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World Sports Advocate

Volume: 13 Issue: 2
(February 2015)


On 2 February, the Spanish and Portuguese professional football leagues launched legal proceedings before the European Commission (EC) challenging FIFA’s blanket ban on Third Party Ownership (TPO) under new Article 18ter of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players. Javier Berasategi, legal adviser to the Spanish league (LFP) on the matter, informed WSLR of the bases of the complaint: / read more

The opening fixture of the Cricket World Cup in New Zealand on 14 February saw certain patrons evicted from the grounds for the practice of ‘courtsiding’. This involves spectators relaying real-time information to exploit time delays in broadcasting when effecting betting transactions. / read more

On 17 February, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) registered an appeal from the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (Moroccan FA) against sanctions imposed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). This follows the Moroccan FA’s decision in November 2014 to withdraw from hosting this year’s African Cup of Nations tournament. / read more


‘This is certainly the most important addition to the [FIFA] Regulations and we strongly urge all member associations to make sure that all of its affiliated clubs are made aware of this new article immediately!’. Those were the words chosen by FIFA in its Circular Letter 1468 dated 23 January 2015 to describe the introduction of new Article 12bis to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (‘FIFA Regulations’) regulating overdue payables, which comes into force on 1 March 2015. At present, there remain several associations and clubs who would appear not to be aware of this major change. Paolo Lombardi, Managing Director of Lombardi Associates and former head of Disciplinary and Governance at FIFA, provides an introduction to the new provision and poses questions as to its future interpretation. / read more

1 January 2015 saw the latest version of the World Anti-Doping Code (the ‘2015 Code’) take effect. The focus now shifts to the implementation stage, with several of the international federations (IFs) having already incorporated the reforms into their respective Anti-Doping Rules (‘ADR’). Emily Wisnosky and Marjolaine Viret, attorneys and legal researchers in sports law for the University of Neuchâtel involved in a project to create a commentary of the World Anti-Doping Code, as well as speakers in next month’s conference ‘Tackling Doping in Sport’, undertake a comparative analysis of the revised ADRs of some of the major IFs and provide valuable insights into the future of the Code. / read more

Question marks were raised by the mainstream media after Cristiano Ronaldo received ‘only’ a two-match ban for striking out at another player in a recent league game against Cordoba CF, as other disciplinary incidents during the game came to light that did not feature in the match report. Juan De Dios Crespo and Agustin Amorós of law firm Ruiz-Huerta & Crespo Sports Lawyers in Spain discuss how the disciplinary committee came to its decision and the question of whether video footage can be used ex officio in such proceedings. / read more

The growth in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (‘MMA’) has been meteoric in proportions, from a USD2 million business in 2001 to one currently valued at USD2 billion. This has coincided with an international expansion, with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (‘UFC’) reportedly announcing that 23 of its 45 events currently scheduled for 2015 will take place outside of the US. However, the future position of the UFC, MMA’s major player in the sport, has been thrown into question with a series of class action lawsuits brought against it by some of its fighters in December 2014. Paul Greene, founder of Global Sports Advocates, LLC and one of the US’s leading sports lawyers, analyses the lawsuits brought by the fighters and their potential implications. / read more

The recent controversy surrounding convicted rapist, Ched Evans, and his efforts to restart his career in professional football have raised a number of interesting questions around the status of athletes with criminal records. David Winnie, Head of the Sports Law Team at firm Ronald Fletcher Baker (and former professional footballer in his own right), seeks not to review the facts surrounding his conviction, but rather to examine the legal rights and obligations of the various stakeholders in this matter given that Evans appears unable to obtain employment in football having had proposed deals with Sheffield United and Oldham Athletic collapse following intense public pressure. In particular, the author examines (i) the legal position facing any football club willing to employ Evans; (ii) whether Evans has any recourse in law against a club or clubs unwilling to employ him; (iii) the Football Association’s (‘FA’) position on this matter; and (iv) the position of supporters and sponsors and whether either has any legal avenue open to intervene in the signing of Evans. / read more

A change in government following the UK general election scheduled for this May could result in an increase in the number of UK sporting events whose rights are reserved for free-to-air television. Although such a move would prove immensely frustrating for any affected sporting bodies, there may be a reluctance to take legal action following recent unsuccessful challenges before the European courts. Moreover, for rival pay-television broadcasters BT and Sky, a reduction in available sports rights means the removal of potentially significant opportunities to compete - opportunities they would vehemently defend. Dervla Broderick, Senior Associate at law firm Olswang, outlines the relevant legal framework, discusses the likely future changes and examines how a potential challenge may play out. / read more

About World Sports Advocate

The monthly law publication providing guidance on all aspects of sports law, including licensing and sports data, anti-doping and doping sanctions, TV and broadcasting rights, sport technology, players agents, disciplinary measures, sports integrity, sports betting, player contracts, intellectual property, transfer regulations, sports sponsorship and marketing, and governance, as well as coverage of key legal cases, sporting regulations and governing bodies including the IOC, UEFA and FIFA and sporting events such as London 2012. / read more

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