football sport cases & fifa laws & regulations of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)

The Europe, Middle East and Africa market is currently ranked the second largest sports market in the world with sponsorship identified as one of the fastest growing segments.The Middle East is very much considered to be the prime emerging sports market and continues to grow and offer scope for development. This potential across the region and specifically in the United Arab Emirates brings vast opportunities and challenges and will most certainly act as a catalyst for sustainable development. This development will require a parallel development in the legal infrastructure related to sports. Therefore, the following is a summary on the development of sports law in the UAE.

The UAE is a young jurisdiction but is maturing fast in the field of sports law and dispute resolution. Significant developments have occurred in the past decade. Several sports in the UAE have progressed from amateur to the professional level and as a result, now follow the rules of international sports governing bodies. One of the most established sports associations in the UAE is the UAE Football Association. The UAE Football Association (the governing body of football in the UAE) was established pursuant to Ministerial Resolution No. 17 of 1972.

With regards to sports dispute resolution, the UAE Football Association have established a number of sports dispute resolution bodies. The UAE Football Association was influenced by the FIFA dispute resolution model because it is the global governing body of association football. In addition to the football dispute resolution bodies, another dispute resolution body that was recently established in the UAE is the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS)’ Alternate Hearing Centre in Abu Dhabi. The CAS has proven to be particularly popular as a dispute resolution mechanism for resolving disputes involving international sports.

The “Emirates Sports Arbitration Centre” is also expected to be established in the near future. The law that will establish this center is still in the draft stage. The idea behind establishing the Emirates Sports Arbitration Centre is to create a national model of CAS for all the sports disputes in the country. The new CAS Centre and the establishment of other sports dispute resolution bodies are significant because of the prevalence of arbitration clauses in the rules and regulations of sports governing bodies.

In view of these developments, the law relating to sport in the UAE will no doubt continue to grow and improve as the UAE continues to attract international sporting competitions in the future. The litigation aspect of sports has to do mainly in instituting or resolving conflicts that arise between players, clubs, organizations under sponsorship contracts or otherwise; filing regulatory appeals or appeals against suspensions, de-affiliations, anti-doping and other substance use appeals; challenges relating to the interpretation of rules and regulations of the governing bodies of certain sports etc. making official complaints to sporting bodies or authorities or raising petitions and claims before a court of adequate jurisdiction.

In this regard, our lawyers can assist you in the following:

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