Sports Law Categories  


Dimitrios P. Panagiotopoulos

 Professor at the University of Athens, Advocate, Attorney-at-law, Vice-Rector (f) at the Central Greek University, President of International Association of Sports Law

This paper is a continuation of the opinion-thesis of the special nature of Lex Sportiva it examines the nature of Lex Sportiva and Lex Olympica and the quality of the rules of law, with their special features. In the context of international law, is indicated that International Sports Law is a species of International Law, a different species of law, regarding Lex Sportiva and Lex Olympica.

In the theory of international law, it is common that: "Law is a coercive order.  It creates socially organized sanctions and can be clearly distinguished from a religious order on the one hand and a merely moral order on the other hand.  As a coercive order, the law is that specific social technique which consists in the attempt to bring about the desired social conduct of men through the threat of a measure of coercion which is to be taken in case of legally wrong conduct". Kelsen in the same work (The Principles of International Law, Rinehart 1952, pp 45-50)   affirms the nature of international law as true law.  However, until the present moment, the lack of enforcement of international law remains the main difference of international law, which makes it a different species of law, different from domestic laws, also having in mind Lex Sportiva and Lex Olympica. Lex Sportiva and Lex Olympica are new species of law, a synthesis of features of international law (subjects, jurisdiction and content of regulations) and features of domestic national law (effective enforcement mechanism, vertical effect of its laws, and immediate incorporation in the national law systems and compulsory and exclusive jurisdiction of its judicial organs).

This new species of international law necessarily puts long accepted practices and organizational structures established under another light that reveals the inadequacy of international law practices in a legal system, which is another kind of international law. It has an impressive feature of coercion, similar with this of domestic jurisdictions. However, fundamental changes in its organization should be done, in accordance with the principle of legality, in order to create an international field of legitimacy in sports, like in that area that may be considered as an international sports law and on international conventions, on the international sports acts and in WADA Code. This is confirmed by the application of WADA'S rules, when it comes about the participation and the excursion of national teams from the Olympic Games in Rio.

The question is, who is the applier of International Sports law ? 

INTEGRITY IN SPORT. Dilemma of Manipulation of Sports Competitions

Özgerhan TOLUNAY

Doctor of law, Attorney at law, Consultant

The international and local authorities have long been preoccupied about the integrity in sport (IOC, Council of Europe, EU, INTERPOL, Europol, United Nations agencies, International Sport Federations, etc.). Very important recent studies have been published in this regard. We can consider that one of the most important of these studies is : The Sport Integrity Research Programme performed by ICSS - Sorbonne University. 

In my presentation, I will list these developments and then briefly mention what are the forms and the size of manipulation of sports competitions (Some situations where the problem of the integrity in the sports competitions arises or may arise)?
Following the explanation of the contextual factors contributing to the development of the manipulation of sports competitions, the lessons can be learned from this analysis shall be explained. 

The issue of the the reactions to the phenomenon of the manipulation of sports competitions shall be examined, as well.
Next, I will address some opinion : what should be the duty to combat the manipulation of sports competitions.

I will conclude by examining the current internationally and nationally efforts to fight the manipulation of sports competitions. 

This will allow us to see what the proper model of governance has been specially designed for the sport and to which extent this model ould inspire other activities.


Spectator and Other Supporter-Induced Violence Related to Mega-Events in Sports

James A.R. Nafziger

The serious problem of violence by spectators and other supporters of athletic clubs and teams related to competition, particularly at mega-events, is sometimes overlooked or minimized in the consideration of legal issues that beset sports.  That is unfortunate.  After all, such violence is common.  Moreover, it is obvious that most competition would hardly occur without spectators although the disciplinary measures in football/soccer of playing subsequent matches behind closed doors, or sometimes in neutral territory, may call into question the necessity of spectators at all events.  This presentation will first address the general problem of violence during sports competition, particularly at the international level, other than strictly among the athletes themselves.  The presentation will then focus on two interrelated cases that arose during a match between the national teams of Albania and Serbia that were ultimately resolved by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). 

The two arbitral awards are instructive for several reasons.  First, they may be seen as iconic insofar as the violent actions of spectators and supporters continue to be identified primarily with European football/soccer.  In 2016, for example, brawls broke out among fans, in and outside of football/soccer stadiums both before and during the EUFA 2016 European Championship in France.  Second, the European Convention on Spectator Violence, now in its fourth decade, seems to have had only a limited impact in deterring spectator and supporter violence.  Third, however, CAS has been instrumental in protecting the integrity of sports competition in the face of violence by virtue of its institutional distance from UEFA and other organizers of controverted events.  

CAS has also been an indispensable source of lex sportiva to advance the cause of fairness and endorse such important rules as that of non-interference in the field of play, as well as the evidentiary standard of comfortable satisfaction, the "direct effect" requirement for standing to appeal decisions of sports organizations, and, most importantly, the principle of zero tolerance for threats or acts of violence.  Of fundamental importance in combatting violence by spectators and other supporters of clubs and teams is the rule, engrained in the lex sportiva, of attribution.  It imputes responsibility on clubs and teams for the actions of their fans and for proper security and safety by host clubs and teams.  The rule of attribution may be questioned on the basis of fairness, but it is difficult to think of better leverage against the all-too-common risk of injurious misbehavior by individual fans and, worse yet, mobs.  

