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...
Luis Suarez did it again. The serial biter that
he is couldn’t refrain
its impulse to taste a bit of Chiellini’s shoulder (not really the freshest
meat around though). Notwithstanding his amazing theatrical skills and escaping
the sight of the referee, Suarez could not in the information age get away with
this unnoticed. Seconds after the incident, the almighty “social networks” were
already bruising with evidence, outrage and commentaries over Suarez’s misdeed.
Since then, many lawyers have weighed in (here,
on the potential legal consequences faced by Suarez. Yesterday FIFA’s
disciplinary committee decided to sanction him with a 4 months ban from any
football activity and a 9 International games ban. In turn, Suarez announced that
he would challenge the decision,
and plans on going to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if necessary. Let’s be the advocates of the cannibal!More...
In 2009, Sepp
Blatter expressed his concerns that half of the
players participating in the 2014 FIFA World Cup would be Brazilians naturalized
by other countries. The Official list of Players released a few weeks ago tends to prove him
However, some players have changed their eligibility in the past and will even be
playing against their own country of origin.
This post aims at explaining the key legal aspects in changes of national
affiliation and to discuss the regulations pertaining to the constitution of
national sides in general. More...
Our first report on the FIFA business dealt with FIFA’s revenues and highlighted
their impressive rise and progressive diversification. In parallel to this
growth of FIFA’s income, it is quite natural that its expenses have been
following a similar path (see Graph 1). However, as we will see FIFA makes it
sometimes very difficult to identify precisely where the money is going. Nonetheless,
this is precisely what we wish to tackle in this post, and to do so we
will rely on the FIFA Financial reports over the last 10 years.
Graph 1: FIFA Expenses in USD million (adjusted for inflation),
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...
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.
In the same week that saw Europe’s best eight teams compete in the
Champions League quarter finals, one of its competitors received such a severe
disciplinary sanction by FIFA that it could see its status as one of the
world’s top teams jeopardized. FC Barcelona, a club that owes its success both
at a national and international level for a large part to its outstanding youth academy, La Masia, got to FIFA’s attention for breaching FIFA
Regulations on international transfers of minors. More...