Sunday, June 27, 2010

Using Technology To Make Football Fairer: Revised

Events in today’s World Cup games have only strengthened my belief that technology should be used to review decisions in football. Yesterday, I suggested that two appeals should be allowed per half and only yellow and red cards should be subject to appeal. I was wrong. All decisions should be subject to video appeal, but only two appeals per half should be allowed. Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal and the failure to signal Tevez offside both had a massive impact on the Germany v England and Argentina v Mexico games. Mexico found themselves in a ridiculous situation, as a replay on the big screen at the stadium proved that the referee was wrong, but he refused to change his mind about allowing the goal, despite everyone in the stadium (and at home) knowing that the decision was the wrong one.

 

FIFA’s Laws of the Game, 2010/11 read: ‘The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final. The referee may only change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or, at his discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee or the fourth official, provided that he has not restarted play or terminated the match.’

 

While the referee in the Argentina v Mexico game could have changed his mind following the replay on the big screen, he perhaps felt pressured by FIFA’s refusal to allow video review of decisions. In the Germany v England game, there was no big screen replaying events (as far as I know). The referee was therefore unaware that his decision was the wrong one, so FIFA’s Laws of the Game would not have helped. FIFA needs to allow video review of such decisions now, or - as we saw in the Argentina v Mexico match - tempers can become easily frayed. As I have said before, allowing the captain to call for two video reviews per half would not disrupt the game and would allow injustices to be righted. Again, comments are welcome on this!

Andy Brown


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Using Technology To Make Football Fairer

Both rugby codes, cricket and tennis have recently adopted use of video technology to review decisions made by umpires in order to make sport fairer, yet football continues to resist. I can understand the argument that to allow review of referee decisions would interrupt the flow of the game, and FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s views on the subject are well documented. I agree that to allow review of all referee decisions would ruin the game, however decisions such as sending off Chile’s Estrada for an alleged foul on Spain’s Torres have got me thinking that something must be done. It appeared to me that Torres had either tripped or dived, as there was minimal contact. You can judge for yourself by watching the BBC highlights video here. Chile’s coach commented that the sending off changed the dynamics of the game. I agree and do not think that the incident merited a dismissal.

Given that red cards can result in such a change within a game (and given the amounts of money that are sometimes at stake), perhaps FIFA could consider adopting a system similar to the one used in cricket, where decisions can be appealed to a video referee. Cricket allows three referrals per innings and perhaps football could introduce two appeals per half.

I hope that eagle-eyed readers have spotted the obvious problem with this. If all decisions can be appealed, a team could save its appeals until the opportune moment in order to disrupt the flow of their opponents when coming forward, by disputing offside calls, etc. That is why this privilege should be reserved for yellow and red cards. When these are issued, the game has stopped anyway and so the argument that such a review system disrupts the flow of the game doesn’t apply. An added advantage is that it would allow referees to sanction players that do dive in order to get an opponent booked. Imagine the difference it would have made to the Spain versus Chile game if the referee had judged Torres to have dived. I cannot see any problem with this sensible use of technology to reduce injustices within the game. Please feel free to comment!

Andy Brown


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

FAPL to defend challenge to Football Creditors rule

The Football Association Premier League has said that it will "robustly defend" a challenge to its Football Creditors rule, which requires debts within football to be settled in full in the event of insolvency. Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) filed a writ with the High Court of England and Wales on 18 May. The Premier League must respond by 17 June.

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UEFA gives football clubs three years to cut annual losses to under €5m

The Financial Fair Play Regulations approved by UEFA's Executive Committee on 27 May will give Europe's football clubs three years to reduce annual losses to under €5 million, unless they have a wealthy benefactor. Clubs with benefactors will be allowed to exceed this limit, but only for a limited time.

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IAAF's failure to report delays Semenya's return

The medical team responsible for examining gender verification tests conducted on South African athlete Caster Semenya has failed to deliver a full report to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), forcing the cancellation of a Ministry of Sport & Recreation press conference to discuss her return to competition.

