A recent Superior Court decision shows sports organizations should be left to their own devices when it comes to matters of internal governance, says a Toronto lawyer. In Cricket Canada v. Bilal Syed, Justice Freya Kristjanson overturned parts of an arbitrator’s decision that imposed new bylaws on the sport’s governing body in the country following a disputed board election. Jordan Goldblatt, partner at Adair Barristers LLP who acted for Cricket Canada, says his clients were pleased with the result. “I think the lesson here is that, ultimately, what organizations are permitted to do under their bylaws is a decision that is best left to members,” he says. Goldblatt says if the arbitrator’s decision had been endorsed, it had the potential to cause chaos within Cricket Canada or any other organization where the membership objects, either immediately or at some point in the future, to bylaw changes they are directed to make. “What … [Read more...] about Decision affirms independence of sports organizations
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The 2016 Olympic Games open Friday in Rio de Janeiro amid concerns about the Zika virus, pollution along the city’s famous beaches, and the city’s readiness to accommodate hordes of visitors.But the deeper problem in international sports goes beyond the immediate issues facing the Rio Games. Widespread corruption threatens to undermine the viability and credibility of the entire structure of international sports, speakers warned at a panel on Thursday, the opening day of the 2016 ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.“We know change is possible” from efforts to reduce corruption in other fields, said Preston L. Pugh, who works in the compliance field as a partner at Pugh, Jones & Johnson in Chicago. But, he said, “The skepticism about the opportunity for change in international sports is well-founded.”The Olympics offer the latest example—but far from the only one—of the failure of regulatory structures to control corruption in … [Read more...] about Should ABA take on a greater role in fighting international sports corruption?
Table Tennis England has become the first sport to lose access to public funding due to failure to comply with UK Sport and Sport England’s Code for Sports Governance.The sport was due to receive a total of around £9 million from Sport England over the 2017-21 funding cycle, with the latest tranche being due this month. As a body in receipt of more than £1 million, table tennis is a “Tier 3” organisation, required to comply with the most rigorous set of Mandatory Requirements (“MRs”) in the Code. However, following its AGM on 8 July at which the members voted on some of the Board’s proposed governance reforms, the governing body has found itself in breach of its funding agreement with Sport England.Sport England has suspended its funding of table tennis with immediate effect.As we have commented previously, whilst the release of the Code saw the introduction of a ‘gold standard’ of governance principles for sport in … [Read more...] about Sport England Announce First Suspension Of Funding For Failure To Comply With Governance Code
Governance in sport has been a hot topic in the UK in recent months, with the release of Sport England and UK Sport’s “Code for Sports Governance” on 31 October 2016, followed by the inevitable media scrutiny on some of UK’s sports governance juggernauts, including (in particular) the FA and, most recently, the revelations and allegations in relation to British Cycling.The UK has sought to lead the way by setting the ‘gold standard’ for sports governance. The hope was, and remains, that the UK Code will be looked upon internationally as a model for good governance. Unsurprisingly, given the high-profile scandals in sports governing bodies in recent years, the topic has indeed been in the spotlight on the international stage, including at an EU policy level.On 2 February 2017, the European Parliament (“EP”) adopted a Resolution “on an integrated approach to Sport Policy: good governance, accessibility and … [Read more...] about Should the EU Introduce its own Governance Code for Sport?
