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Sports Law: Principles and Practice Essay


Since the 1990s, different organisations implemented and perfected the sports law since the discipline is under different managements. Conflicts of interest are likely to rise ever since sports became a commercialised affair in Europe. The competitive discipline see prominent people fail doping tests after years of participating in various sports forcing them to reimburse sporting authorities for the years in which they won.

The Structure and Organisation of Sport

Organization of a sporting event by one Federation

The sports policy program does not recommend the organization of sports through a single Federation. Initially, organisation of sporting events was the responsibility of private sports organisations. One Federation can organisation sports event, but it does not make sense that the same organisation will follow all the legislative, political, and economic laws objectively. International and national federations have to play a role in organizing a sporting event since they have to investigate various facts about sports personalities including criminal records, administrative records, and civil responsibility (FIFA/CIES programme in sport management, 2010).

Swiss law and world sport

The Swiss law is important in the world sport because all public sporting associations are under its authority. As such, each time they seek to participate in international sporting activities, they have to consult the head office in Switzerland. The Swiss law binds each club, athlete, member, and federation to a sports organisation that recognises the Swiss law. As a state law, the Swiss law permits federations and clubs to organise sporting events within and outside Switzerland. That Swiss law assumes the responsibilities of a national law that protects its territory against external interference (Houlihan, 2002).

The EU law and world sport

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) deals with different cases of breached contracts, failed doping tests, and unscrupulous sports management technique. The European Union law ensures that the euro zone complies with the set sporting standards as the sport law permits. The European Union law ensures that member states within the Euro zone have their cases solved in case they go beyond the national jurisdiction. In the sporting field, the Swiss, British, Irish, and French among other member states can appeal to the higher court, which is the ECJ when they feel that the national sports laws do not address their grievances effectively. Arguably, the EU law explains why one federation cannot organise a sports event objectively since it has to follow a regional law. The European Union law creates a supranational community within the euro zone (FIFA/CIES programme in sport management, 2010).

The Status of the Athlete

The contract

An employment contract must first recognise that the footballer is an ordinary citizen eligible for tax payment and employment in the country of residence. It also has to have an open-ended agreement stipulating any possibilities of termination upon which the footballer and the manager agree. The club must equally mention if the contract is close-ended, and the possibility of renewing the contract. A footballer has to establish that the contact has a clause mentioning when the contract will end. Moreover, the contract should protect the image rights of the footballer. The contract must outline how footballer’s commissions, benefits, and salary increases with improved financial condition. All benefits accrued to the footballer must also cover insurance scheme and bonuses like game appearances whether full time or as a substitute participant.

FIFA rules for sports agents

Currently, in order to become an agent, FIFA requires that affiliation with new agents in only achievable through the relevant Member Association. A qualified agent must obtain an application form from Football Association (FA), fill and submit to the same association with relevant documents like proof of residency and address details. Upon filling the form, I must pay Criminal Records Bureau appropriate fee for check before allowed to sit for examinations regulated by both FA and FIFA. Fortunately, if I fail in exam, I may immediately reapply but if the results turn out to be below average consequently, I may reapply after a year. As stipulated in Article 9 of FIFA Player’s Agents Regulations, it is mandatory that as an agents I must acquire professional indemnity insurance. Therefore, FIFA does not directly register new agents but does it through national FA of a given country (Siekmann, 2012).

GCC and athletes freedom

In each athlete contract, the athletes have a provision of free movement like other ordinary citizens. Bahrain and Kuwait among other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries sign foreign athletes mostly from Eastern Africa because these countries limit options for transferring to other countries. GCC countries offer steady payments that athletes their countries. As such, they have no legal authority that gives them freedom to move from one country to the other. However, they can also find jobs in the military and other civil service organizations (Masteralexis, Barr, & Hums, 2015). GCC allow players to freely move within the member states, however, there is fear such free movement may paralyze job nationalization. GCC chamber argues that depriving players’ right to movement is a violation of human rights and deters the development of tourism sector.