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Sporting Data: Rights in sporting data after Football Dataco v Stan James

The recent case of Football Dataco v Stan James provided hope for UK sporting bodies keen to protect and commercialise their data, as the High Court found that database copyright exists under the Database Directive for English and Scottish football fixture lists. Nick Fitzpatrick and John Cloke, of DLA Piper UK LLP, examine the history of copyright protection for sporting data and the implications of this latest ruling, exploring whether organisers of sporting events still need better protection from those that profit by 'piggy-backing' on the investment made in sporting data and sporting events as a whole.

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Takeover Advice: Seymour Pierce v Grandtop International: analysis

Investors often employ financial advisers when looking to acquire sporting clubs. Advisers commonly bargain for a 'success fee' should the takeover be successful. Sohrab Daneshku, an Associate with Lewis Silkin LLP, examines a recent case where the 'success fee' was disputed, Seymour Pierce Limited v Grandtop International Holdings Limited.

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Hosting: City of Vancouver Olympic regulatory framework: part 1

The City of Vancouver made a number of regulatory changes in order to ease its hosting of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In the first instalment of a two-part article, Paul Henderson, City of Vancouver Director of Olympic and Paralympic Operations, outlines the main regulatory provisions made. This article accompanied a presentation at Ithaca College's 'Conference on Law, Policy and the Olympic Movement' on 13-14 May.

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Broadcasting: BSkyB appeals Ofcom 'price setting' for sports content

BSkyB and Ofcom have reached an agreement that postpones the UK communications regulator's requirement that BSkyB supply its Sky Sports 1 and 2 channels to competitors at a reduced price. Stephen Hornsby, Head of Sports Group at Davenport Lyons, explains that although Ofcom's return to its interventionist approach doesn't sit comfortably with competition law, BSkyB's appeal is unlikely to succeed due to case law history in this area. He also examines the impact that the failure of its appeal could have on sports TV rights.

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Corruption: Agreeing to match fixing under duress: analysis

World snooker's highest ranked player, John Higgins, recently said that he agreed to lose frames in future snooker events with undercover reporters as he suspected them to be part of the mafia, and therefore a danger to him. Kelly Hudson and Rod Findlay, of McDaniel & Co. Solicitors, examine whether this defence for his actions could reduce sanctions against him.

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FIFA Abandons 6+5 Proposal

Although no official FIFA release has been issued, FIFA abandoned its '6+5' proposal to require club teams to field at least six players eligible for the national team of the country in which the club is based at its recent Congress, reports the BBC. FIFA has consistently insisted that due to the incorporation of the European Commission's White Paper on Sport into the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, sport can set regulations that might conflict with freedoms enshrined in the Treaty in order to preserve the 'special characteristics' of sport. Does its abandonment of '6+5' constitute an admission that this is not the case?

According to the BBC article, FIFA is now considering 'other eligibility' options. It would be interesting to know how - or if - these options differ from those already in place. For example, UEFA's Homegrown Players rules require clubs qualifying for its Champions League and Europa League to include eight 'homegrown' players in a squad of 25 from the 2008/9 season. 'Homegrown' players constitute 'those who, regardless of their nationality, have been trained by their club or by another club in the same national association for at least three years between the age of 15 and 21'. This requirement should not be a struggle for most European clubs. World Sports Law Report will be investigating if FIFA decides to 'push the envelope' and go above and beyond this requirement.

 

Andy Brown


Monday, May 31, 2010

A Proper Investigation?

FIFA has recently announced that there is ‘no indication that there is any basis to the allegations reported by Lord Triesman’ of corruption in the 2010 World Cup and in the bidding process to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. It came to this conclusion after speaking to the Football Association, Lord Triesman, the Russian FA, the Spanish FA and ‘various sources’, which it would not reveal.

