Friday, May 08, 2009

Sports Law Weekly Round Up: 8 May

 Two strange sporting results took place during the past week, both of which have implications for the regulation of sport. The first – and the most obvious – was the behaviour of Chelsea players towards the referee in the Chelsea vs. Barcelona UEFA Champions League semi-final. Aside from the fact that UEFA is due to rule on whether to punish Didier Drogba next week, I believe that the situation deserves a deeper examination of the authority of officials in football. In both rugby codes, only the captain of the team is allowed to speak to the referee, which as well as protecting the referee from the sort of unjustified intimidation carried out by Michael Ballack, enforces a sense of team hierarchy that football could benefit from (also, it would have been far more entertaining to see Ballack chasing John Terry around the pitch). Rugby players also know that they do not have to carry out such extravagant appeals to the referee, since their captain can ask for a decision to be reviewed by the video referee. I respect FIFA’s adherence to tradition (yards rather than metres), however in certain instances, it should move with the times.
The second strange result took place last weekend, where Leicester Tigers progressed to the final of the Heineken Cup by beating Cardiff Blues in a penalty shoot out. Yes, they are both rugby union teams. Each team had to pick five players to put the ball over the posts in a method of settling a game that seems borrowed from football rather than following rugby’s principles. Thankfully, The Guardian reports that Premier Rugby will consult the Professional Rugby Players’ Association before deciding on a penalty format for the Guinness Premiership semi-finals on Saturday.
In other news;

• Major European skiing associations have created a European Skiing Association (EuroSki), reports Universal Sports.

• The government is discussing ways in which the FA Premier League can redistribute its earnings on a fairer basis, reports the Daily Mail.

Research from Brand Finance has valued the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) cricket brand at over US$311 million and the entire enterprise at US$2.01 billion. A spokesperson for the brand valuation company told South Africa’s The Times that listings could be possible for some of the eight franchises.

• The Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) has asked for talks with the Fédération Internationale de Automobile (FIA) about a proposed £40 million budget cap from 2010, reports the BBC.

• Arsenal told Soccer Investor that they are cooperating with an investigation by the Takeover Panel that relates to Stan Kroenke’s share purchase in the club.

• The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will have to amend its constitution to introduce a woman onto its 12-man board, reports The Guardian!

• Finally, congratulations to former colleagues involved in organising the excellent SportAccord conference, which brings together the world’s sporting federations. The General Association of International Sporting Federations (GAISF – or AGFIS if you prefer French) have decided to change their name to match that of the conference. Well done Fiona, Polly, Anna, Jonny, etc.

The May edition of World Sports Law Report is currently on our internet site. Enjoy!

Andy Brown


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