Taking upon the responsibility of preventing violence and racism in sports.

It seems that when we see violent and racist acts in European football, we see private and public authorities taking action to try to prevent and sanction such acts and conducts. We see great security agendas, action plans and police forces; we also see administrative bodies that apply firm and serious sanctions to offenders. As if this was not enough, we find tough and rigorous laws that regulate particular situations that take place when faced with violence in sporting events. All this, without mentioning the stadiums: fully equipped with security requirements and measures, organized security personnel and an important volunteer base that takes care of additional “safety” procedures. It´s fair to ask ourselves: ¿If European professional football faces frequent violent acts and conducts in and out of the stadiums, if we see football in this continent being tainted with horrible racist acts; then, how do smaller, poorer countries in other parts of the world deal with this critical issue?

Recently a small Central America country made a great effort to pursue the prevention and sanction of violence and racism in sports. Even if its own Ministry of Justice and Peace found little budget to finance such work, they found aid in an international body (United Nations) to make this objective possible. Months later these same authorities presented a draft bill to the pertinent sports sectors: national federations, National Olympic Committee, professional football league, players association, clubs, public authorities and members of the Legislative power.

This initiative presented stated three pillars: a) the use of education as a long term preventive measure. The creation of state programs to rehabilitate sport values, to promote the fair play and to respect – both from a personal as from a sporting perspective – the rival in any sporting event or competition; b) the prevention, organization and coordination of the fight against violence and racism by means of establishing security measures by both private and public parties, and c) the sanctioning of conducts that violate a conduct code or infraction regime. Spectators, sportsmen, stadium owners or administrators, and organizers of sports competitions where informed about this new legal framework, especially in regards to the responsibility and obligations each one of them would have in this “new order” against violence and racism in sports.

In consequence, we could say that this small country has few resources to finance great security agendas or action plans, little resources to create and finance an administrative body to deal with the registry of infractions in sports, its stadiums barely count with basic security requirements, there is little personnel educated in violence prevention and day by day it sees how violence and racism are slowly entering and sickening its national sports competitions. Nonetheless, they have acted responsibly and worked hard to see the beginning of a Sports Act-Law against Violence and Racism in Sports. This legal framework recognizes the limitations of its own social and economic reality, as well as it highlights the strong points that make this project viable and workable in the near future. If this project helps to prevent and reduce violence and racism in sports, all those hours of hard work would definitely have been worth the while.

Sportia Law is greatly pleased to have being part of this constructive and challenging initiative, that since from the start has brought us closer to our social responsibility values and our eagerness to collaborate in this remarkable professional experiences.

Sobre la especificidad del deporte y “su” Derecho.

El Derecho del Deporte, una joven rama del milenario árbol del derecho, tiene afán de ser completamente distinta a otras ramas. La justificación es su especificidad. Un concepto que aplicado al Deporte y al Derecho, permite establecer distinciones y excepciones para la actividad deportiva respecto a otras actividades desarrolladas por el ser humano. Un sencillo ejemplo bastará para comprenderlo: en la práctica totalidad de los sistemas jurídicos de nuestro entorno, es impensable recibir una sentencia que no contenga un relato de hechos y fundamentos que la sustenten. Sin embargo, recientemente, hemos sabido que el Tribunal Disciplinario de la UEFA ha comunicado la imposición de sanciones a los jugadores Pepe y Pinto, así como al sedicente entrenador del Real Madrid José Mourinho, sin siquiera comunicar la fundamentación que sustenta las sanciones impuestas.

En un sentido similar, el Código de Procedimiento del Tribunal Arbitral del Deporte, permite al Tribunal comunicar la parte operativa del laudo arbitral, antes que las razones, disponiendo de un plazo de tres meses prorrogables para comunicar tal fundamentación. Paradójicamente, el laudo es ejecutable, aun sin fundamentación, desde su notificación. Más ejemplos; la práctica totalidad de Estatutos y Reglamentos de Federaciones Deportivas, prohíben a sus miembros recurrir a los Tribunales Ordinarios, cercenando un tradicional Derecho Fundamental como es el de acceso a la Justicia, para que toda controversia se ventile en órganos privados ajenos al control jurisdiccional.  Dicha distinción de nuevo, está amparada en una etérea e inaprehensible especificidad del deporte, aunque es obvio que la imposición de una sanción de suspensión de dos años para la práctica de cualquier actividad deportiva, o la condena a que un jugador pague a su anterior club una cantidad superior a 18 millones de euros va mucho más allá del deporte y esa presunta especificidad.

Y un último ejemplo, transcrito literalmente del laudo arbitral que impuso al ciclista Alejandro Valverde una suspensión de dos años: Incluso si las pruebas de la operación puerto pudieran ser consideradas como obtenidas ilegítimamente, de conformidad con el Derecho Suizo tales pruebas podrían ser utilizadas, incluso habiendo sido obtenidas con violación de derechos humanos, si existiese un interés público prevalente. En el presente supuesto, la lucha internacional contra el dopaje es un interés público que tiene más valor que una posible violación de derechos personales del Sr. Valverde. Y no son ejemplos aislados. El sistema jurídico deportivo conoce infinidad de excepciones y zonas de sombra. Bienvenidos al Deporte, a “su” derecho (esta vez con minúsculas) y la útil coraza de su especificidad.

Alberto