Legal Problems of Mega Events – Ideas for a Curriculum of a Summer School in Sports Law

Prof. Dr. Klaus Vieweg, Erlangen (Germany)

Sports Law is a challenging international field of law. Several attempts to integrate sports law in the legal education can be observed worldwide. To bring young lawyers from different countries together a summer school in sports law could be a promising approach. The curriculum of a summer school in sports law could be orientated at the legal questions arising from so-called mega events like the Olympic Games, the FIFA World Championships or the European Championships organized by the UEFA. Analyzing the rules and regulations of the IOC, the FIFA and the UEFA, in particular those concerning the selection of the host city respectively the host country and the requirements which must be fulfilled, a broad spectrum of topics typical for sports law can be identified (e.g. security, sponsoring and merchandising rights, media rights, doping, taxes). The specific problems can be summarized under the keywords "governance" and "compliance".

Legal and finacial background of the 2017 Budapest FINA World Championship  

 Prof. Dr. András Nemes

(Lex Sportiva Hungarian Society of Sportslaw Ltd)

After a long-term procedure, Hungarian Capital finally won the right, that entitles it to give place for the 2017 FINA World Championship. Regarding the magnitude of this topic, two presentations will be kept at the present IASL Conference. The first presentation will be about the preparatory period of the championship and the second one – by Mr. Farkas - will represent the period from 2016 till the final utilisitation of the event.

That is natural, that the right of the organization of such a Megasport event as a world championship, raises up the questions of financial and legal conditions. Thus, first, the presentation demonstrates the budgetary of the expenditures of the preparatory years of this event from 2013 to 2015 then it examines these conditions in the aspect of the 2017 FINA World Championship.

Above the ordinary tasks of the event managment the study not only introduces the total balance of the 2017 FINA World Championship, but it deals with legal obligations from the canditation's procedure to the organizations. Beside these topics, it introduces the second order effects of the championship. Within these effects, we could mention the sport facilities, first as they will be appropriate for other sport goals in the future as people shall be able to do sport activities from the leasure sport to the highest olympic development programmes. These prove that these facilities would be established for long term. Secondly, a championship has affects on the real estates as it attracts investors.

The figures act upon to the prestige of the event:

  •  the total cost of the Championship will be 89,843 Billion HUF (314,5 Million USD). This amount of money covers the costs of those swimming pools' reconstructions, where compatitions will be held, road reconstructions, expenditures of the reconstructions of Margaret Island and the reconstruction of the quay of Pest.
  •  In 2013, the preparatory tasks and the expense of the extraordinary measures cost 1,4 Billion HUF (4.9 Million USD)
  •  In 2014, the budgetary expenditure was 1,585 Billion HUF (5.547 Million USD) covering the costs of the support of the development of sport facilities.
  •  In 2015, the budgetary expenditure was 6,979 Billion HUF (24.43 Million USD). It was the expense of the first part of the reconstruction of the Dagály swimming pool and the cost of other extraordinary measures.
  • (from 2016: the financial datas will be contained in another part of this study)

These costs were ordered by government decrees.

The presentation represents of course the contractual bakground of the Event aswell.


Problems of   improving of the legislation and international policing in the field of security of large-scale sporting events.

(on an example the preparation for the World Cup in the Russian Federation)

Anatoly Peskov, Head of RIOU Security Department, IASL Board member

Russia is actively preparing for holding of Football Confederations Cup in 2017 and the World Cup in 2018. In particular, our state adopted a significant amount of legal acts on security of sporting events. In addition, Russia has signed in 2016 Council of Europe Convention on an Integrated Safety, Security and Service Approach at Football Matches and Other Sports Events, in 2014 - the Council of Europe Convention against Manipulation of Sports Competitions. However, how are all these conventions implementing? Moreover, can Russia ensure a proper international level of security of the World Cup? The author answers all these questions.  

The author examines the problem of the realization of international obligations in the field of sports safety and security by Russia. In particular, the he investigates the problem of creating national football police points and the legal status of foreign police officers who will carry out professional tasks in the territory of Russia. The special attention is paid also to compliance the norms of the Russian legislation and FIFA Stadium Safety and Security Regulations.

It is noted that Russian legislation does not provide any preferences and immunities for police officers of foreign states being on duty on territory of Russia. The same situation in other countries, because the Vienna Convention "On Diplomatic Relations" (1961) does not cover police officers performing official tasks in another country. Other international instruments also do not regulate the powers of such police officers.

The author is convinced, that international law should more clearly regulates the procedure of staying such police officers in foreign countries, because they are carried out important international tasks in the fight against global terrorism, criminal syndicates and the world network of criminal organizations. He also considers, that the Russian Federation should adopt legislation confirming recommendations of the Council of Europe on police co-operation (2006), or any other legal way to confirm the status of foreign police officers, who will perform the task of ensuring public law and order for the World Cup in Russia