It would be interesting to know who those ‘various sources’ were. Let us imagine, for a minute, that the allegations were true and evidence existed that Spain was attempting to bribe referees at the 2010 World Cup and that if Spain were to drop out of the bidding race to host the 2018/2022 World Cup, then Russia might help bribe referees in exchange for votes.

The Spanish and Russian FAs are hardly going to implicate themselves on receipt of a letter from FIFA asking them if they are corrupt. I also understand Triesman’s defence that his comments were made in private about speculation in the media. However, let’s consider his actual comments. According to the original article in the Daily Mail, he said: ‘There’s some evidence that the Spanish football authorities are trying to identify the referees...and pay them.’

FIFA is supposed to be the guardian of world football. It should investigate claims that evidence exists of corruption properly - i.e. by doing more than just asking those accused of corruption if they are indeed corrupt. A proper investigation is needed.

 

Andy Brown


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

FIFA to examine World Cup corruption claims

The FIFA Ethics Committee is to investigate comments made by former English Football Association (FA) Chairman Lord Triesman, which allege corruption in the 2010 World Cup and in bidding to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

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India rejects plan to limit tenure of sport administrators after IOC warning

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has rejected a government plan to limit the tenure of sport administrators, after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) sent it a warning letter.

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Spanish clubs urge central sale of TV rights

Spain's professional football clubs have urged the Government to pass legislation specifying that audiovisual rights to professional football should be sold centrally, after the Liga BBVA (first division) voted to split from the Liga Adelante (second division).

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Injury Liability: Players injured on national duty: issues and suggestions

The lack of compensation for players injured whilst on international duty will be a key concern for many clubs during the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup. Peter Limbert, an Associate Solicitor with Hammonds LLP's Sports Group in London, explains the difficulties that clubs face against the background of FIFA's applicable Regulations and examines whether those Regulations may be open to challenge.

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Injury Liability: Liability for death or permanent injury: analysis

Recent incidents, such as the death of luger Nodar Kumaritashvili during training at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, have again raised the difficult question of who is liable when an athlete dies. Helen Grimberg, a Partner in the Leisure Team at Berrymans Lace Mawer LLP, examines whether consent to the inherent risks involved in sport participation can validly protect against liability when a party other than the athlete is at fault for an athlete's death - a pertinent question given the proximity of the London 2012 Olympics.

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Management: Italy's Labour Agreement for football Managers

In Italy, football Managers do not traditionally have the final say over player signings, unlike in England. However, the rights of Italian football Managers are protected by a Collective Labour Agreement between the football authorities and the Italian football coaches association. Luca Ferrari, of CBA Studio Legale e Tributario, explains how this agreement operates and the obligations it bestows on both clubs and their Managers.

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Doping: A new era for anti-doping in equestrian sports

The Fédération Equestre Internationale has taken a number of steps to combat equine doping since six horses tested positive at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, including establishing new anti-doping regulations that distinguish between banned substances and controlled medication substances that can be used out of competition, establishing a more comprehensive list of prohibited substances for horses and establishing its first integrity unit which can investigate suspected anti-doping rule violations. Anna Blakeley, a Solicitor with Bird & Bird's Sports Group, examines these changes.

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Player Transfers: Changing clubs outside of the transfer window

A recent judgment allowed football players to transfer from a bankrupt professional club to an amateur club outside of the transfer window, against the wishes of the Dutch football association (KNVB). Mads Frost, a Lawyer with Lett Law Firm, examines to what extent FIFA's Regulations allow national associations to govern when a player can move clubs, the KNVB's regulations on transfers, and the reasoning of the Court in deciding that the KNVB's regulations cannot be in conflict with principles enshrined in national law.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Conference on Law, Policy and the Olympic Movement

On Thursday and Friday last week, I attended an excellent conference entitled Law, Policy and the Olympic Movement at Ithaca College’s London Centre, which raised too many interesting issues about the regulation of Olympic sport to summarise in one blog posting. Here is a summary of some of them;

·         Lack of redress for Olympic athletes. It was suggested that as the Court of Arbitration for Sport is only an arbitration body, it can only assess whether the rules of a sporting body have been correctly applied. If an athlete has a real dispute with a sporting body (i.e. one not involving correct application of the rules but legal principles), then their only route is through the courts, yet the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Charter reads ‘Any dispute arising on the occasion of, or in connection with, the Olympic Games shall be submitted exclusively to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in accordance with the Code of Sports-Related Arbitration’.

