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FIFA takes decisive action in strengthening women’s employment rights

In November, FIFA announced that its Stakeholders Committee (the “FSC”) had approved reforms aimed at strengthening employment rights for female players. These reforms offer necessary protections, such as guaranteed maternity leave, to all female football players playing for a club that is regulated by FIFA. At this stage the changes are only ‘proposed’, but they … Continue Reading

Nikolay Bodurov vs Esteghlal: FIFA DRC considers ‘force majeure’ effect of COVID-19

Following the near global suspension of football activity, many clubs were put in the unfortunate position of being unable to satisfy their existing contractual obligations as significant revenue streams from gate receipts, sponsorship and broadcast were all severely impacted. FIFA has recently published a decision which concerns the extent to which the global pandemic has … Continue Reading

Game-changer: following the developments in elite women’s rugby

Back in June, Sport Shorts considered the premature conclusion of the Premier 15s season, which was rendered null and void as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Following a near seven month period without any rugby for the elite of the women’s game, the newly branded 2020/21 Allianz Premier 15s campaign got underway on 10 … Continue Reading

Five Stars to the NBA: A Successful Bubble

Congratulations to the Los Angeles Lakers who won their 17th NBA championship on Sunday night after beating the Miami Heat 4-2 in an entertaining series. After an incredibly challenging and unprecedented season, the LA Lakers were crowned champions. The NBA, and Commissioner Adam Silver, have pulled off a meticulously executed project, which has been an … Continue Reading

Preparing the Pitch – England’s Return to Grassroots Football

On July 18, the English Football Association (the “FA”) announced plans for a ‘phased return’ to the pitch. For our American readers, the FA (formed in 1863) is the oldest football association in the world. It is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur and professional game in its territory, which includes England and … Continue Reading

FIFA announces changes to the transfer window

Sports Shorts previously commented on the FIFA guidelines that were recently published to address some of the practical issues that arose as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis. FIFA has now published temporary amendments to its FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (“RSTP“), which are binding. FIFA also published recommendations in response … Continue Reading

Are Digital Health Passports the Key to Unlocking UK Stadiums? The data privacy perspective

The ban on mass gatherings in order to combat the spread of COVID-19 resulted in the cancellation or postponement of sporting fixtures and live events globally. This includes the English Premier League that had to postpone all fixtures following the lockdown. On 10 May 2020, Boris Johnson announced that, as part of the UK government’s … Continue Reading

FIFA issues guidelines on dealing with COVID-19 related regulatory issues

On Tuesday, FIFA published a set of guidelines to address some of the practical issues that have arisen as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis. The key areas of focus were: (1) expiring agreements; (2) frustrated agreements; and (3) registration periods. A number of other issues were also considered in brief.   It is important … Continue Reading

Saracens’ relegation and the knock-on effects

Saracens scraped through into the quarter-finals of European rugby’s Champions Cup after a win over Racing 92 this weekend.  However, even if the three-time European Champions were to retain their crown, the club will not be competing in the competition next season.  This is because, after reaching agreement with the governing body of Premiership Rugby, … Continue Reading

Caster Semenya & ASA vs the IAAF – what it means for women and sport

On 1 May 2019, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”) delivered its ruling in the requests for arbitration by Caster Semenya and Athletics South Africa (“ASA”) against the International Association of Athletics Federation (the “IAAF”). CAS dismissed the requests, upholding the validity of the new IAAF Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athletes with Differences … Continue Reading

Dealing with on-field misconduct in Rugby League

In a recent on-field misconduct incident, Joel Tomkins, the current captain of rugby league’s Hull Kingston Rovers (ʺHull KRʺ) received a two-match ban and £500 fine from the Rugby Football League (“RFL”) for using offensive language towards a match official. At a hearing in Leeds, the disciplinary panel found that Tomkins swore twice at referee … Continue Reading

Not illegal, not specified, not described, not restrained – Leeds United, utmost good faith and the EFL Regulations

On 18 February, the English Football League (“EFL”) handed Leeds United a sizeable fine of £200,000 as well as issuing a formal reprimand and warning for sending staff to ‘spy’ on opposition training before matches. This was an initiative instigated by the Head Coach, Marcelo Bielsa. The decision followed Bielsa’s comprehensive PowerPoint presentation in January … Continue Reading

Ben Stokes & Alex Hales: Disciplinary Matters in England and Wales Cricket

Given its escalation all the way to the Bristol Crown Court, even the casual sports fan will have noted the media furore regarding Ben Stokes and the street brawl he engaged in last September. Although Stokes was found not guilty for the offence of affray, he has not escaped all liability for his actions just … Continue Reading

Eleven Sports challenges football ‘Blackout’ by broadcasting La Liga games

Eleven Sports, the global sports provider, has contravened UEFA rules, which prohibit live coverage of football in the UK between 14:45 and 17:15 on Saturdays by broadcasting Barcelona’s La Liga fixture against Athletic Bilbao. This period on a Saturday afternoon is commonly referred to as the football “blackout” as the UK does not broadcast any matches during … Continue Reading

FA Announce Restructuring of Non-League

With most footballing eyes firmly on the World Cup, and England’s crunch match with Belgium, the Football Association’s League Committee (FALC) has announced a change in the way the National League System (NLS) is going to be structured going forward in order to create a more consistent system across the country that standardises the movement … Continue Reading

Sun, sand and… collective bargaining? Beach volleyballers form players’ association

Most professional sports have players’ unions that are charged with representing the interests of the people who play the sport at the highest level. Until recently this was not the case for individuals who play that ever-popular Olympic sport, beach volleyball, but now almost 100 professional beach volleyball players have united to form the International … Continue Reading

A Bridge too far: English Bridge Union loses VAT appeal to European Court of Justice

The Court of Justice for the European Union ruled at the end of October that the trick card playing game duplicate bridge should not be considered a sport for VAT purposes. The English Bridge Union (EBU) charges participants of its competitions entrance fees, paying VAT on these fees. The body sought to challenge this VAT … Continue Reading

PACE adopts draft resolution on sports governance: a warning signal for the autonomy of sport?

In February 2017, Sports Shorts looked at the EU angle on sports governance, particularly the European Parliament’s Resolution on an “integrated approach to Sport Policy: good governance, accessibility and integrity”.  That resolution included a call upon EU member stated to introduce governance conditions on funding, similar to those contained in UK Sport and Sport England’s … Continue Reading

I am not a role model: player punishment

In June and July, Sports Shorts considered whether the law has any business punishing athletes for violent offences committed in the course of sport. This article asks the inverse: should sports teams and governing bodies wield any power to penalise athletes for their actions outside of sport – can this ever be justified and are … Continue Reading

Ricky Garard: CrossFit’s First Major Drugs Casualty

In August, Sports Shorts wrote about the updated 2017 CrossFit Games drugs policy (the “Policy”). In the final paragraph, we noted that it was hoped that the low level of breaches would continue and that the Policy would only truly be tested in the event a ‘big name’ athlete was found to have breached it. … Continue Reading
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