Settlement of Sports-Related Disputes

State courts and courts of arbitration

State courts are legal institutions mandated to solve disputes within the national territory. Some case in the sporting world involves members and non-members of clubs or federations, and they need a third party not affiliated to either groups involved in the dispute. The arbitration court that does not favour either side of the divide plays the role and the Court of Arbitration for sport (CAS) for Sport enjoys a global trust from federations across the world as it has the jurisdiction to provide an independent legal intervention when such dilemmas arise (FIFA/CIES programme in sport management, 2010).

How the Sport Federations bring the Clubs to accept CAS

Sport Federation as FIFA affiliate ensures that disputes are resolved through CAS as in Article 66 of FIFA statutes. FIFA recognize CAS to resolve disputes originating from affiliate bodies like confederation, players, and clubs. Sport Federation ensures the clubs abide to required regulations to avoid sanctions by CAS. Moreover, the Sport Federation offers advisory opinions to the clubs provided by CAS.

Advantages of Court of Arbitration (CAS)

CAS has many advantages for the world of sport since it offers an independent legal oversight authority to provide sound ruling. Moreover, CAS offers non-partisan judgement because it gains nothing from favouring any member of a club. Any favour may daunt its reputation leading to dissolution, thus, it has an obligation of treating members equally to avoid summoning by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the clubs or federation. CAS offers credible and reliable judgement since it arbitrates under the jurisdiction of the State law. In addition, CAS instils discipline among the clubs and players.

Problem associated with CAS

A major problem arises because CAS will have to decide impartially when arbitrating and it would obviously offend one side of the team (Masteralexis et al., 2015). Additionally, a problem may arise after conducting an investigation. Since the state law does not allow the CAS to prosecute without it involvement, this might affect the efficiency and reliability of the whole system.

Fundamental legal principles

Two fundamental principles in disciplinary matters in sports include respect to contracts and avoiding performance enhancement drugs. In sports related matters, one can invoke the occurrence of a doping case, inability to get fair remunerations representation from a sports agent, or violation of a close-ended contract among other legal concerns. However, when it comes to disciplinary matters, violation of the sports law entails failing a doping test or moving to another club before completion of a contract even when the current club does not pay well in comparison to the terms of the incumbent contract (FIFA/CIES programme in sport management, 2010).

Field of play decision (FOD) and legal consequences

FOD is an action taken in the field by the referee while the much is in progress. Moreover, in these settings, the official has to interpret the rules in a live match or competition and consequently recording the decision made. When the referee makes the wrong decisions, there are legal consequences for his/her actions. Legal actions may include summoning and depending on the outcome, there could suspension or loss of job. The matter may be worse especially if there is involvement in bribery.

Appeal to FIFA Dispute Resolution

Arguably, FIFA sometimes has difficult in dealing with disputes as it failed in the Football Association of Ireland. CAS had to intervene making it the next relevant authority through which a complainant can appeal against a ruling by the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber. One only appeals after confirming that the chamber did not follow the legal regulations of the sports law in administration of justice (FIFA/CIES programme in sport management, 2010).

Funding and Economic Law in Sport

Intellectual property (IP)

Experts describe a sports sponsorship as an avenue through which one party uses the other to gain consumer goodwill, while the receiver earns financial benefit. There are several IP rights like copyright, trademarks, patents, and design rights. An event organiser has to respect the intellectual property of both parties entering into a writer sponsorship contract. The IP related to sporting is patent in which the contract the agent right to use or sell the agreement or intervention (Mitten & Bruce, 1987). Trademark allows the organizer to use the name or symbol to distinct him or her from others.

Sponsorship agreement

A sponsor mostly seeks the image or reputation of a player, brand recall capabilities, and the ability to gain a competitive advantage. In most cases, the sponsored team or player looks at the reputation and financial backing of the sponsor. The three most important parts that a sponsorship agreement should address include the objectives of the contract, the interests of both parties entering the deal, and the outcomes of the association.

