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World Sports Advocate

Volume: 15 Issue: 4
(April 2017)


The UK Government’s Exiting the European Union Select Committee in its third report on its inquiry into the UK’s negotiating objectives for withdrawal from the European Union, published on 3 April 2017, urges the Department for Exiting the EU to continue making the argument in Government that the future system for EU migration needs to be flexible enough to meet the needs of the economy across the UK. The UK’s membership of the European Union has shaped the business of sport and how sport is governed and regulated in the UK, with significant factors including the specificity of sport, the freedom of movement of people and services, landmark rulings coming out of the European Court of Justice, and harmonised regulations. The decision to leave the EU has the potential to re-structure the sporting landscape in the UK, especially relating to the freedom of movement of people and services, which has benefited professional football, amongst others, enabling UK clubs to attract foreign professional players and enabling transfers into the EU. / read more

The Declaration of the International Olympic Committee (‘IOC’) Executive Board of 16 March 2017, puts forward 12 principles for a more robust and independent global anti-doping system to protect clean athletes, including measures on strengthening the World Anti-Doping Agency (‘WADA’), the creation of an Independent Testing Authority (‘ITA’) and the sanctioning of individuals and Code signatories. The IOC’s Declaration states that WADA ‘must be equally independent from both sports organisations and from national interests,’ because even the perception of conflicts of interest can damage the credibility of the anti-doping system. Adam Pengilly, a member of the Athlete’s Commission of the IOC, comments that he is in general agreement with the IOC’s Declaration, however with some caveats. In regards to the principles relating to the strengthening of WADA, Pengilly states that it would be helpful to define what ‘independent from sports organisations and from national interests’ means in practice. / read more


Conceptually, a whistleblower in sport enables critical information to get to those who can act to protect a sport’s integrity. The whistleblower may possess or provide the evidence necessary to act on past, current or anticipated wrongful behaviour. Their information may lead to securing a conviction, the suspension of participants or the prevention of the wrongful act occurring. On 9 March 2017 the World Anti-Doping Agency (‘WADA’) launched its ‘Speak Up!’ initiative to provide a ‘secure digital platform’ to enable athletes to report any act or omission that could undermine the fight against doping in sport. Jack Mitchell, a Barrister at Old Square Chambers, provides detailed analysis of whistleblowing systems, the obstacles that may arise, and WADA’s new initiative, and provides insight into the experiences gained across other industries. / read more

Is Formula One about to turn a corner? Following the acquisition of Formula One by Liberty Media, Mark Buckley and Thomas Maw of Fladgate LLP assess the potential for Formula One to reinvent itself under new leadership, the opportunities presented by digital media platforms and new sponsorship models in order to engage with new audiences and the legal issues that may arise. / read more

The maintenance of contractual stability between professional football players and their employer clubs is the objective that underpins Section IV of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (‘RSTP’). Andrew Smith, Barrister at Matrix Chambers, considers in this article the recent decisions of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (‘CAS’) concerning unilateral terminations of contracts, with a particular focus on the following issues: What is regarded as a ‘termination’ of the employment contract?; What constitutes ‘just cause’ for a unilateral termination?; What are the principles governing the assessment of compensation for a unilateral termination without just cause?; How does joint liability operate in this context?; and What are the principles governing the imposition of sporting sanctions? / read more

France has the reputation of being one of the countries in Europe with the highest tax, which means that Ligue 1 clubs may not appear as the most competitive in order to attract the best international players. However, tax incentive packages are available to foreign talent moving to France for professional purposes, which will benefit football players. Michel Collet, International Tax Partner at CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre, in this article discusses the impatriate tax incentives granted to international players, the recent improvements to the tax system brought in by France’s 2017 Finance Bill. The incentives may be granted to players and their staff and more broadly to any professional taking up French tax residence for professional purposes. / read more

Ross Sylvester and Rachel Alexander of Wiggin LLP analyse the recent ruling coming out of the High Court in The Football Association Premier League Ltd v. British Telecommunications plc & Ors [2017] EWHC 480 (Ch) in which a blocking order was issued against illegal streaming servers and what this ruling means in the broader context of sport’s fight against piracy. / 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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