The Olympic Games are a universal moment of celebration of sporting excellence. But, attention is also quickly drawn
to their dark side, such as environmental issues, human rights
breaches and poor living conditions of people living near the Olympic sites. In
comparison, however, little commentary space is devoted to the views of
athletes, the people making the Olympics. This article
tries to remediate this, by focussing on Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter which prevents
athletes from freely expressing their (political) thoughts. More...
Qatar’s successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup left many people
thunderstruck: How can a country with a population of 2 million people and with
absolutely no football tradition host the biggest football event in the world?
Furthermore, how on earth can players and fans alike survive when the
temperature is expected to exceed 50 °C during the month (June) the tournament
is supposed to take place?
Other people were less surprised when FIFA’s President, Sepp Blatter,
pulled the piece of paper with the word “Qatar” out of the envelope on 2
December 2010. This was just the latest move by a sporting body that was reinforcing
a reputation of being over-conservative, corrupt, prone to conflict-of-interest
and convinced of being above any Law, be it national or international.More...
Since the landing on the sporting earth of the Übermensch, aka Usain Bolt, Jamaica has
been at the centre of doping-related suspicions. Recently, it has been fueling
those suspicions with its home-made scandal around the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission
(JADCO). The former executive of JADCO, Renee Anne Shirley, heavily criticized
its functioning in August 2013, and Jamaica has been since then in the eye of
the doping cyclone.
Beginning of April 2014, the Colombian Olympic
Swimmer Omar Pinzón was cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) of
an adverse finding of Cocaine detected in a urine sample in 2013. He got lucky.
Indeed, in his case the incredible mismanagement and dilettante habits of Bogotá’s
anti-doping laboratory saved him from a dire fate: the two-year ban many other
athletes have had the bad luck to experience. More...
The European Commission has published the “Study
on Sports Organisers’ Rights in the EU”, which was carried out by
the ASSER International Sports Law Centre (T.M.C. Asser Institute) and the
Institute for Information Law (University of Amsterdam).
The study critically examines the legal protection of
rights to sports events (sports organisers’ rights) and various issues
regarding their commercial exploitation in the field of media and sports
betting, both from a national and EU law perspective.
In a number of posts, we will highlight some of the key
findings of the study.
“It was Hyde, after all, and
Hyde alone, that
In recent years, numerous national and European sports
organisers have called for the adoption of a specific right to consent to the
organisation of bets (“right to consent to bets”), by virtue of which no
betting operator could offer bets on a sports event without first entering into
a contractual agreement with the organiser. More...
Last week, UEFA, presented its annual Club Licensing Benchmark Report,
which analyses socio-economic trends in European club football. The report is
relevant in regard to the FFP rules, as it has been hailed by UEFA as a
vindication of the early (positive) impact of FFP. This blog post is a report
on the report. We go back in time, analysing the last 5 UEFA Benchmarking
Reports, to provide a dynamic account of the reports findings. Indeed, the 2012
Benchmarking Report, can be better grasped in this context and longer-lasting
trends be identified.More...
The last years has seen the European Commission being put under
increasing pressure to enforce EU State aid law in sport. For example, numerous
Parliamentary questions have been asked by Members of the European Parliament regarding
alleged State aid to sporting clubs. In
reply to this pressure, on 21 March 2012, the European Commission, together
with UEFA, issued a statement. More...
Football-wise, 2014 will not only be remembered for the
World Cup in Brazil. This year will also determine the credibility of UEFA’s
highly controversial Financial Fair Play
(FFP) Regulations. The FFP debate will soon be reaching a climax, since up to 76 European
football clubs are facing sanctions by the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB).
On 10 April, the ASSER Sports Law Centre had the honour of welcoming Prof. Weatherill (Oxford University) for a thought-provoking lecture.
In his lecture, Prof. Weatherill outlined to what extent the rules of Sports Governing Bodies enjoy legal autonomy (the so-called lex sportiva) and to what extent this autonomy could be limited by other fields of law such as EU Law. The 45 minutes long lecture lays out three main strategies used in different contexts (National, European or International) by the lex sportiva to secure its autonomy. The first strategy, "The contractual solution", relies on arbitration to escape the purview of national and European law. The second strategy, is to have recourse to "The legislative solution", i.e. to use the medium of national legislations to impose lex sportiva's autonomy. The third and last strategy - "The interpretative or adjudicative solution"- relies on the use of interpretation in front of courts to secure an autonomous realm to the lex sportiva.
On March 27, 2014, a Brazilian
court ruling authorized the
Football Players’ Union in the State of Sao Paulo
to tap funds generated by TV rights agreements destined to a Brazilian Club,
Comercial Futebol Clube (hereinafter “Comercial”). The Court came to this
decision after Comercial did not comply with its obligation to pay players’ salaries. It is a peculiar
decision when taking into account the global problem of clubs overspending and
not complying with their financial obligations. Furthermore, it could create a precedent for
future cases regarding default by professional sporting clubs.