The idea that there is a “European model of sport
”, beyond the disparity of national organizations observed in different countries, was developed in a document published by the European Commission in 1998.
This document is to be placed in the stream of reflection resulting from the Bosman
ruling rendered in 1995, which had shaken the international sports movement and troubled multiple public sporting authorities. The Bosman
ruling of 15 December 1995
undoubtedly contributed to liberalizing the exchange of professional players between football clubs by declaring quotas on foreign players per team and the system of transfer indemnities not in conformity with European Law. But it also laid the foundations for consistent case-law, which admits that sporting rules may place limitations on the major freedoms guaranteed by the Treaty, provided that they pursue a legitimate objective and are proportionate. Insofar as the famous ruling handed down by the European Court of Justice questioned the extent of the regulatory power of international sports federations, some also feared that it would undermine the traditional foundations of the organization of the sport in Europe. Hence the feeling that the European sports model needed to be identified to be better defended.
Which sport model in Europe?
The document edited by the Commission started from the observation that all sports are organized according to a pyramidal structure, the base of which is formed by the multiple sports associations rooted locally. Above them come the national federations, which federate not only clubs but also the departmental and/or regional levels, which are themselves affiliated to an international federation. As such, they are responsible for the organization and promotion of their discipline on the national territory, as well as its representation on the international level. They set up the national championships at the end of which official titles are awarded and exercise a regulatory role, with the power to impose disciplinary sanctions on their affiliated members. These federations are in a monopoly situation, as there is only one organization per country...
Why not join us?
Football Legal is an independent media publishing football law contents on a daily basis
dedicated to all football law practitioners (lawyers, clubs, federations,
intermediaries, football stakeholders, etc.).
Register today and stay tuned to the latest legal news.