 

·         That risk assessment costs in connection with hosting the Olympic Games might one day outstrip the benefit of hosting the Games. Local organising committees are increasingly transferring risk and costs to the private sector through agreement with corporations (e.g. LOCOG’s agreement with CLM). It was mentioned that although the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics was the first Games to use Enterprise Risk Management techniques, London 2012 will be the first Games to place managing risk at the centre of its strategic planning. Risk management is expected to become a serious issue for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

 

·         Gene doping is expected to become a serious issue. Kate Miller of Southern Illinois University presented research which revealed that Zinc-Finger Nucleases could be used to ‘knock out’ part of the human genome, allowing gene editing that would be almost impossible to detect. More information is available here.

 

·         Sport needs a separate body to protect its common ethics, as ethics commissions set up by international federations (such as FIFA) and international sport organisations (IOC) can only investigate ethics internally, said Hilary Findlay, Associate Professor at the Department of Sport Management, Centre for Sport and Law, Brock University. This theme was later picked up by Simon Boyes of Nottingham Trent University’s Law Department, who highlighted the need for a Global Sports Charter, which would define what makes sport specific from other areas of human activity. It was suggested that this document could then be used by sporting organisations to defend themselves in tort.

 

I was very impressed with the level and variety of debate at the conference, which marked a clear departure from the normal conference programme of ‘something on sponsorship, something on stadiums, something on TV rights, something on finance’ format of so many of today’s sport business conferences. I was also impressed by the friendly and relaxed atmosphere of Ithaca College and its staff, especially Bill Sheasgreen and John Wolohan – many thanks for inviting me along.

  

Andy Brown


Monday, May 10, 2010

Database Directive offers protection for fixture lists

Sporting organisations will be able to better commercialise fixture lists and protect them from unauthorised reproduction, after the England and Wales High Court ruled that fixture lists are subject to database copyright under the Database Directive (96/9/EC).

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WSLR & Berwin Leighton Paisner to host Sport, Gambling & Sponsorship

World Sports Law Report (WSLR) is organising Sport, Gambling & Sponsorship 2010, a Briefing examining legal, integrity and other issues created by the increasingly complex relationship between sport and gambling. It will be held at the London offices of Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP on 14 September.

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BSkyB & Ofcom compromise on sports content

BSkyB and Ofcom put an interim agreement to the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) on 29 April, which - if approved - would postpone Ofcom's requirement that BSkyB must supply Sky Sports 1 and 2 to other retailers at a reduced price. Following its investigation into the pay-TV market, UK communications regulator Ofcom required BSkyB to offer its sports content to other retailers at a 'wholesale must offer' (WMO) price set by Ofcom. BSkyB is preparing an appeal to the CAT against Ofcom's 31 March decision.

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Image Rights: Salary and image rights payments to football players

As image rights payments are typically taxed more favourably than salary payments, many countries have begun to investigate whether football clubs are disguising salary as image rights payments. Matthew Wentworth, a Barrister with Olswang LLP, examines the tax burden on professional footballers, what the UK and other countries are doing to tackle this issue and safeguards that clubs should consider adopting to avoid future problems.

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Doping: Italy's fine for athlete doping offences: proportionality

The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) decided to implement a €100,000 fine for any athlete reporting a positive drug test at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Stella Riberti, a Trainee Solicitor at CBA Studio Legale e Tributario, examines the reasons behind CONI's sanction and how it gels with Italian doping regulations, which do not require intention on the part of the athlete and Italy's criminal law against doping, which does require intention. She also explores possible windows for challenging the size of the sanction under the World Anti-Doping Code.

