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JUAN DE DIOS CRESPO: “WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IS THAT CAS REMAINS INDEPENDENT IN THE FUTURE”

Lawyer Juan de Dios Crespo stressed the importance of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) remaining “independent” in the future and reflected on the challenges facing sports arbitration in the face of the COVID-19 health and economic crisis, at the ISDE Webinar, the digital meeting promoted by the Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economía (ISDE) as part of the activities of the ISDE Sports Convention (ISC).

Under the title ‘Sports arbitration in times of COVID: TAS & BAT’, Juan de Dios Crespo analysed the consequences that the pandemic has brought to sport, such as salary cuts and the extension of contracts beyond 30th June in order to finish professional football leagues.

“The reduction in players’ salaries caused by the pandemic will depend on each country and its national laws, and on each footballer,” said the lawyer from the Ruiz Huerta&Crespo law firm, who went on to explain how the International Football Federation (FIFA) has clarified the emergency measures dictated during the most critical phase of the pandemic in a new guide published in June..

In this new text, FIFA, Crespo pointed out that the transfers of professional football players and the termination or extension of contracts should be studied “case by case” and according to the legislation of the countries in which the player is currently employed.

However, the former external legal advisor to LaLiga and LaLiga Santander, LaLiga SmartBank, and foreign football clubs also stressed the need for CAS, the international arbitration body based in Lausanne (Switzerland), to maintain its independence in the resolution of conflicts.

“The most important thing for CAS is that it is independent. I’m not saying it won’t be independent now, in the future. The good thing about COVID-19, if anything, is that the CAS has managed to ensure that today all documents are sent electronically. And let’s hope that this custom is here to stay,” said the ISDE professor and President of the Sports Law Section of the Valencia Bar Association from 2000 to 2012 and again from 2019.

This is the sixth ISDE Webinar during the state of health emergency decreed by the COVID-19 pandemic, within the ISC, the congress on sports law and industry organised by ISDE, in collaboration with LaLiga, the Madrid Chamber of Commerce and the Madrid Bar Association.

In the previous sessions various experts have appeared such as: the Brazilian lawyer Daniel Cravo, expert in sports law at ISDE and member of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Football Lawyers (AIAF); the Director of the Women’s Football Area of LaLiga, Pedro Malabia; and the Brazilian lawyer and ISDE professor Marcos Motta, who reflected on the challenges facing the transfer system and football agents in the face of the health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus.

Also in previous sessions, the Heads of eSports at Movistar, Ander Pérez and Guillermo Mañas, spoke about a social phenomenon, eSports, which has an audience in the millions. The Directors of As.com and Marca.com, Luis Nieto and Emilio Contreras, and the Assistant Director of the legal portal Iusport, Irene Aguiar, addressed the challenges and the near future facing sports journalism in the post-coronavirus era, and the lawyer Juan de Dios Crespo spoke about sports arbitration in times of COVID-19 and the legal consequences caused by the postponement or cancellation of major sporting events.

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Lucas Ferrer Pintó Ruiz & Del Valle

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