2).   


Qualifying Article 2.08 UEL Regulations: administrative measure or disciplinary sanction?

At a first glance, the question of the legal nature of the ineligibility measure of Article 2.08 is rather theoretical, but it also bears important practical implications. The identification of the legal nature of Article 2.08 as administrative or disciplinary determines ‘how this measure shall be applied and under which legal principles’.[5] In other words, the characterization of the measure of Article 2.08 as a disciplinary one may trigger the application of UEFA Disciplinary regulations, including the strict liability principle and the possibility of issuance of a probationary period. Before proceeding with our analysis, it should be pointed out that the Fenerbahçe case, deals with the legal nature of Article 2.05 UEFA Champions League Regulations (UCLR). However, since the wording of Article 2.05 UCLR and Article 2.08 UELR is exactly the same, the panel’s findings are transposable.

When qualifying the legal nature of the ineligibility measure in match-fixing disputes, the Fenerbahçe,Besiktas and Eskişehirspor panels used as a landmark the well-established distinction between administrative acts and disciplinary measures.[6] This is the common point of reference for the three cases, which thereafter differentiates in the interpretation of the ineligibility measure.

In the first case, the Fenerbahçe panel introduced the idea of a ‘two stage process’ in match-fixing disputes: the first stage encompasses an administrative measure, akin to a preliminary minimum sanction, while the second stage is a disciplinary measure, imposing an additional sanction. Thereafter, in a surprising twist the CAS declared the inherent disciplinary nature of the administrative measure of ineligibility, since the subject matter of Article 2.08 is ‘the imposition of a sanction’. According to this panel, the minimum sanction serves the legitimate interest of UEFA to exclude a club from European competitions with immediate effect, while additional sanctions can be imposed if the circumstances so justify. However, this interpretation creates a paradox in that it blurs the lines between acts of administrative and disciplinary nature, a distinction well entrenched in CAS case law.

The Besiktas case adds to the legal uncertainty with regard to the legal nature of the ineligibility measure. According to this panel and contrary to the assessment in the Fenerbahçe case, Article 2.08 UELR does not have a sanctioning character, even if it excludes a club from UEFA competition. This argument is based on the wording of Article 50 (3) UEFA Statutes which, by referring to the ineligibility measure as a measure imposed ‘without prejudice to any possible disciplinary measures’, implicitly excludes its sanctioning nature.

This contradictory interpretation of the ineligibility measure by the previous panels triggered the concerns of the Eskişehirspor panel, which aimed to put an end to the legal uncertainty surrounding the definition of the legal nature of Article 2.08. Therefore, the CAS proceeded for the first time with an extensive analysis of the legal nature of Article 2.08. First of all, the CAS recognized the existence of a double regulatory regime in match-fixing cases: an administrative measure aiming at preventing match-fixing, laid down in Articles 2.05 UCL or 2.07, 2.08 of UEL Regulations and Article 50.3 of the UEFA Statutes 2008, and a disciplinary measure enshrined in the Disciplinary Regulations, specifically at Art 5.2j of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR) 2008. While this distinction seems to be inspired by the ‘two stage process’ elaborated in the Fenerbahçe case, this panel went a step further by drawing a clear line between measures of administrative and disciplinary character. After having clarified this distinction between measures of different legal nature and effect, the panel concluded that the measure of ineligibility of Article 2.08 is of a purely administrative nature. This assessment is based on an interpretation of Articles 2.09 UEL Regulations and Article 50.3 of the UEFA Statutes 2008 similar to the one adopted in the Besiktas case: both provisions refer to the automatic administrative application of the measure of ineligibility, leaving the door open for potential additional disciplinary measures ‘if the circumstances so justify’. Furthermore, the CAS noted that the administrative measure of Article 2.08 has a broad scope of application encompassing ‘any activity aimed at arranging or influencing the outcome of the match’, as compared to the disciplinary offence which in line with its sanctioning character is more restrictive.

Thereafter, the panel highlighted the consequences to be drawn from this qualification. As a result of the pure administrative nature of Article 2.08, the legal principles usually applicable to disciplinary measures are considered irrelevant. In practice, this means that the CAS excludes the application of: a) Articles 5.2 .j. and 17.1 of UEFA DR about the evaluation of mitigating circumstances when disciplinary measures are imposed; b) Article 6 of UEFA DR imposing a strict liability system; c) Article 11 of UEFA DR about the elimination of the ineligibility measure or the issuance of a probationary period; and finally, d) the ‘nulla poena sine culpa’ principle recognized in criminal law.

This straightforward position of the CAS in the Eskişehirspor case reflects its intention to put a provisory end to the legal uncertainty with regard to the legal nature of Article 2.08 and the legal consequences it entails. Borrowing elements from the previous Turkish cases, the CAS came up with a more sophisticated and coherent interpretation of the legal nature of the ineligibility measure, an interpretation that may serve as a reliable guideline for subsequent arbitral panels dealing with match-fixing. 