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Player Contracts: Training compensation: ECJ ruling in Olivier Bernard case

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently ruled that football clubs can seek compensation for training young players, as long as that compensation is directly related to the club's cost in training that player. April Carr, an Associate in the EU & Competition team at Olswang LLP, examines the reasoning of the ECJ in Olympique Lyonnais SASP v Olivier Bernard and Newcastle United FC, and explains why the Fédération Française de Football's Charter breached the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

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Doping: Olympic doping and police searches: proposed powers

Lord Moynihan, Chairman of the British Olympic Association, has announced plans to introduce a bill into the House of Lords to give police greater powers to search athletes' rooms at London 2012. Jim Sturman QC, a Barrister at 2 Bedford Row and David Patience (currently a Pupil Barrister in the same set of chambers) consider whether the creation of such powers would be a feasible, desirable or necessary addition to UK criminal law.

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Ticketing: Using existing legislation to combat ticket touting

The Department for Culture Media and Sport recently published a Response to its Consultation on Ticketing and Ticket Touting, concluding that it would encourage self-regulation rather than making all unauthorised re-selling a criminal offence. Kitty Turner and Rebecca Fry, of Farrer & Co. LLP, explore the Response and examine measures that event organisers can take both to prevent ticket touting, and prosecute ticket touts.

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Thursday, April 01, 2010

French court accuses PSG and Nike of hiding salaries

French prosecutors have accused Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Nike of hiding player salaries by using contracts between the sportswear manufacturer and the football club in order to avoid taxes and social security charges, in a trial that began in the 11th Tribunal Correctionnelle de Paris on 14 March.

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MLS and its players agree new Collective Bargaining Agreement

The United States' Major League Soccer (MLS) and its players union (MLSPU) have agreed a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) ending 2014, subject to the approval of the MLS Board of Governors and MLPU members.

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ECJ judgment omits calculation of training costs

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that compensation designed to protect clubs training young players does not constitute an illegal restriction on freedom of movement under Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), as long as the compensation is based on the cost of training that player. However, the ECJ has failed to specify how the cost of training a player should acceptably be calculated.

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Player Contracts: Regulation of intermediaries in player contracts: changes

FIFA has recognised that its requirement for player contracts to be conducted by player agents licensed by a national association is not working, as it doesn't regulate or license player agents so cannot effectively sanction them. Instead, it has proposed that it will regulate use of any intermediary during a player transfer by clubs and players, since it regulates and can sanction clubs and players. Angus Bujalski, an Associate with Michael Simkins LLP, examines how FIFA's proposals gel with its Transfer Matching System and potential difficulties with cross-border regulation such as this, due to freedom of establishment rights enshrined in the EU Services Directive. He also outlines recent cases with different outcomes where regulation of player agents has been considered.

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Director Rules: Briatore, competition law and the Fit & Proper Persons Test

Flavio Briatore's ban from motor sport remains in place while the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile appeals a French court's decision to overturn the ban, which has resulted in Briatore resigning as a Director of Queens Park Rangers. This has brought the Football League's Fit and Proper Persons Test (FPPT) under the microscope once more. David Winnie, former professional footballer and now a Lawyer with Hammonds' Sports Group, explains Briatore's situation and analyses whether the FPPT would survive a challenge under competition law.

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United States: NCAA: amateurism policies and the international student

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has recently amended a bylaw to allow international students who have played alongside professionals to compete for University sports teams. Dr. Anastasios Kaburakis, an Attorney who had proposed such an amendment in past research, explains the background to the change, why it is needed and the potential impact that it will have for both amateur and professional sport in the US.

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Cheating: Harmonising punishment for cheats: issues & challenges

As sport becomes more lucrative, the focus on winning at all costs becomes ever more prevalent, which leads some athletes to consider cheating. Rod Findlay, a Partner with the Sports Law Unit at McDaniel & Co. Solicitors, examines three cases where the winner was successful due to different forms of cheating, yet punishment differed. He considers whether punishment for cheating should be harmonised where the end result is an unjust victor.

