CORONAVIRUS AND ITS IMPACT ON FOOTBALL
Edited by Michele Colucci, Sean Cottrell and Rustam Sethna
A SPORTS LAW AND POLICY CENTRE AND LAWINSPORT JOINT SURVEY
Version 2.0 (5 May 2020)
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The Sports Law and Policy Centre is pleased to announce the publication of
TRANSFERS OF FOOTBALL PLAYERS
A practical approach to implementing FIFA rules
Michele Colucci and Ornella Desirée Bellia (eds.)
International Sports Law and Policy Bulletin 1/2020
ISBN 978-88-940689-9-3 (April 2020, 908 pages)
This book is updated with the latest amendments to the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players
published in March 2020.
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INTERNATIONAL CASE LAW REVIEW
by Luca Pastore
Italian qualified lawyer, of Counsel at Lombardi Associates, Edinburgh (UK).
COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT
- Football: the CAS confirmed FIFA's decision in relation to the Lenglet's case
(ASNL official statement)
The Court of Arbitration for Sport confirmed the decision of the Single Judge of the Players' Status Committee, which had ordered Sevilla FC to pay AS Nancy-Lorraine the amount of € 3,708,000 in addition to interest and procedural costs in relation to Clément Lenglet's transfer to FC Barcelona in the summer of 2018.
Sevilla FC consistently refused to make the payment as requested by AS Nancy-Lorraine on the basis that Lenglet was not transferred to FC Barcelona directly, but he was released by means of a release clause included in his employment contract in accordance with Spanish law.
- Doping: Sun Yang found sanctioned with 8-year period of ineligibility
The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the appeal lodged by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) against the Chinese swimmer Sun Yang and the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA). As a result, Sun Yang was sanctioned with an eight-year period of ineligibility, starting on the date of the CAS award.
- Doping: the CAS upheld the appeal of the swimmer Filippo Magnini
The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the appeal lodged by Filippo Magnini and annuled the four-year period of ineligibility imposed on the athlete in the decision taken by the First Instance Italian National Anti-Doping Tribunal.
- Doping: Gabriel Da Silva Santos cleared by the CAS for no fault or negligence in the ADRV
The Court of Arbitration for Sport set aside the decision rendered by the FINA Doping Panel and replaced it with a new decision in which the Brazilian swimmer Gabriel Da Silva Santos has been found to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation for which he bears no fault or negligence. As a result, no period of ineligibility was imposed.
- Doping: the CAS reduced the sanction imposed on Alexander Ivanov
The appeal filed by the Russian race walker Alexander Ivanov against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has been partially upheld by the CAS.
In particular, the Sole Arbitrator found that the factual elements put forward by RUSADA were not sufficient to support a finding of "aggravated circumstances". As a result, the period of ineligibility was reduced from three years to two years.
- Football: the CAS declared inadmissible the claim filed by Manchester City against
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has declared inadmissible the appeal filed by Manchester City FC against the decision issued by the Chief Investigator of the Investigatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body to refer the case to the Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body and the decision of the Investigatory Chamber to refuse a suspension of the investigation in order for the Club "to conduct an enquiry into the repeated leaking of confidential information about the [investigation] to the media".
In particular, the Panel concluded that Manchester City FC failed to exhaust the internal legal remedies at its disposal before turning to CAS.
- Race Walk: the CAS has no jurisdiction to rule on the inclusion of a women's 50km race walk at the Tokio 2020 Olympic Games
(CAS Media Release)
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued decisions in two appeals filed against the International Olympic Committee and World Athletics, in which the Appellants sought the inclusion of female athletes in the 50km race walk event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with separate classifications for men and women.
The CAS Panel found that it did not have jurisdiction to rule on these appeals.
- Football: the CAS sanctioned River Plate for incidents occurred before the second leg of the 2018 Copa Libertadores Finals
(CAS Media Release)
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) sanctioned River Plate with two matches behind closed doors, to be applied to River Plate's next two home matches in the Copa Libertadores
The sanction has been issued as a result of the security incidents which occurred before the second leg of the 2018 Copa Libertadores Finals in Buenos Aires, when the Boca Juniors team bus was attacked by River Plate supporters, causing damages to the bus and injuries to some Boca Junior's players. Following this incident, due to safety concerns the second leg was moved to the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid.
- Basketball: Appeals Committee dismissed the case of alleged bribery between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos
The Appeals Committee of the Euroleague dismissed the case regarding the accusations of bribery allegedly put forward by Panathinaikos owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos that Olympiacos "promised each of the referees €20.000" in relation to the 2018 Panathinaikos vs. Olympiacos game.
- Football: Wilmar Valdez found guilty of having infringed the FIFA Code of Ethics
(FIFA Media Release)
The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee found Mr Wilmar Valdez, former President of the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) and a former member of both the FIFA Council and the CONMEBOL Executive Committee, guilty of having infringed his duty of loyalty, in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
- Football: the DRC confirmed the "professional status” of a female player engaged as an amateur in Italy
(DRC Ref. nr. 18-02527)
The Dispute Resolution Chamber confirmed that in the assessment of the status of a footballer, the criteria provided under article 2 par. 2 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfers of Players prevail over the any agreement between the parties providing the contrary.
In the specific case, parties qualified their agreement as "Agreement on reimbursement of costs for amateur sports activity" and esplicitly excluded the constitution of an employment relationship between them. Nonetheless, the adjudicatory body decided that the footballer met the criteria provided under article 2 par. 2 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfers of Players and therefore the female player was to be considered as a "professional player".
