Following request by a Madrid Commercial Court for a preliminary ruling, the protracted European Super League Company, S.L. versus UEFA and FIFA case, was back in court this week, this time at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg.
Recalling the request for preliminary ruling by the Madrid Commercial Court, were the CJEU was asked for an interpretation of UEFA and FIFA’s alleged dominant and monopolistic positions in the light of European competition law, the Super League objects to the triple-fold role of the Sport Governing Bodies as regulators, commercial operators in their competitions while also being gatekeepers that inhibit rival competition.
In concrete terms, the Super League challenges the legality of specific UEFA (Art. 49 and Art. 51) and FIFA (Art. 22.3; Art. 71 and Art. 73) provisions and seeks recourse through disparate EU law provisions as contained under fundamental freedoms (Art. 45, 49 and 63) and under competition provisions (Art. 101 and Art. 102 TFEU).
The hearing provided an opportunity for most EU member states to side with UEFA and FIFA which favour the promotion of the European Sport Model. The European Commission on the other hand conceded existence of different ways to run sport and questioned the proportionality of UEFA threats to ban players.
The Attorney General is expected to deliver an opinion on the case on 15 December, which is non-binding. The EOC EU Office will be sure to keep you informed about future development in the case.
You can relieve the CJEU hearing here.