Companies strive to support major FIFA or Olympic games worldwide, and they can spend a fortune to get global brand recognition through such events. When company X has interest in gaining from a player transferred to another club after an endorsement, then FIFA has to intervene. FIFA rates clubs differently, and it influences public perception and brand recall. As such, before expecting returns from an endorsed player or club, company X has to ensure that the player moves to a club whose ratings match the one of the team left (FIFA/CIES programme in sport management, 2010).


Athlete rights

In the doping procedure, the World Anti-doping Association (WADA) gives the right for testing urine and blood samples among other bodily components likely to contain metabolites and indicators of performance enhancement chemicals. WADA gives guide on the roles and responsibility of the athletes, information on anti-doping rule violation, and Therapeutic Use Exceptions (TUEs). WADA outlines the right to personal freedom, equal treatment, fair hearing, and right to fair competition (Masteralexis et al., 2015). Moreover, WADA provides a chance to decrease period of ineligibility and takes into consideration privacy rights of the athlete.

Civil & Criminal Liability of the Parties Involved

Disciplinary liability mostly associates an athlete with misconduct while in the field. Disciplinary actions involve issuance of a red or yellow card that deters one from playing a certain period. In most cases, it affects team productivity because they have to play with one person or two people less depending on the number of disciplined people. A criminal liability occurs when a player faces accusations for assault, racist actions, or injury of another player deliberately. The injury could completely change the life of the player because he or she could suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and fear playing or physical injury that deters movement. As such, a player can commit a criminal liability while in the play field also. When unintentional, a foul result in a disciplinary action such as a penalty as the field of play rules permit. When intentional, a foul becomes a criminal liability in which FIFA has to intervene and obviously calls for the attention of CAS.

Private Insurance

Insurance is important because athletes or footballers among other sports personalities are likely to face injuries in fields requiring medical attention and sometimes compensation. Sports contracts have remunerations and private insurers ensure that the sponsors and managers keep to their end of the bargain concerning athlete’s health.

Organization of a sporting event


The event is a rugby tournament between Samoa and Fiji playing in the U.S. Based in New York, the players must find a good hotel to rest one week before the tournament and a field to practice. They have to adjust to the weather and the changing culinary habits. As such, I will contract a medical team after contacting various insurance companies of the players’ whereabouts.


Getting certification from the state rugby organization (SRO)

The legal document makes the sports courts understand my affiliation to a legally recognized global rugby association

Doping test

It involves carrying out a doping test with the WADA standards while observing the ethics of privacy.

Insurance for players

Players have to get private insurance with at least a two years cover of not less than US$56, 000 to cover property loss or injury.

Registration with the CAS

CAS will provide arbitration services in case I address a grievance in relation to SRO’s management. CAS officials will also oversee sporting torts during the event to know who tells the truth during arbitration.

Emergency planning

It secures additional players, protects against changing weather, provides of medical team, and provides the playing/living conditions.

Involving an SRO certified referee

The referee should not interpret the civil and criminal liabilities when in the field of play.

Adhering to contracts

Payment and treatment of players as per the terms of contract with particular emphasis on the sport law clauses (Match-Fixing in International Sports: Existing Processes, Law Enforcement, and Prevention Strategies, 2013).


. (2010). Web.

Houlihan, B. (2002). Dying to win: Doping in sport and the development of anti- doping policy. Strasbourgh: Council of Europe Pub. Web.

Masteralexis, L. P., Barr, C. A., & Hums, M. A. (2015). Principles and Practice of Sport Management. Cambridge University Press. Web.

Match-Fixing in International Sports: Existing Processes, Law Enforcement, and Prevention Strategies. (2013). Cham: Springer International Publishing. Web.

Mitten, M. J., & Bruce, W. B. (1987). Professional Sports Franchise Relocations from Private Law and Public LawPerspectives: Balancing Marketplace Competition, League Autonomy, and the Need for a Level Playing Field. Maryland Law Review, 56(1), 58-148. Web.

Siekmann, R. C. R. (2012). Introduction to international and European sports law: Capita Selecta. The Hague: T. M. C. Asser Press. Web.

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