CHOREGIA 6 (2): 19-27, 2010 Full text (PDF file)

The Sporting Exemption in European Case Law (The "Olympique Lyonnais" case).

D.O.I: http:dx.doi.org/10.4127/ch.2010.0049

MARIOS PAPALOUKAS

(Department of Sport Management, Peloponnese University)

Abstract

In the early nineties, when the "Bosman" case arose, sports authorities were faced with a great challenge. The widely accepted autonomy and self-regulation of the sports sector was at stake. If sports were to be treated as just an-other economic activity without exceptions and if its specific characteristics were not recognised, the whole athletic establishment would be endangered. Since then there were many efforts both from member states and from sports entities in order to establish the so called "sporting exemption" on a political level as well as before the European Court of Justice (henceforth ECJ). The "Olympique Lyonnais" case presents an opportunity for the ECJ to rule in favour of the existence of the exemption. Advocate General E. Sharpston delivered her Opinion on the 16th of July 2009 supporting the exemption. The present contains a summary of this opinion as well as remarks on the effect that this case is going to have on the athletic establishment if the ECJ adopts the Advocate General's views on the matter.

Key Words: Sports law, sporting exemption, proportionality, European law, free movement of workers.

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