Matthieu Reeb (CAS): Wie der Sportgerichtshof mit zeitkritischen Fußballstreits umgeht

Der Generalsekretär des CAS hält es für sinnvoll, Klubs nach Spielmanipulationen erst im Jahr nach dem Verstoß zu bestrafen. Grund: Mehr Zeit, mehr Klarheit.

Quelle: CAS


Mr. Reeb, do you face a growing number of football cases and appeals related to the suspension of football clubs?

Reeb: The number of football-related disputes at CAS is increasing every year. In 2012, we registered more than 200 procedures related to football generally. This represents 55% of the CAS procedures. This figure comprises all disputes, i.e. breach of employment contract, payment of transfer indemnities, payment of solidarity contributions (education of players), match-fixing and disciplinary matters. The number of disciplinary cases related to football is also increasing but not dramatically. This Summer, the CAS had to face a certain number of urgent appeals, all connected to match-fixing issues in Turkey (Fenerbahçe and Besiktas).

Matthieu Reeb ist der Generalsekretär des Internationalen Sportgerichtshofs in Lausanne, dem obersten unabhängigen Sportschiedsgericht der Welt. Das Gericht ist die höchste Instanz für Streitfälle der Uefa, Fifa und des IOC.
Matthieu Reeb is Secretary General of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)

Concerning this global package of appeals and requests for urgent interim measures (Fenerbahçe, Besiktas, Salzburg) which were filed at the CAS in July and August, I must stress that all procedures have been conducted by CAS in accordance with the calendar discussed and agreed with all parties concerned. All decisions expected from CAS have been rendered on the dates previously agreed and announced publicly. I can add that we have been complimented by counsels on each side for the conduct of these arbitrations. It was indeed an intense work accomplished by the CAS Court Office and the CAS panels involved.

Is it right to assume that these cases will increase in the future because of Financial Fair Play issues and match fixing?

Yes probably but this will depend of the number of cases handled by the football federations concerned. The number of appeals is one element but the complexity of the disputes is even more important. Match-fixing cases appear to be difficult to handle due to the complexity of the evidentiary proceedings (protected witnesses, admissibility of evidence (i.e. in case of telephone recordings) etc…). Financial fair-play implies issues of overdue payables and of break-even calculations. For the moment, we have received appeals with respect to overdue payables only.

Is the time pressure for the judges of CAS still tolerable?

Yes because the arbitrators who sit in CAS panels know the time constraints of each case and they accept their nominations only if they are available to handle the case at stake. Our arbitrators are used to working on an expedited basis. This one of the advantages of the CAS. We currently have 280 CAS arbitrators and at the end of this year, they will be more than 300. It is indeed important to have a sufficient number of arbitrators available to deal with our increasing number of procedures.

Which alternatives do you see? Would it be clever to wait until the final verdict is made and suspend the club one year later?

As far as the match-fixing cases are concerned, I would recommend that the procedures before UEFA be conducted and completed during the following football season, in order to give enough time to the parties to proceed before CAS if necessary, so that the final decisions can be rendered in May or June. The situation would be clearer at the end of the national football championships and well in advance of the preparation of the UEFA club competitions. The negative aspect of this is that a club suspected of a rule violation may participate in the UEFA competition on the same year but this solution would prevent the last-minute change of teams participating in UEFA competitions.

Is there a possibility to install some kind of ad-hoc arbitral tribunal as CAS did in the Olympics?

In theory yes, but the period of time during which the arbitrators would be on stand-by is quite big (more than 2 months). During Summer time, we consult our arbitrators in order to constitute a list depending on their availability to facilitate the selection for urgent cases.

[Matthieu Reeb provided written answers to our questions.]

Stefan Merx für JP4

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