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OCA ‘leading the way’ in sports arbitration

03 Jun 2014
Kuwait City, Kuwait: International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates believes the Olympic Council of Asia is leading the way in sports arbitration and setting a trend that other continental governing bodies can follow. Speaking at the OCA HQ on Tuesday, the Australian sports leader praised the OCA for inviting the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to have a permanent presence during this year’s Asian Games, which will be held from September 19 to October 4 at Incheon, Korea.

“The OCA is leading the way in this regard in terms of resolving quickly any disputes that may arise during the Asian Games,” said Mr Coates, who is also President of CAS.

“We have provided a service at the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and World Cup, but Asia is the first continental games to ask us to join them. This could be a trend for the future regarding maybe Europe when they start their own games and PASO (Americas).”

On the invitation of the OCA, CAS will set up an ad-hoc committee for the duration of the Asian Games, providing arbitrators and legal service free of charge. Mr Coates said the ad-hoc committee would involve six people, with five from Asia and one from Australia, and an office at which aggrieved parties can file their case. They are hoping to resolve any disputes within 24 hours.

The CAS President was speaking after a meeting of the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) at the OCA HQ. Although ICAS meetings had been held before in Iran and Syria, this was the first time to assemble in a Gulf state.

Other points discussed during the ICAS meeting were the report of the ad-hoc committee at the Sochi Winter Olympics, the rules of the ad-hoc committee for the Incheon Asian Games, to approve the financial statement and to discuss the record 408 cases over the year, with the majority in football related disputes.

The ICAS meeting set the scene for a two-day Sport Arbitration Forum for Africa, Asia and Oceania on June 4-5, under the patronage of OCA and ANOC President HE Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah.
“The purpose of the forum is to explain CAS to the legal representatives of the National Olympic Committees and how to use the services,” he said.

Sheikh Ahmad and Mr Coates will provide opening speeches, before presentations on three main themes from expert speakers.
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