COLLUSION! IN DEFENCE OF FREE SPEECH IN SPORTS AND THE UNACCOUNTABILITY OF GLOBAL SPORTS ADMINISTRATION BODIES
BY LYNDON T. NKOMO1
Global Sports Administrative Bodies are powerful and influential institutions. Sovereign States in their individual capacities struggle to deal with some of their rules and decisions. They also have direct jurisdictional authority over individual athletes. At the centre of their jurisdictional authority is their power to admit, suspend or expel both individual nations and athletes from participating in global sporting competitions. Athletes have to be careful about what and how to express themselves on and off the field because of restrictive rules on speech. Freedom of Speech in sports is, therefore, under serious threat because of multi-million dollar commercial interests in the form of sports sponsorships benefiting Global Sports Administrative bodies. Consequently, within the context of global sports administration some domestic constitutional freedoms such as freedom of expression rank below international rules set by these Global Sports Administrative institutions. Such conflict is not easy to resolve and it requires political rather than legal initiatives to resolve. Sovereign nations are unable to protect themselves and their athletes against some unfair decisions of global sports administrative bodies. Concerted efforts by groupings of nation states at continental or regional levels are an imperative in dealing with what appears to be administrative excesses of Global Sports Administrative Bodies.
Key Words: Global Sports Administrative Bodies, The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF), Freedom of Expression, Doctrine of Prior Restraint, Commercial Sponsorships
1 (LLB (HONS), LLM, MBA