The field of sports has evolved from an amateur activity that aims generally to improve physical health and entertain a limited target audience to a professional industry that attracts increasing capital investment and constitutes a source of living for millions of people on the national and international levels. Therefore, Egypt has issued the Egyptian Sports Law No.71 of the Year 2017. The main goal of Egyptian sports law is to provide work controls to ensure better athletic competition in Egypt, as well as systems for evaluating security and safety practices and services for sporting venues, as well as rules governing supplement use by athletes.
The Sports Law consists of 95 Articles including an explanation of the law, procedures, and scope of application of the law, dealing with a variety of sports-related topics; it is organized into 10 Chapters that cover a range of subjects, including:
- Sports Institution;
- Sports activity in Companies and Factories;
- Sports activity in Schools, Institutes and Universities;
- Sports Dispute Settlement;
- Investment in the Sports Field; and
- The Penalties.
The Sports Law is concerned with various matters, including, discovering talented players, as per Article No.63 of the Law, the sports authorities are obliged to establish centers to discover talented athletes and to sponsor them after seeking the opinion of the central administrative authority and under its supervision, provided that these centers adhere to the study and educational plans for all stages of pre-university education determined by the organizational rules issued by the Minister concerned with education. Further, Sports authorities also ensure the establishment of centers to discover and nurture talented athletes from people with disabilities and dwarfs, according to the type and degree of their disability, and in accordance with the Paralympic Committee's regulations and plans.
Moreover, investment in the Sports Field before the issuance of the Sports Law was not regulated, as there was essentially no regulation or distinction between semi-public entities, such as sports clubs, and private entities that establish a sports club, health club, gymnasium...etc., and Private companies remained largely subject to Egyptian general Companies, Civil and Commercial laws.
However, after the issuance of the Sports Law, it cleared up some of the confusion by distinguishing between sports entities and companies providing sports services, and establishing a guiding framework under which these, companies could operate. As Per Articles No.71 to 78 of the Sports Law, there are some conditions for the companies that are established to engage in the sports services business, such as they should take the form of Joint Stock companies, and these companies may offer their shares for public subscription in accordance with the provisions of the Capital Market Law, and their shares may be listed on the stock exchange. In addition, No sports services company may conduct its business unless it obtains a license from the competent administrative authority. Meanwhile, the competent Minister shall issue a decision regulating the rules for granting the license to practice sports services business, its conditions and procedures, and other regulatory matters. Sports services companies must provide the central administrative authority with their financial statements and final accounts no later than four months from the end of the company's fiscal year. These companies are committed to taking into account Egyptian accounting standards when preparing their financial statements.
Further, according to Articles No.79 to 81 of the Law, the clubs and organizations/authorities subject to the provisions of this law have certain obligations such as:
- Prepare a medical record for the players registered with them, including their medical history and to be updated periodically;
- Must take the necessary measures and precautions to prevent the spread of infection among the players and the technical and administrative bodies accompanying them;
- Develop plans and programs necessary to spread the culture of sportsmanship, fight riots in stadiums, reject violence and sports fanaticism, and educate the public about the ethics of sports activities; and
- Ensure, according to their financial conditions, the conclusion of a compulsory insurance policy against damages and risks arising from sports activities, with an insurance company licensed by the Financial Regulatory Authority.
The key component of the Egyptian Sports Law is the creation of a specialized body to settle sports disputes, as they would be no longer heard in front of the civilian Courts, as per Article No.66 of the law, providing an independent center shall be established in the Egyptian Olympic Committee called (The Egyptian Sports Settlement and Arbitration Center).
The Egyptian Sports Settlement and Arbitration Center, once it has jurisdiction, is competent to settle the following disputes, in particular according to Article 67 of the Law:
- Disputes arising from the application of the provisions of this law and the provisions of the basic regulations of the Egyptian Olympic Committee, the Egyptian Paralympic Committee, sports clubs and federations, and members of the general assemblies of these federations;
- Disputes that arise due to the interpretation or implementation
of contracts in the sports field, including:
- Television broadcast contracts for sports matches and competitions;
- Sponsorship contracts for professional players;
- Contracts for the use of trademarks during sports competitions;
- Advertising and advertising contracts;
- Licensing contracts for the use of player images;
- Training contracts between coaches and clubs;
- Contracts of players, players' agents and managers;
- Contracts of match organizing agents; and
- Other sporting disputes.
Finally, The Egyptian Sports Law specifies in Articles No.83 till Article No.95 the Fines and Punishments for spectators who insult, slander a natural, legal person, player, referee or a member verbally or physically, in addition to who violates the ticketing system, or who established, organized or managed a sports association in violation of the basic regulations of sports bodies and who are found in possession of drugs or fireworks, or establishing an illegal group or association.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.