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Gambling: Gambling addiction among footballers: analysis

There have been a number of high-profile cases involving professional footballers that have lost large amounts of income through gambling. Professor Mark Griffiths of the International Gaming Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University examines what rules apply to footballers that wish to gamble and analyses if footballers are predisposed to gambling addiction.

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Monday, March 01, 2010

Italy is first country to set fines for positive drug tests

Italy has become the first country to fine athletes for doping. The Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano (CONI) made all 109 athletes and officials wishing to participate at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics sign an agreement to pay €100,000 if they report a positive drug test.

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Hannover 96 challenges '50+1' Bundesliga club ownership rule

German 1.Bundesliga club Hannover 96 is challenging paragraph 8.2 of the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) Statutes, which prevents outside investors from taking a majority stake in a 1 or 2 Bundesliga club, in the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

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HMRC queries football image rights deals

Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is in discussion with the FA Premier League (FAPL) about whether clubs are paying salary through image rights companies set up by players, as image rights are taxed at a lower rate than income. It is understood that HMRC suspects that such deals are being used to attract foreign players put off by UK tax rates.

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Finances: Regulating club financial expenditure to avoid debt

European football's regulator, UEFA, has recently announced Financial Fair Play proposals, designed to prevent clubs spending more than they earn. Rod Findlay, a Partner with McDaniel & Co. Solicitors and the former in-house lawyer at England's Rugby Football League, examines UEFA's current financial regulations and its new proposals and compares them with financial regulation systems used by other sports. He discusses the limits of financial regulation proposals and questions whether or not they will achieve their aims.

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Comment: SportAccord's Doping-Free Sport Unit (DFSU)

In 2009, The International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency provided financial assistance to SportAccord to develop doping support services to assist SportAccord's members, international sporting federations. Françoise Dagouret, Manager of SportAccord's Doping-Free Sport Unit, details its work to date.

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Spain: Changes to taxation: impact on professional sport

The Spanish government has recently limited an exemption allowing foreign workers to pay a lower level of income tax to those earning under €600,000 per annum. Bartolomé Sánchez, an Associate with Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira, examines difficulties with the new regime, and explains how it will create issues for sport and professional athletes, especially footballers.

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Comment: An alternative to the IOC's gender testing policy

The Coalition of Athletes for Inclusion in Sport has recently provided the International Olympic Committee with an alternative to its Gender Policy. Kristen Worley, Co-Founder of the Coalition, explains why an alternative is needed as well as its proposed alternative.

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Boxing: Freedom of religion and rules on safety

The Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE) recently reversed its decision to exempt Sikh boxers from the rule requiring amateur boxers to be clean shaven for competitions. Religious groups contend that the arguments put forward by the ABAE are not valid, asserting that the decision discriminates against boxers who have beards because of religious beliefs. Sean Cottrell, Co-Editor of Lawinsport.com and a former amateur boxer, examines whether the decision to require boxers to be clean shaven for safety reasons constitutes a restriction on freedom of religion.

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2010 Issues: Views and predictions from the editorial board for 2010

  We asked members of World Sports Law Report's editorial board to highlight what they think will be the main sports law issues during 2010. In this article, they set out their responses.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Reform needed to tackle doping in sport

Reform is needed if anti-doping authorities are to effectively tackle doping, said anti-doping experts at Tackling Doping in Sport on 24 February, organised by World Sports Law Report and hosted by sports lawyers Hammonds LLP. “Athletes are receiving six month bans for doping offences because sporting federations are afraid that Article 45 [of the IOC Charter] could be challenged”, said Travis Tygart, Chief Executive of the US Anti-Doping Agency. “We’ve got to get mad and return the playing field to clean athletes. We should be aggressive, but also be fair.”

 

Article 45 of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Charter prevents athletes convicted of a doping offence from participating in the next edition of the Olympic Games. Antonio Rigozzi, a Partner with Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, highlighted that legal challenges to the Article are “inevitable, and will most likely be successful”.

