UEFA, other continental football confederations and prominent legal stakeholders have been examining ways of strengthening cooperation in disciplinary matters at the latest UEFA Disciplinary Workshop, held in Limassol, Cyprus.
Discussions centred, among other things, on the potential for closer ties, and greater exchanges of know-how on common disciplinary issues.
UEFA’s disciplinary bodies – the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body, Appeals Body and Ethics and Disciplinary Inspectors – were briefed about the new provisions included in the 2017 UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, such as the pro bono counsel role, and new ethics rules from the perspective of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
UEFA has introduced the concept of legal aid into the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (Article 39). A key component of this legal aid is the provision of pro bono counsel to assist individuals without financial means in proceedings before the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body or the UEFA Appeals Body.
With the new ethical provisions adopted in 2017, UEFA has enhanced powers to ensure that recognised ethical principles are respected and guide the behaviour of everyone who is bound by these provisions.
Other key items addressed in Limassol were a review of disciplinary sanctions, and the independence of the Swiss-based CAS according to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, the supreme court of the Swiss Confederation.
CAS jurisprudence involving both UEFA and world football’s governing body FIFA in the 2016–18 period, and the main challenges around the new 2018 UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, were also presented and debated.
UEFA’s disciplinary unit met for talks with representatives from FIFA, as well as with delegates from the confederations of Asia (AFC), North and Central America (CONCACAF) and Africa (CAF).
“Events like the disciplinary workshops are extremely important to share knowledge and experience between UEFA disciplinary body members,” said Angelo Rigopoulos, UEFA’s managing director of integrity.
“It offers the opportunity to examine CAS jurisprudence, and the possible consequences that may be related to our internal proceedings. We also had the chance to hold talks with our colleagues in other confederations on common issues that we are currently facing on disciplinary matters.”