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Since the 1970s, the EU Court of Justice has ruled that sport is subject to European competition law and fundamental freedom of movement of persons and service insofar as sport constitutes an economic activity. However, sport has some specificities that lead to the question of a possible diluted application of competition law and fundamental freedoms.
4 pending cases ISU, ESL, Refaelov and Diarra raise 3 issues:
- Can a sport federation be a regulator of a sport and organiser of competition, and so block or restrict access to the competition organisation market?
- Do the forced arbitration clauses in favour of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) undermine the autonomy and the effectiveness of European law? The latter being established in Switzerland, it has no obligation to apply European competition law, and if it does, no obligation to apply it correctly.
- Can the federations’ rules constitute a breach of EU labour market regulation?