The scope of application of Article 2.08 UEL Regulations

Article 2.08 UEL Regulations does not define precisely the activities of a club that is directly or indirectly involvement in match-fixing. In match-fixing disputes, therefore, the CAS has a decisive role in clarifying the scope of application of the ineligibility measure.

As far as the scope ratione materiae is concerned, the Fenerbahçe and Besiktas panels converged in a broad understanding of the scope of Article 2.08. Indeed, based on the ordinary meaning of Article 2.08 which encompasses ‘any activity aimed at arranging or influencing the outcome of a match at a national or international level’ in conjunction with the ratio legis of this provision, which reflects the zero tolerance policy of UEFA against match-fixing, the CAS considered that Article 2.08 targets not only activities directly intending to fix the outcome of a game, but also activities that may have an unlawful influence on it. In this sense, for instance, the fact that Eskişehirspor accepted a bonus from a third party, i.e. Fenerbahçe, for winning, even though it cannot be qualified as match-fixing, is influencing the outcome of the match and, therefore, falls within the scope of Article 2.08. Furthermore, the Besiktas panel offered a broad interpretation of the wording ‘aimed at’ suggesting that not only the act of match-fixing, but also an attempt falls within the broad scope of Article 2.08. Hence, the Turkish cases establish an important finding with regard to the scope of application of the ineligibility measure in match-fixing disputes: a broad interpretation of Article 2.08 is in line with UEFA’s statutory objectives and, therefore, has to be adopted.

On the other hand, with regard to the scope ratione personae of Article 2.08, the CAS panels have been inconsistent. In order to identify whose actions are attributable to the club, the Besiktas panel applied the strict liability principle enshrined in Article 6 of the 2008 UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR). Here, the application of UEFA DR seems to be at odds with the previous characterization of Article 2.08 as an administrative measure. By contrast, in the Eskişehirspor case, where the issue whether the actions of a coach, who is a mere employee, can be attributed to the club is raised. In that case, the panel relying on the pure administrative character of Article 2.08, rejected the application of the strict liability principle. The Eskişehirspor panel, insisting on the qualification of the measure of ineligibility as an administrative measure, suggested an entirely different, but equally broad, interpretation of the ratione personae scope of article 2.08. Indeed, it suggests a broad interpretation of the term ‘official’, an interpretation that would capture ‘every board member ….coach, trainer and any other person responsible for technical, (…) as well as other persons obliged to comply with the UEFA Statutes’. In other words, the coach has to be considered as an official in the sense of Article 2.08 and his actions were, thus, attributable to the club.

To conclude, it seems that whatever the interpretative road chosen, the scope of application rationae personae and materiae of article 2.08 will be understood broadly. Nevertheless, it would be more coherent to have such a broad interpretation rely on a stabilized legal practice and the Eskişehirspor award provides an interesting first step in this direction.


The series of Turkish cases has provided the CAS with the opportunity to frame a consistent approach in substantive matters linked to match-fixing cases. In the Eskişehirspor case, the CAS attempts to clarify its approach to match-fixing in football. Two important conclusions can be drawn: the ineligibility measure imposed by Article 2.08 UELR has a broad scope of application and, secondly, it should be qualified as having an administrative nature. As a result, disciplinary rules do not apply to match-fixing disputes involving the eligibility of a club to European competitions. Regarding certain procedural matters, however, disciplinary standards and rules do apply. This is the real Achilles’ heel of the CAS approach in match-fixing cases: how can the application of rules of different nature to substantial and procedural matters in an identical match-fixing dispute be explained? 

(To be continued)


[1] Match-fixing in sport-A mapping of criminal law provisions in EU 27,  (http://ec.europa.eu/sport/library/studies/study-sports-fraud-final-version_en.pdf), 14.

[2] CAS 2009/A/1920 FK Pobeda, Aleksandar Zabrcanec, Nikolce Zdraveski v/ UEFA, para 78.

[3] UEFA Disciplinary Regulations 2013, Article 12 ‘Integrity of matches and competitions and match-fixing’ (http://www.ecaeurope.com/Legal/UEFA%20Documents/2013_0241_Disciplinary%20Regulations%202013.pdf)

[4] CAS 2013/A/3256 Fenerbahçe Spor Kubülü v UEFA & CAS 2013/A/3258 Besiktas Jimnastik Kulübü v. UEFA

[5] CAS 2014/A/3628 Eskişehirspor Kulübü v UEFA, para 98.

[6] CAS 2007/A/1381 & CAS 2008/A/1583

Comments (1) -

  • Ender Kuyumcu

    9/24/2014 9:43:00 AM |

    If you contact me on my mail, I can suuply you with the CAS verdicts on Besiktas and Fenerbahce cases alongside more info regarding Turkish match fixing scandal.

Comments are closed