 

“The Hardy case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] will be an important test”, continued Tygart, referring to the 12 March hearing of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) appeal for an extension of American swimmer Jessica Hardy’s one-year ban for testing positive for a banned anabolic agent. WADA is seeking that Hardy should be banned for two years and declared ineligible for the London 2012 Olympics.

 

Reform of the WADA’s Athletes Commission was also seen as essential. “It exists purely to provide soundbites to the Executive Board of WADA”, said Ian Smith, Legal Director of the Professional Cricketers’ Association. “It has no power and it is useless – it is not elected”. UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) said that efforts were being made to reform athlete commissions at a national level first.

 

Andy Parkinson, Chief Executive of UKAD, said that more needed to be done to break down the “wall of silence” put up by the clean athlete community when questioned about who is using drugs. “Sophisticated networks are out there geared towards cheating in sport”, said Parkinson, who has been talking to Crimestoppers about how they deal with anonymous tip-offs. “Our focus is now on intelligence. Since 14 December, 75% of doping charges have been as a result of indirect intelligence.” However, he warned about the dangers of laying down anti-doping legislation – an option currently being considered by the UK government. “There needs to be a significant discussion about the impact. I would suggest that we perhaps don’t need a legislative regime that would impact 60 million people without first considering those who will have to enforce it.”

 

Pat McQuaid, President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), presented his view that the number of admissions to doping since 2007 represented a turnaround for elite cycling’s “deeply entrenched culture of cheating”.

 

Mike Earl, Doping Control Programme Manager for the Football Association (FA), highlighted the difficulties that differences between out-of-competition testing and in-competition testing could create, in a talk about social drugs. Currently, WADA’s prohibited list prevents the taking of cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine in competition, but does not prevent it out of competition. “Surely it is better to say ‘you just can’t take this stuff’?”, he said.

 

Delegates said that they were impressed with the high concentration of key decision makers at the event, which included seven international sporting federations (such as the IRB, ITF, FEI…), 12 national sporting associations (FA, RFU, BOA, BHA…) and governmental organisations such as the Irish Sports Council, Malta Sports Council and more.

 Andy Brown


Monday, February 01, 2010

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Global Anti-Doping Experts To Address WSLR Event

Anti-doping experts from around the globe will address Tackling Doping in Sport, a unique event organised by World Sports Law Report and Hammonds, taking place on 24 February at Hammonds’ London offices. Key speakers include Pat McQuaid, President of the Union Cycliste Internationale; Travis Tygart, Chief Executive of the US Anti-Doping Agency; Andy Parkinson, Chief Executive of UK Anti-Doping; Françoise Dagouret, Manager of the Doping Free Sport Unit for SportAccord; Mike Earl, Doping Control Programme Manager for England’s Football Association; Simon Bowden, Anti-Doping Officer for England’s Rugby Football Union and more, listed here.


The conference is designed to address recent developments in the fight against doping, such as the use of athlete biological passports and whether blood profiling alone can be used to convict an athlete of doping, such as in the case of Claudia Pechstein. The conference will also discuss the use of intelligence in the fight against doping, such as the recent alliance between Canadian border police and the International Olympic Committee for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

Doping and privacy will also be another major topic, especially the World Anti-Doping Agency’s regulations which equate three failures to report your whereabouts with a doping violation.


London’s 2012 anti-doping strategy will be debated, as will whether a distinction needs to be made within anti-doping regulations between performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. For a full programme, click here.

As might be expected, delegate spaces for such a detailed programme are selling out fast. For more information on attending, contact Erika Joyce on +44 (0)20 7012 1383.

 


Monday, January 18, 2010

UK Bill to criminalise doping and allow police drug searches

Lord Moynihan will shortly introduce a Bill into Parliament that, if passed, will criminalise the supply of performance-enhancing drugs to sport. It will also allow police to obtain a warrant from a court to search London 2012 athlete rooms if they believe doping is taking place.

