The third session of MESGO VII edition took place in Brussels from 16 to 20 January 2023. The session was dedicated to the legal framework in sport and co-directed by Nathalie Alaphilippe and Jean-Christophe Breillat, both lawyers at CDES.
Nathalie Alaphilippe, Lawyer and MESGO director, CDES
Jean-Christophe Breillat, Head of Legal Affairs, CDES
Throughout the week, MESGO participants had the opportunity to attend the presentations in the following locations across Brussels
- Loto Park, RSCA Constant Vanden Stock Stadium Anderlecht
- Royal Belgian Football Association
- Business & Science Poland (Branch in Brussels)
- European Parliament
- Autoworld Brussels
- King Power at Den Dreef Stadion
The session started on Monday afternoon with two introductory presentations on the concept of lex sportiva by Franck Latty (Professor of International Law, University of Paris 13) and the basics of Swiss by Antonio Rigozzi (Attorney-at-law, Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler). Then, we moved to a round-table discussion with Antonio Rigozzi (Attorney-at-law, Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler), Catherine Pitre (Head of Case Management, Sport Resolutions) and Rui Botica Santos (Founding Partner of CRA Law Firm, CAS arbitrator).
Loto Park: Round-table discussion about “Arbitration in Sport: pros and cons. Is CAS the only remedy?” with Rui Botica Santos (Founding Partner of CRA Law Firm, CAS arbitrator), Catherine Pitre (Head of Case Management, Sport Resolutions) and Antonio Rigozzi (Attorney-at-law, Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler).
On Tuesday, following a welcome speech given by Sylvie Marissal (Human Resources Director, Royal Belgian Football Association), we discussed in-house legal management within sporting organisations, by introducing the question of disciplinary proceedings and legal strategy. The issue of the fight against doping was also discussed.
Royal Belgian Football Association: Presentation about “the management of a legal department: from legal strategy to risk management” by Efraim Barak (Founder of Efraim Barak, Sport Law and Consultancy)
Royal Belgian Football Association: Presentation about “The disciplinary powers of sports organisations: the importance of sound proceedings” by Loïc Alves (Legal Counsel, FIFPRO and MESGO IV graduate)
Royal Belgian Football Association: Presentation of WADA by Benjamin Cohen (General Director, International Testing Agency (ITA))
Royal Belgian Football Association: Round-table discussion about “The anti-doping example – the importance of global harmonisation and perspective for other areas (match fixing/ abuse in sport…)” with Jean-Christophe Breillat (Lawyer, CDES), Benjamin Cohen (General Director, Independent testing authority (ITA)),
Sophie Kwasny (Head of the Sport division, EPAS executive secretary, Council of Europe) and
Christian Kalb (Director, CK Consulting)
The following day was dedicated to EU law and its application to sport. After a presentation on the fundamentals of EU Law and sport by Michele Colucci (Member of the Ethics Unit, European Commission), the MESGO participants had the opportunity to visit the European Parliament and to discuss the sustainability of the European model of sport.
Business & Science Poland: Presentation about “EU law and sport: in the name of autonomy and specificity of sport” by Michele Colucci (Member of the Ethics Unit, European Commission)
European Parliament: Round-table discussion about “the sustainability of the European model of sport” with Jean-François Brocard (Associate Professor and Economist, CDES), Alexandre Husting (Youth, Culture and Sport Attaché of the Permanent Representation of Luxemburg to the EU), Laura Vilches (Head of European Public Affairs, La Liga), Katarzyna Biniaszczyk (Coordinator of the Sports Group, European Parliament – MESGO V graduate), Matteo Zacchetti (Policy Officer, Sport Unit, DG EAC, European Commission) and Benoît Keane (Solicitor, Keane Legal, Brussels)
Day 4 was organised at Autoworld Brussels where the MESGO participants presented a case study about the FIM’s judicial system and had the opportunity to discuss their reflections with our two experts, Françoise Emery (CEO, Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, FIM) and Alejandra Salmerón García (Senior Legal Counsel, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, FIA). Following this, Yves Le Lostecque (Head of Erasmus Mundus and Sport Unit, EACEA) provided an overview of the European funding sources available for the sports sector, before the workshop on “Creative Thinking” organised by Trevor Holmes (Lead Trainer, Bevel). In the evening, a team-building event was organised – a dinner and beer tasting in a traditional Belgian Bar “Moeder Lambic”.
Françoise Emery (CEO, Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, FIM)
Alejandra Salmerón García (Senior Legal Counsel, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, FIA)
On the final day, the issue of EU lobbying was tackled during a round-table discussion with Glenn Cezanne (Founding and Managing Director, Time and Place Consulting Brussels), James Ogilvie (EU and Governmental Affairs Manager, UEFA), Teodora Pletosu (EU Public Projects Specialist, UEFA) and Lukas Declercq (EU Affairs Director, Europe Active).
Glenn Cezanne (Founding and Managing Director, Time and Place Consulting Brussels) and Lukas Declercq (EU Affairs Director, Europe Active)
James Ogilvie (EU and Governmental Affairs Manager, UEFA)
The next MESGO session will take place in Mainz (Germany) from 6 to 10 March 2023 and will be dedicated to Ethics and Integrity.