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Sports law


Professional sports unions

If first ignored by the world of sport, law appeared in this matter at the end of 1950's.

In France, the sports professionalism was born with football in the early 30 years (the 17 January 1931, the National FFFA Council (French Football Federation Association) adopts the principle of professionalism that leads to vote five months later status professional player), quickly followed by cycling.

But contractual relationships between athletes and their employers failed to recognized their rights.

This is when, under the leadership of Jacques Bertrand, a true pioneer in this field, is going to create the first associations of professional athletes. UNCP (National Union of Professional Cyclists) in 1958, with Jacques Anquetil and Louison BOBET; UNFP (National Union of Professional Footballers) in 1961 with Just Fontaine and Eugene N'JOLEA and UNBP (National Union of Professional boxers) with Germinal BALLARIN emerged.

They have since been followed by many others. Today, almost each sport is experiencing a defense association for its athletes.

Jacques Bertrand will also be the founder of FIFPro (International Federation of Professional Footballers) on December 15 1965 and FNASS (National Federation of Associations and Unions of Sport).

The mediatization

Soon, sporting events will allow TV to be a factor of development and audience.

By increasing continuously its financial contribution and taking advantage of new technology constantly innovative, TV channels were responsible for the growth that is experiencing the world of sports.

The legal particularism

All branches of public law and private law are involved in sports law, making it a true mix of all laws.

Moreover, public law interferes with private law ... and vice versa. This is, indeed, one of the greatest features of sports law. It applies to associations to private corporations or mixed economy, to athletes (private law matters) but within a framework of public law since (at least in France) it is controlled by the state for its organization, the latter proceeding by delegation of prerogatives of public power for the benefit of sports federations.

Judicialization: From the Leduc court case to the Sports Code

Before 1970, court decisions on sport are almost nonexistent.

The athlete, totally controlled by sport regulations issued by the federations, fears to bring a dispute before the courts. The first in France to do so will be the coach of Olympique Marseille, Lucien Leduc. He will argue before the Court of Appeal of Aix-en-Provence (judgment of June 1 23) after being dismissed by the District Court, ruling in labor matters (judgment of 1973er February 1), that his labor contract was breached by the Club. The Supreme Court rejected the appeal brought by Olympique Marseille in a judgment that will become a landmark decision (Cass. Soc. 29.10.1974).

Countless judicial decisions followed, definitely entering the world of sport into judiciary control.

Meanwhile, in France the strike of professional football players in December 1972 will cause a considerable change with the introduction of the Football Bargaining Agreement (Charte du Football Professional) and the Séguin report which will lead straight to the real first Sports Law of 1 October 29 called Mazeaud law.

It will be followed by the more known Avice Law of July 16 1984, modified many times since.

The abundance of regulations, legislation and case law will lead to the creation of a French Sport Code in 2006.

All areas of law interfere in sport and this matter has become so complex that it is now a matter of specialists.

The Team of February 23 1995
The Team of December 20 1989
France Football November 14 1997
The Team of 26 September 1987
The Team of 1er October 2014
The Team of 23.02.1995
France Football 14.11.1997
The Team of 26.09.1987
The Team of 01.10.2014
The Team of 20.12.1989

Some dates

    • 1872 Creation of the Havre Athletic Club.
    • November 1883 Creation of the Stade Français.
    • 1894 Creation of the International Olympic Committee in Paris at the initiative of Baron Pierre de Coubertin.
    • May 21 : Creation of FIFA.
    • April 7 1919 : Creation of the French Football Federation.
    • Orders 1945 : 1st legislation sports (Ordinance No. 1-45 from 1922 28 August on the activities of associations, leagues, sports federations and associations).
    • 1958 : Creation of the National Union of Professional Cyclists (UNCP).
    • November 16 1961 : Creation of the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP).
    • December 11 1962 : Creation of the Union of Professional Football Clubs (UCPF).
    • December 15 1965 : Creation of the FIFPro.
    • 1969 : Abolition of lifetime contract and adoption of the fixed-term contract for football professional players.
    • December 1972 : Strike of all professional football players.
    • 1973 : Creation of the Charter of Professional Football.
    • 29 October 1975 : Law No. 75-988 Mazeaud called Act on the development of physical education and sport.
    • July 16 1984 : Law No. 84-610 said Avice Act on the organization and promotion of physical and sports activities.
    • 28 1989 June : Law No. 89-432 Bambuck called law on the prevention and repression of the use of doping products during sports competitions and events.
    • 1999 : Changes in the law by the Minister of Youth and Sport, Mrs Marie-Georges Buffet. Law No. 99-223 from 23 1999 March on the protection of the health of athletes and the fight against doping and Law No. 99-1124 from 28 1999 December adopting various measures relating to the organization of sport and physical activity.
    • 1er August 2003 : Changes in the law by the Sports Minister Jean-François Lamour. Law No. 2003-708 on the organization and promotion of physical and sports activities
    • April 5 2006 : Law No. 2006-405 from 5 2006 April on the fight against doping and to protect the health of athletes.
    • May 23 : Consolidated texts and laws on sport (creation of the French Sport Code).
    • 9 2010 June : Law No. 2010-626 from 9 2010 June governing the profession of sports agent (Decree No. 2011-686 from 16 2011 June governing the profession of sports agent).
    • 1er February 2012 : Law No. 2012-158 to strengthen the ethics of sport and athletes' rights
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