To read the full article in the January edition of World Sports Law Report, click here.


New gambling licence requirements could impact UK sports sponsorship

The UK government's plan to require all overseas-based gambling operators to be licensed by the Gambling Commission could affect sports sponsorship and advertising, as it will require European gambling advertisers to obtain a licence and contribute towards regulatory costs.

To read the full article in the January edition of World Sports Law Report, click here.


FIA to appeal Briatore ban annulment

The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) will appeal against the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance's (TGI) decision to annul the FIA's life ban on Renault Formula One (F1) team principal Flavio Briatore. 'The President of the FIA has consulted the FIA Senate and the FIA's lawyers about the decision of the [TGI] of Paris of 5 January', read an 11 January statement. 'It was unanimously agreed that an appeal would be prepared'.

To read the full article in the January edition of World Sports Law Report, click here.


Opinion: FIFA's Early Warning System: protecting the integrity of sport

Sport is often said to be the most beautiful pastime in the world and betting on events adds an even greater thrill to the sporting experience. The majority of those who place bets do so because of their enjoyment of sport and simply wish to chance their luck. However, there is a minority who misappropriate sport and this has hugely damaging consequences.

To read the full article in the January edition of World Sports Law Report, click here.


Autobiographies: Sanctioning ex-athletes for autobiographical revelations

A number of ex-athletes have recently made claims about how they flouted their sport's regulations while they were competing. Simon Grove and Joseph Parks, of IPS Law LLP, examine the ability of sporting bodies to sanction ex-athletes and explore how the ability of national associations and international federations to sanction ex-athletes can often differ.

To read the full article in the January edition of World Sports Law Report, click here.


Doping: Trainers, negligence and antidoping rules

The Court of Arbitration for Sport recently overturned a two-year ban imposed on the trainer of an athlete for being negligent in his coaching duties due to lack of evidence of involvement in any doping violation, after the athlete was found to have committed a doping violation. Adam Finlay, a Solicitor with McCann FitzGerald Solicitors, examines how the World Anti-Doping Code applies to athlete support personnel and discusses the ambiguity over the degree of fault necessary on the part of athlete support personnel to constitute a doping violation.

To read the full article in the January edition of World Sports Law Report, click here.


Doping: NFL: federal exemption for drug rules to trump State law

The National Football League's (NFL) suspension of five players last year for using a diuretic has led to a prolonged series of legal battles and a Congressional hearing, where the NFL asked Congress to pass a law allowing its performance enhancing drug testing policies to trump State laws. Gabe Feldman, Director of the Tulane Sports Law Program, discusses the developments that led to the hearing and why he believes that the special federal legislation for the NFL is unwarranted at this point.

To read the full article in the January edition of World Sports Law Report, click here.

 


Arbitration: CAS: analysis of revised rules of procedure

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will introduce new procedural rules and a new Code of Sports-related Arbitration from 1 January 2010. Ian Blackshaw, a member of the CAS, explains the changes introduced by the new rules.

To read the full article in the January edition of World Sports Law Report, click here.


Sponsorship: Affirmation of contract: Force India v Etihad

The High Court recently ruled that Etihad had waived its contractual right to terminate its sponsorship of the Force India Formula One team, due to continued ignorance of breaches of the agreement. Patrick Rennie, a Trainee Solicitor with Bird & Bird LLP, examines the reasons behind the decision and the lessons it holds for contracting parties.

To read the full article in the January edition of World Sports Law Report, click here.


Cheating: Feigning of blood injuries in rugby union: implications

Harlequins has been fined and its coach, Dean Richards, suspended for feigning a blood injury in order to allow a specialist drop-kicker to return to the field of play during the final few minutes of a Heineken Cup rugby union quarter-final. Stuart Cutting, Head of the sports law unit at Wright Hassall Solicitors, examines the action taken by rugby union authorities, the implications for the game and for wider sport.

To read the full article in the January edition of World Sports Law Report, click here.