On Monday 3 April, the FA council unanimously approved a “strong package of reforms” put forward by Chairman Greg Clarke, unanimously accepted by the FA board, last month.The announcement comes after pressure on the FA to reform, most recently in light of Sport England and UK Sport’s new Code for Sports Governance and its failure to address its predominantly male and white governance structure (only 2 of its 122 council representatives are women). A backbench motion in February proposed by the chairman of the Culture, Media and Sports Committee, Damian Collins, resulted in a parliamentary vote of no confidence in the FA’s ability to govern the sport and reform itself. This was followed by Clarke promising to step down if the FA Council did not support his proposed governance reforms. Pressure on English football’s governing body includes the possible withholding of millions of pounds of public funding (including National Lottery funds) … [Read more...] about International Sports: Clarke’s Governance Reforms Approved by FA Council – Sowing Seeds of Change
In September 2015, the Department of Culture Media and Sport Committee’s (“Committee”) launched an inquiry into Combatting Doping in Sport Inquiry (“Inquiry”). This post looks at the origins of the Inquiry, its scope and finishes by looking at its powers and asking whether they are sufficient. OriginNot even the most loyal fan could deny that Sport has had many doping scandals: Balco (athletics and baseball), Festina (cycling), Armstrong (cycling) and Operation Puerto (cycling) to name just a few.Doping in sport is a divisive topic. Some claim the war on drugs in sport is lost; others claim drugs should be legalised; some claim doping should be criminalised.Regardless of where you previously fell down on the argument, in December 2014 German broadcaster ARD/WDR published a documentary produced by investigative journalist, Hajo Seppelt, that, in this author’s opinion, severely challenged the assumptions on which current anti-doping strategies … [Read more...] about The Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s Combatting Doping in Sport Inquiry: Origin, Scope and Powers
What would the impact be on UK sports, and in particular football, if the UK were to exit the EU?In the Bosman ruling in 1995 the European Court of Justice declared that, in accordance with the Treaty of Rome’s rules regarding the principle of freedom of movement for workers, EU sportspeople can ply their trade in any other EU Member State without any restriction on the grounds of nationality. As such, an EU national has the same rights to play here as any UK national player.If it left the EU, the UK would no longer necessarily be bound by those principles of free movement. On the face of it, EU sportspeople would then be subject to the same criteria-based tests as ‘foreign’ (i.e. non-EU national) players before they could join a British team.These tests are set out by each UK sport’s governing body (for example, the Football Association, the Rugby Football Union or the English Cricket Board – they are not homogenous across different sports). The criteria … [Read more...] about Sports Immigration – Brexit’s Latest Political Football
Following the unlikely victory of little-known Sport Pacifico over relative giants Estudiantes in an Argentinian cup match this month, came the still more unlikely admission by Sport Pacifico defender Federico Allende that during the game he used a needle to pierce opponents, a tactic he openly bragged about in a radio interview.The jury is out on how to punish Allende, although the club’s president has hinted at expulsion. Had this incident not taken place in the course of a sports match, or possibly regardless of the fact that it did, many would have expected (or now do expect) the law to intervene.The incident begs the enduring question of what function should be served by the law in the adjudication of violence perpetrated during sports matches. Or are sports-related offences best left to sports’ various governing bodies to handle? In this two-part article, Sports Shorts looks in Part One at how the law has historically treated violence in sport, and in Part Two … [Read more...] about Crime and Punishment: Violence in Sport – Part One
The Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports Inc. (COMPPS) has made a submission to the Senate Inquiry into Foreign Bribery, calling for a federal legislative response to tackle the threat of local and cross-border match fixing in Australia.As sports betting in legal and illegal markets continues to grow, and with an ever-rising incidence of match-fixing across sport globally, COMPPS warns of “the potential for the threat of match fixing to strike at the core of sport’s integrity and the perception of sport’s integrity in Australia”.COMPPS is comprised of the governing bodies of major professional sports in Australia: the Australian Football League (AFL); Australian Rugby Union (ARU); Cricket Australia (CA); Football Federation Australia (FFA); National Rugby League (NRL); Netball Australia; and Tennis Australia. Keeping Sport Clean: Australian InitiativesIn the Coalition’s submission, dated 8 September 2015, Malcolm Speed, Executive … [Read more...] about Australian Sports Coalition Makes Submission to Foreign Bribery Senate Inquiry
No doubt much to the delight of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Sergio Marchionne, the Vatican recently announced that Pope Francis would use a modified Jeep Wrangler to serve as the popemobile for his upcoming U.S. visit September 22 to 27. Pope Francis will visit New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.In years past (but as recently as 1978), the primary mode of public transport for popes was the sedia gestatoria, which was a chair carried on the shoulders of papal attendants. Although popemobiles have existed since 1930 (from 1870 to 1929, popes refused to leave the Vatican at all!), popemobiles were usually luxury brand vehicles. However, the choice of a Jeep Wrangler to serve as the popemobile for Pope Francis is not surprising when one considers that Pope Francis, who is the first citizen from the Americas, first non-European and first Jesuit priest to be named pope, chose the name Francis in part because he was believed to be a man of peace and a man of poverty. Pope Francis … [Read more...] about For Pope Francis, It’s a Jeep Thing!