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Preserving Fair Competition in Esports: How Should We View the Lifetime Ban Handed Out to Shyshko?

Introduction and Background In its statement published at the end of last year regarding the disciplinary action taken against Alexey Shyshko, the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) pronounced that Shyshko’s actions had “tarnished the reputation of esports as a whole” and “threatened the very foundation of fair competition in esports”.[1]  ESIC’s public statement accompanied a lifetime … Continue Reading

All I Want for Christmas is Effective Sports Governance

At the start of this year, following his appointment as Chair of the UK’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (“DCMS”), Damian Green MP put sports governance firmly on the agenda. This commitment came after the publication of the Whyte Review in June 2022 (the “Review“), which was an independent report into allegations of mistreatment … Continue Reading

Tackling Online Abuse In Sport: The UK’s Online Safety Act 2023

After years in the making, the Online Safety Act (the “OSA”) has come into force after receiving Royal Assent on 26 October 2023 (as discussed in our blog here). Amidst the proliferation of social media use, there has been a worrying increase in the levels of abuse that players, athletes, officials, managers, coaches and other … Continue Reading

How The UAE Is Legislating To Promote Grassroots Sports

This article was written for and first published by LawInSport. The original version is available to view here The UAE government has always placed a strong emphasis on physical education for Emirati and expat youth and as early as 2010, the government started introducing binding regulations 1 in that space. In time, this also started trickling down … Continue Reading

On-field Negligence in Sport: The English High Court rules in Czernuszka v King

On 23 February 2023, the English High Court ruled that amateur rugby player Natasha King had been negligent when she executed a “tackle” on opponent Dani Czernuszka “without any regard for the well-being or safety of the [latter] and intent only on exacting revenge” during a women’s developmental match.[1]  As such, Ms King (the Defendant) … Continue Reading

How Schools and Private Entities Have Engaged in NIL Activity

Now that a regulatory framework is in place, either by way of the NCAA’s interim policy or through the various state laws discussed in the second iteration of this blog series, academic institutions and private entities, such as alumni and companies, have quickly engaged in the NIL space. This final post of our three-part blog … Continue Reading

How US Federal and State Legislatures Have Addressed NIL

As discussed in part one of this blog series, the landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court in the Alston case effectively paved the way for collegiate athletes to profit from their own name, image, and likeness (“NIL”). While many states quickly enacted legislation addressing NIL, it remains to be seen whether and how … Continue Reading

Name, Image, and Likeness in US College Athletics: One Year Later

In the United States, college athletics are as popular as professional sports, generating revenues of over $1 billion for the 2021 fiscal year. Despite this popularity, college athletes have long been classified by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) as having amateur status. The NCAA—which promulgates the rules and regulations pertaining to student-athletes’ participation and … Continue Reading

Changes to the “crown jewel” sports events amid UK broadcasting review: An updated analysis of the UK’s Listed Events Regime

Following on from the growing popularity and success of the Women’s Super League and the great form of the England’s Women’s Team, there is a real sense of anticipation and excitement ahead of the UEFA Women’s European Championship finals, to be kicked off this Wednesday by England’s Lionesses versus Austria. In late April, the UK … Continue Reading

Disqualified For Technical Breach Despite No Advantage: The Cautionary Tale Of A Rally Driver

This article was written for and first published by LawInSport. While nearly all of the column inches relating to recent FIA stewarding decisions have (unsurprisingly) focused on the fall out of the ‘Hamilton v Verstappen’ F1 2021 season finale, an interesting recent decision1 in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC3)2 underlines just how impactful decisions in the fast-paced world of … Continue Reading

Real Estate Law May Soon Play A Role In The Metaverse

This article originally appeared in Law360 on February 15, 2022. Authored by Alexis Montano, Real Estate Associate, Phoenix, AZ. The metaverse is a mix of augmented virtual reality that operates with the help of blockchain functions such as nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, and cryptocurrencies. Think of the metaverse as a universe with several platforms making … Continue Reading

The FA v Marc Bola

On 3 September 2021, The FA announced that Marc Bola (“the Player”), of Middlesbrough FC, had been charged with misconduct for an alleged Aggravated Breach of the FA Rules, 2021/2022 (“the 2022 Rules”), rules E3.1 and E3.2 (“the Charge”). The Charge related to a Tweet the Player posted from his Twitter account on 14 April … Continue Reading

The Jump Off: Two Equestrian Leagues Continue To Go Head To Head

The equestrian sport of show jumping takes place across the world, attracting an ever-increasing media profile.  It therefore comes as little surprise that event organisers have sought to ride the wave of the sport’s growing interest and publicity by seeking to establish various new show jumping competitions. Two such leagues are Major League Show Jumping … Continue Reading

Andre Onana and UEFA’s Anti-Doping Regulations – A Cautionary Tale

Introduction Andre Onana, the first team goalkeeper for AFC Ajax (“Ajax”) and the Cameroon national team played his first competitive match for over nine 9 months on 13 November 2021, when he started for Cameroon in a 4:0 victory over Malawi in a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 African Qualifier. Prior to this match, Onana had … Continue Reading

European Parliament proposes new regime to combat piracy of live sports content

Scale of the piracy problem The threats posed to the funding of sport by media rights piracy is nothing new.  However, as recognised by the European Parliament in its resolution published 19 May 2021, developments in digital technology and the proliferation of access to digital content (in particular through IPTV) have, in turn, increased the … Continue Reading

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

United States District Court Delivers RKO as Motion for Summary Judgment is Dismissed

A recent United States district court decision on copyright infringement has brought the issue of recreation of tattoos in video games back into the spotlight, and has cast doubt on an earlier ruling from another district court in a different judicial circuit. The gravamen of the case was the digital depiction of five tattoos on … Continue Reading

Messi scores goal in trade mark dispute: registering celebrity names as trade marks

The Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) has ruled that, after a decade-long legal battle, football ace Lionel Messi has the right to register his name as a trade mark. This interesting case confirms that celebrity names are registrable as trade marks. However, whilst there are some advantages to seeking such protection, there … Continue Reading

Gambling sponsorship and advertising shakeup in Spanish football

The Spanish Government has published a proposal for measures which, if passed, will restrict gambling advertising in Spanish football. One of the proposed measures is the ban of gambling sponsors on football shirts. Although the measures are designed to protect consumers, they could have significant financial implications for Spain’s top clubs. It is worth noting … Continue Reading

Intermediaries and contractual certainty – lessons from Winlink Marketing Limited v The Liverpool Football Club and Athletics Grounds Limited

It’s no secret that gambling has become a huge part of football. With over £349 million in kit sponsorship being paid to Premier League football clubs in the 2019/20 season alone, it is clear that betting companies and the gambling sector as a whole make a significant contribution to the ongoing financial sustainability of professional … Continue Reading
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