- Football: FIFA Disciplinary Committee sanctioned four players for involvement in match manipulation
(FIFA Media Release)
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee sanctioned four players guilty of having been involved in match manipulation in violation of art. 69 par. 1 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
- Football: Michael Santos found guilty of assaulting a police officer during UEFA Europa League match
(UEFA Media Release)
F.C. Copenhagen’s player Michael Santos has been suspended by UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) for three UEFA club competition matches after being found guilty of assaulting a police officer during the UEFA Europa League match played against Celtic FC on 27 February 2020. The Uruguayan forward was charged by Scottish police after colliding with the officer while celebrating Pep Biel's late equaliser.
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
- Football: ECHR dismissed Platini's appeal
The European Court of Human Rights dismissed Michel Platini’s challenge against the ban imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and confirmed by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. Platini was initially given an eight-year ban from all football-related activity for receiving a "disloyal payment" of two million Swiss francs (£1.3m) from then FIFA president Sepp Blatter in 2011.
TENNIS INTEGRITY UNIT
- Doping: Joao Olavo Soares de Souza banned for life
(TU Media Release)
The Brazilian tennis player Joao Olavo Soares de Souza, currently ranked 742 in the ATP singles rankings, has received a lifetime ban together with a fine of $200,000 after being convicted of multiple match-fixing and associated corruption offences.
- Defamation: preliminary decision of the High Court of Justice in the case Sakho v WADA
(2020 EWHC 251 QB)
The High Court of Justice – Queen’s Bench Division issued a preliminary decision in a defamation case initiated by Premiership footballer Mamadou Sakho against the World Anti-Doping Agency. Sakho alleged that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is liable for negligence and defamation in connection with UEFA anti-doping proceedings brought against him in 2016.
- Trademark: Inter Milan won a key battle against Major League Soccer
U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board dismissed MLS's claim against Inter Milan’s application to make "Inter" an exclusive brand in the United States. Inter Miami's name appears now to be in jeopardy.
Rules and Regulations
- France: major sports events will not resume before September 2020
French Prime Minister, Mr Édouard Philippe, announced that no sporting events, even those behind closed doors, could take place in the country before September 2020.
- Football: FIFA provides financial aid to member associations amid the COVID-19 crisis
(FIFA Circular no. 1715)
FIFA announced that it would pay its member associations their operating funds for 2019 and 2020 with immediate effect, in order to mitigate the economic disruption caused by the pandemic.
- The Netherlands: the Eredivisie terminate its 2019/2020 football season
On 24 April 2020, the Royal Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) called an end to the 2019-2020 football season.
- Football: IFAB's clarification in relation to COVID-19 and Laws of the Game 2020/2021
The International Football Association Board clarified that, in the event that a competition which has been suspended due to COVID-19 restarts after 1 June 2020, it has the option to continue using the 2019/2020 edition of the Laws of the Game, even if the 2020/2021 edition of the Laws of the Game are due to come into force on 1 June 2020.
- Football: IFAB published the Laws of the Game 2020/2021
(Laws of the Game 2020/2021)
The International Football Association Board published the Laws of the Game applicable to the football season 2020/2021.
- Belgium: Jupiler Pro League towards early termination
The Board of Directors issued an unanimous opinion to the General Assembly in order not to resume the competitions of the 2019/2020 football season and to accept the current table of the Jupiler Pro League as final (subject to the decisions of the Licensing Commission).
- USA: Idaho becomes first state to ban female transgender athletes from competing in women’s sport
(Sport Resolution Media Release)
Idaho enacted a bill, named the Fairness in Women’s Sport Act, which which prohibits transgender females from participating in girls and women’s sports. In a different bill,
transgender people have also been prohibited from changing their birth certificates to match their gender identities.
- Football: new edition of the FIFA RSTP (March 2020)
(March 2020 edition FIFA RSTP)
FIFA issued the latest edition of its Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players. The new edition provides, among others news, a definition of "bridge transfers" and the applicability of solidarity contribution to domestic transfers - provided that the claimant training club is affiliated to a different association.
Documents and Reports
- CAS: emergency guidelines - 24 April 2020 edition
(CAS emergency guidelines)
The Court of Arbitration for Sport modified its emergency guidelines issued on 16 March 2020.
- Football: UEFA publishes its "Guidelines on eligibility principles for 2020/21 UEFA Club Competitions – COVID 19"
The UEFA Executive Committee approved specific guidelines to assist member associations and leagues in the case of canceled competitions and leagues amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Basketball: BAT issued gudelines in relation to COVID-19 emergency
(BAT COVID-19 guidelines)
The Basketball Arbitral Tribunal issued a document containing temporary guidelines, which address issues that arise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Football: FIFA published guidelines in relation to the COVID-19 emergency
(FIFA Circular no. 1714)
In order to provide guidance to its members, the Bureau of the FIFA Council met on March 18 2020 and created a working group with the aim of analysing the main problems created by the interruption of activities due to COVID-19 and to make proposals for regulatory changes aimed at tackling the emergency. The document attached to the Circular no. 1714 contains the approved guidelines and entered immediately into force – i.e. as from 6 April 2020.
- Football: FIFA released the "Big 5 Transfer Window Analysis - 2020 Winter"
(The Big 5 report)
FIFA released its Big 5 Transfer Window Analysis - 2020 Winter, which provides data and insights into the transfer activity of the so called Big 5 FIFA member associations: England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
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