Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) demonstrates its independence

The media note below published by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) yesterday clearly demonstrates the independence of that Tribunal:

THE COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (CAS)

PARTIALLY UPHOLDS THE APPEAL FILED BY

PARIS ST-GERMAIN AND NEYMAR DA SILVA SANTOS JR.

Lausanne, 17 September 2019 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rendered its final decision in the appeal filed by the French club Paris St-Germain and the player Neymar Da Silva Santos Jr. against the decision taken by the UEFA Appeals Body on 18 June 2019. The player was found to have insulted match officials through social media at the end of the Champions League match Paris St-Germain vs Manchester United on 6 March 2019 and sanctioned with a 3-match suspension from UEFA competition matches for which he would otherwise be eligible.

Following an appeal filed on 18 July 2019 by both Paris St-Germain and the player, this CAS procedure was referred to a Sole Arbitrator, Prof. Ulrich Haas (Germany). A hearing was held at the CAS headquarters on 13 September 2019, during which the parties and their legal representatives were heard.

In application of Art. 15 (1) lit. b of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations which provides for a minimum suspension of two matches in case of “abusive language” directed at a match official, the Sole Arbitrator partially upheld the appeal and reduced the suspension imposed by UEFA on Neymar Jr. to two (2) UEFA competition matches for which he would otherwise be eligible.

Whilst Neymar was only partially successful in having his suspension reduced, nevertheless it does demonstrate the importance of having a specialist sporting Tribunal.

CAS has developed and matured considerably over the years and is perhaps a warning to Sports Governing Bodies to allow Participants to proceed smoothly and expeditiously and in a cost-effective way to challenge decisions through an appeals process that otherwise would be blocked off.

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