Sports Law

The decision to establish our specialised Sports Law practice was demand-driven and a direct reflection of the importance which sports holds in the Middle East region.

The Sports Law Practice was founded in 2014 by Saleh Alobeidli & Co, Advocates & Legal Consultants and now it is an integral part of ICLO.

Our Sports Law team works exclusively on sports-related matters, providing the region’s most comprehensive range of sports law services. The firm has represented clients in various sports areas including football, horse racing and motor racing.

Sub-Areas of Expertise

Alternative Dispute Resolutions

Representing sporting bodies; football clubs; sports clubs; players & athletes and other sports-related clients before various national sports dispute resolution bodies, including the judicial bodies of the UAE Football Association (UAEFA), Emirates Racing Authority (ERA) and many others. International representations before various sports bodies in the GCC and worldwide including FIFA, FIBA, FIA and EFI as well as the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Alternative Dispute Resolutions

Representing sporting bodies; football clubs; sports clubs; players & athletes and other sports-related clients before various national sports dispute resolution bodies, including the judicial bodies of the UAE Football Association (UAEFA), Emirates Racing Authority (ERA) and many others. International representations before various sports bodies in the GCC and worldwide including FIFA, FIBA, FIA and EFI as well as the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Sports Events and Venue Management

Advising on all legal aspects of bidding; execution and commercial optimization of major events from bidding application & management through to ticketing, stadiums & Sports facilities; media & broadcasting; health, safety, insurance and environmental issues as well as all sustainability initiatives and developing profitability strategies to generate additional revenues before and after the main events.

Stakeholders and Commercial Relationships

Players’ contracts; coaches’ contracts, sports clubs; sports associations and governing bodies, disciplinary issues; doping; sponsors; media & social media and other forms of other “new media” communications.

All aspects of Sport, Team, Player and Event Sponsorship

Acting for right holders, event managers, athletes and organizations who commit significant resources to this crucial aspect of marketing, including advising on regional advertising guidelines and restrictions.

Brand Protection and Management

Merchandising and other licensing arrangements; merchandise distribution and sale arrangements; anti-ambush marking and anti-counterfeiting strategies and enforcement; trademark advice and registration, copyright protection and exploitation.

Broadcast Agreements

Television, radio, mobile phone and online control production, distribution management and exploitation, from the perspective of right holders, broadcasters and broadcast partners, related to sports competitions.

Achievements

Our team has been involved in a broad range of sports-related matters

Collaborating with Deloitte in providing various management services and products to football clubs and other sports entities.

Extensive support to local and international players in the negotiation and conclusion of their professional contracts.

Advising the Emirates Sports Arbitration Center in relation to drafting the Procedural Rules.

Advising the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) in relation to drafting the new Statute for the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF).

Active legal representations for both football clubs and players in various disputes before national judicial bodies, FIFA DRC and CAS.

Advising the Saudi Sport Arbitration Centre (SSAC) in relation to drafting the Procedural Rules of the Saudi Sport Arbitration Centre (SSAC).

Assisting Abu Dhabi Sports Council in hosting most of world-class sports tournament in Abu Dhabi.

Assisting the Pro League Committee in various matters including the drafting of regulations and legal representations.

Acting as counsel for a world-class advertising agency in negotiating, drafting and amending an agreement with a professional national football team.

Participating in the Technical Committee that produced the draft Federal Sports Law in the UAE.

Representation before the Appeal Committee at the Emirates Racing Authority (ERA).

Acting as the legal advisor for various football clubs in the GCC.

Key Contacts

LLM in Sports Law & Commercial Law

Saleh Alobeidli

Partner & Head of Practice – Sports, Media & Entertainment
Member of AIAF, ICC, ICSID

Former CAS Arbitrator and former member of the AFC legal Committee.

Saleh is a world-class leading sports lawyer and has an extensive experience in both the government sector and private practice. Beside his full right of audience before all UAE courts, he is a well-known advocate and arbitrator in football, motor racing and horse racing nationally and internationally.

Saleh is a guest speaker for the Sports Law Master at the Higher Institute of Law and Economics (ISDE) Madrid, an Editorial Board Member for the Football Legal, an active member of the (International Football Lawyers Association (AIAF) Paris.

LLM in Sports Law, Madrid.

Ralph Charbel

Associate and Member of the Sports Law Practice.
Editor-in-Chief of the Middle East Sports Law Platform

Ralph Charbel is an international sports lawyer.

Ralph represented various Lebanese Football Players before the Lebanese Football Association judicial bodies and represented top Lebanese Football Club before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). He participated in drafting the new Bylaws of the Lebanese Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (LWWF) and the Procedural Rules of the UAE Sports Arbitration Center (UAESAC).

In his previous roles he has had working experience in Moyersoen Avocats Law Firm in Paris under the supervision of the President of the International Association of Football Lawyers (AIAF) Ms. Patricia Moyersoen.

Ralph published his first book about World Sports in March 2018.