Dec 19, 2019

Dispute Resolution In The Sports Industry. Part 1 | Oluwatobiloba Adesemowo

It is often said that as long as relationship is being established, dispute is inevitable. For as long as we interact with each other as humans in our daily routine, there is every likelihood to have disagreements, different opinions and ideas which could bring about dispute; however, the beauty is ensuring that disputes are resolved amicably. To facilitate a fast and easy means of settling dispute especially in the sports industry, it has been encouraged that the Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms should be adopted.  

There are various types of disputes that can emanate from the sports industry because of the large size of the industry and based on the area of specialization of the athletes or personnel. These disputes include but not limited to sports commercial disputes, on-field of play disputes, contractual disputes and organizational/ institutional disputes. It is no doubt that the Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is utilized to resolve a variety of sports-related dispute which could come in various forms as mentioned earlier.

ADR provides parties with fair, independent, and impartial forums to resolve disputes. The most common forms of ADR proceedings are mediation and arbitration. An increasing number of sports organizations are including mediation and arbitration as the primary means for resolving disputes that arise on the field of play as well as commercial business matters.[1]ADR can provide quick, private, and fair dispute resolution among sports atheletes and sports organization which has been made evident in various circumstances using the Court of Arbitration for sports as an example.

ADR is a flexible, time and cost efficient mechanism that helps parties in sports disputes to come to practical and satisfactory solutions. Parties benefit from having a neutral forum for resolving an international dispute through a single procedure. ADR can be set up in a way that facilitates efficient enforcement of the outcome. It is interesting to note that other independent bodies asides the CAS has found it important to create a platform to help sports athletes resolve disputes amicably.

 One of such bodies is the World Intellectual Property Organization which is based in Geneva Switzerland with various ADR options in particular arbitration and mediation for the resolution of international commercial disputes between private parties. WIPO’s ADR services for specific sectors include dispute resolution advice and case administration services to help resolve disputes in the field of sports.[2]

While the efforts of the WIPO is very much appreciated, we shall subsequently be looking at the jurisdiction the CAS and examine the need for a sports tribunal to help facilitate ADR mechanisms.

Oluwatobiloba Adesemowo

"Tobi is a tax and sports lawyer. He is currently a management strategist at Lagos Tigers Football Club. He is also a tax associate at SIAO partners. During his leisure, he loves to research on sports and tax related issues."

[1] American Arbitration Association journal on using adr to resolve collegiate, professional, and sports-business dispute
[2] last accessed on 23rd Nov.2019