UCL Faculty of Laws


Sports and competition law

08 March 2017, 4:00 pm–6:00 pm

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Event Information

Open to



UCL Graduate Law Society and UCL Centre for Law, Economics & Society


UCL Chandler House (room 118), 2 Wakefield Street, London WC1N 1PF

Sports and competition law

  • Prof. Ben Van Rompuy – Leiden University on “The Role of EU Competition Law in Tackling Abuse of Regulatory Power by Sports Associations”
  • Prof. Dr. Ian Blackshaw on “State Aid and Sport: Some Recent EU Competition Law Rulings Regarding Certain Spanish Football Clubs”

About the event

In recent decades sports has emerged as an important sector for competition regulation. Since the seminal ruling of the European Court of Justice in Meca-Medina which clarified the sporting exception rule with regard to the application of EU Law to sports regulations, the world of sports has increasingly seen the intervention of Competition Law. This is mainly because of the immense commercialisation of sports, be it broadcasting rights or ticketing arrangements. Considering the huge economic impact that sports has on the EU and the passion which spectators have for their respective games, it is pertinent to understand the role of Competition Law in shaping the contours of sports regulations,whether that is with regard to sale of the Football World Cup & Olympics tickets, the joint sale of media rights or the legality of the Financial Fair Play Rules. Currently, the two biggest issues in this interesting interface of Sports and Competition Law are firstly, the legality of State Aids granted to football clubs by national governments and secondly, the ever important issue of the abuse of the regulatory power by sports authorities.

About the speakers

Prof. Dr. Ben Van Rompuy is Assistant Professor of Competition Law at the Europa Institute of Leiden Law School and Professor of Competition policy at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). His main research interests lie in the fields of European and comparative competition law and EU internal market law. Ben has particular expertise in the application of European law and competition law in the media and sports sectors. He has published widely in these areas and regularly acts as an advisor and expert witness for media companies, sports associations, athletes, and public authorities. He holds a doctoral degree in law and masters’ degrees in international and European law and in communication studies from the VUB. He is managing editor of the European Competition and Regulatory Review and editor-in-chief of the Asser International Sports Law book series (Springer).

Prof. Dr. Ian Blackshaw is an International Sports Lawyer and a former Vice President Legal Affairs of the ISL Sports Marketing Group, Lucerne, Switzerland. He is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales; Visiting Professor at several Universities in the UK and abroad, including Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, and the University of Pretoria, South Africa; a prolific author of articles and books on international sports law; and regularly chairs and speaks at international sports law conferences and seminars around the world. He is a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Lausanne, Switzerland; a member of the Expert Dispute Resolution Panel of EQUESTES in The Netherlands; and also a member of the World Intellectual Property (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center, Geneva, Switzerland, where he adjudicates on the WIPO Panels on ‘Domain Name Disputes’ and ‘Expert Determination’ of International Commercial Disputes.

Who should come

This conference shall be beneficial not only for both competition law and sports law academicians and students but also for sports enthusiasts who are inquisitive regarding the impact of the EU Law on sports.

The schedule


Mr. Ben Van Rompuy on “The Role of EU Competition Law in Tackling Abuse of Regulatory Power by Sports Associations
Followed by Questions

Prof (Dr) Ian Blackshaw on “State Aid and Sport: Some Recent EU Competition Law Rulings Regarding Certain Spanish Football Clubs
Followed by Questions

Closing Remarks