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CAS panel rules on Jersey FA's application to join UEFA (CAS 2016/A/4787, Jersey Football Association v. UEFA)

On 28 September, a panel of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”) in Lausanne issued its award in the arbitral proceedings between the Jersey Football Association (“the Jersey FA”) and the Union of European Football Associations (“UEFA”), in which the Jersey FA appealed the UEFA Executive Committee’s decision of 1 September 2016 to reject the Jersey FA’s application for UEFA membership.

The CAS Panel (composed of José Maria Alonso Puig, President, Dr Dirk-Reiner Martens and Dr Jan Räker) dismissed UEFA’s challenges to CAS’s jurisdiction and to the admissibility of the appeal and confirmed that UEFA had standing to be sued as a sole respondent. It also partially upheld the appeal, concluding that membership decisions were a matter for decision by the UEFA Congress rather than the UEFA Executive Committee.

Partially upholding UEFA’s case, however, the Panel also concluded that the Jersey FA does not fulfil the requirements of Article 5(1) of the UEFA Statutes to become a member of UEFA. The Panel accordingly declined to order the UEFA Congress to admit the Jersey FA as a member.

Christopher Hancock QC and Belinda McRae of 20 Essex Street represented the Jersey FA. Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC of 20 Essex Street represented UEFA.  

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