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World Sports Law Report

Current Issue (December 2014)

Volume: 12 Issue: 12


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About World Sports Law Report

The monthly law journal 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

FIFA’s legacy

Depending on which media article you read, somewhere between 40 and 65 international sporting federations are based in Switzerland. They are based there for closely-guarded tax reasons, and a perceived “lacuna in criminal law,” as Stephan Netzle put it in December 2010. “FIFA is still an organisation with the same status as a yodeling association in a mountain village,” As Roland Büchel so pertinently pointed out in this month’s main news article.
FIFA, and other international sporting federations such as the FIVB, are currently considered private organisations under Swiss law. Under Swiss law, it is understood that private organisations and individuals enjoy a number of freedoms that are restricted to those occupying a public office.
Through its handing of the Garcia report into the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process, FIFA has created a legacy for sport. This is Switzerland’s move to specifically designate the heads of international sporting federations as ‘Politically Exposed Persons’.
It is important, because it means that Switzerland thinks it necessary to make international sporting federations subject to a stricter legal regime. Banks will have to monitor their accounts. Bribing them will be illegal (private bribery is only punishable on demand). As our second news article perhaps illustrates, it is a legacy that appears to be needed, but it remains to be seen whether sport will thank FIFA for it.
Perhaps understandably, this edition of World Sports Law Report focuses on corruption, analysing whether Garcia’s report can be published in full under Swiss State law. It also examines a Bill to make doping a criminal offence in Germany, Virgin Media’s complaint to Ofcom over the Premier League’s broadcasting restrictions and much, much more.
If that’s not enough to keep you occupied over Christmas, take a look at the free articles on the WSLR blog, or the Sports Law Show on iSportConnect TV. See you in January, when I will produce my last edition of World Sports Law Report…
Andy Brown

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