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 EU State aid and Sport Saga – A blockade to Florentino Perez’ latest “galactic” ambitions (part 1)

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.

Agreements 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). More...

UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations Put PSG and Manchester City on a Transfer Diet

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...

Right to Privacy 1:0 Whereabouts Requirement - A Case Note on a Recent Decision by the Spanish Audiencia Nacional

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...

The Rules of the Electoral Game for the FIFA 2015 Presidential Elections

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 PresidencyMore...

Can (national or EU) public policy stop CAS awards? By Marco van der Harst (LL.M, PhD Candidate and researcher at the AISLC)


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...

Chess and Doping: Two ships passing in the Night? By Salomeja Zaksaite, Postdoctoral researcher at Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania), and Woman International Chess Master (WIM)

It may 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 – Issue I – January-June 2014 (by Frédérique Faut)

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...

A Short Guide to the New FIFA Regulations on Working with Intermediaries

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’ Agents 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...

Cannibal's Advocate – In defence of Luis Suarez

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, here and 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[1], and plans on going to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if necessary[2]. Let’s be the advocates of the cannibal!More...

Blurred Nationalities: The list of the “23” and the eligibility rules at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. A guest Post by Yann Hafner (Université de Neuchâtel)

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 wrong[1]. However, some players have changed their eligibility in the past and will even be playing against their own country of origin[2]. 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[3]. More...

Asser International Sports Law Blog | International and European Sports Law – Monthly Report – February 2017. By Tomáš Grell

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

International and European Sports Law – Monthly Report – February 2017. By Tomáš Grell

 Editor's note: This report compiles all relevant news, events and materials on International and European Sports Law based on the daily coverage provided on our twitter feed @Sportslaw_asser. You are invited to complete this survey via the comments section below, feel free to add links to important cases, documents and articles we might have overlooked.


The Headlines 

The CAS award in Hakan Çalhanoglu v. Trabzonspor FC

The dispute between the Turkish football player Hakan Çalhanoğlu and the Turkish club Trabzonspor FC dates back to April 2013, when the latter lodged a claim before the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber ('FIFA DRC') alleging that, by signing a contract with the German club Karlsruher SC, Hakan Çalhanoğlu breached the terms of his employment contract (with Trabzonspor FC) without just cause. In January 2016, the FIFA DRC upheld the claims advanced by Trabzonspor FC and imposed a four-month period of ineligibility on the Turkish international. Both the player and the club decided to appeal the FIFA DRC decision before the CAS. In its press release dated 2 February 2017, the CAS reports that it has delivered its award which confirms the four-month ban imposed on Hakan Çalhanoglu by the FIFA DRC (provisionally suspended by the CAS upon the request made by Hakan Çalhanoglu) and orders the Turkish international to pay Trabzonspor FC the sum of EUR 100,000.

The CAS award concerning Russian athlete Mariya Savinova-Farnosova

On 10 February 2017, the CAS rendered its award in the ordinary arbitration procedure between the International Association of Athletics Federations ('IAAF'), the Russian Athletics Federation and Russian 800 metres runner Mariya Savinova-Farnosova. The CAS held that, during the period between 26 July 2010 and 19 August 2013, Ms. Savinova-Farnosova was engaged in using doping, and thus violated Rule 32 (2) (b) of the IAAF Competition Rules. Consequently, the CAS imposed a four-year period of ineligibility on Ms. Savinova-Farnosova, starting from 24 August 2015. In addition, all results achieved by her in the respective period were annulled and she must now return her gold medals from the London 2012 Summer Olympics and the Daegu 2011 IAAF World Championships.

The CAS rejected the urgent requests for provisional measures filed by five Russian cross country skiers 

On 21 February 2017, the CAS refused to order provisional measures requested by five Russian cross country skiers, namely Evgeniy Belov, Alexander Legkov, Alexey Petukhov, Evgenia Shapovalova and Maxim Vylegzhanin, in the appeal arbitration procedure against the International Ski Federation ('FIS'). The athletes requested the CAS to stay the execution of the decisions adopted by the FIS Doping Panel on 25 January 2017 (Evgeniy Belov and Alexander Legkov) and on 6 February 2017 (Alexey Petukhov, Evgenia Shapovalova and Maxim Vylegzhanin) respectively. It is worth recalling that the FIS Doping Panel provisionally suspended the athletes in question on account of the evidence presented in Part II of the McLaren Independent Investigation Report, which unveiled that doping samples of several Russian medallists at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics may have been manipulated.

The International Olympic Committee modified the Host City Contract 2024 

In its press release dated 28 February 2017, the International Olympic Committee ('IOC') communicated that, as part of the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020, it is making specific changes to the Host City Contract 2024 with regard to human rights, anti-corruption and sustainable development. The IOC President Thomas Bach stated that ''this latest step is another reflection of the IOC's commitment to embedding the fundamental values of Olympism in all aspects of the Olympic Games.'' Although the Host City of the 2024 Summer Olympics is scheduled to be announced only in September this year, it is now clear that, be it either Los Angeles or Paris (as Budapest has recently withdrawn its bid), the it will have to abide by additional range of human rights obligations.


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