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Legal framework

Published: Wednesday 1 May 2013, 13.01CET

UEFA has enacted a clear legal framework, applicable to the competitions that it organises, to combat the risk of match-fixing. Several rules have been introduced, which have also been added to the various competition regulations.

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With regard to its competitions, UEFA has a strict approach in its admission criteria since 2007 based on Article 50.3 of the UEFA Statutes:

"The admission to a UEFA competition of a member association or club directly or indirectly involved in any activity aimed at arranging or influencing the outcome of a match at national or international level can be refused with immediate effect, without prejudice to any possible disciplinary measures."

This general provision has been introduced within the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League regulations. In this regard, Arts. 4.02 and 4.03 of the respective regulations, state as follows:

"If, on the basis of all the factual circumstances and information available to UEFA, UEFA concludes to its comfortable satisfaction that a club has been directly and/or indirectly involved, since the entry into force of Article 50(3) of the UEFA Statutes, i.e. 27 April 2007, in any activity aimed at arranging or influencing the outcome of a match at national or international level, UEFA will declare such club ineligible to participate in the competition. Such ineligibility is effective only for one football season.

"When taking its decision, UEFA can rely on, but is not bound by, a decision of a national or international sporting body, arbitral tribunal or state court. UEFA can refrain from declaring a club ineligible to participate in the competition if UEFA is comfortably satisfied that the impact of a decision taken in connection with the same factual circumstances by a national or international sporting body, arbitral tribunal or state court has already had the effect to prevent that club from participating in a UEFA club competition.

"In addition to the administrative measure of declaring a club ineligible, as provided for in paragraph 4.02, the UEFA Organs for the Administration of Justice can, if the circumstances so justify, also take disciplinary measures in accordance with the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations."

In its disciplinary regulations UEFA establishes that all persons bound by UEFA's rules and regulations must refrain from any behaviour that damages or could damage the integrity of matches and competitions and must cooperate fully with UEFA at all times in its efforts to combat such behaviour (Article 12).

For example, the integrity of matches and competitions is violated, by anyone:

  • who acts in a manner that is likely to exert an unlawful or undue influence on the course and/or result of a match or competition with a view to gaining an advantage for himself or a third party;
  • who participates directly or indirectly in betting or similar activities relating to competition matches or who has a direct or indirect financial interest in such activities;
  • who uses or provides others with information which is not publicly available, which is obtained through his position in football, and damages or could damage the integrity of a match or competition;
  • who does not immediately and voluntarily inform UEFA if approached in connection with activities aimed at influencing in a unlawful or undue manner the course and/or result of a match or competition;
  • who does not immediately and voluntarily report to UEFA any behaviour he is aware of that may fall within the scope of this article.

In 2014, the XXXVIII Ordinary UEFA Congress held in Astana on 27 March unanimously approved the resolution "European football united for the integrity of the game”. This resolution has determined 11 comprehensive points which provide a legal base for actions and harmonisation of the rules in each UEFA member association.

Last updated: 13/02/17 19.03CET

Regulations

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