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FIFA and UEFA rules found to be an abuse of dominance by Spanish Court

On Monday 27 May, echoing the judgment of the European Court of Justice in December 2023, a Spanish court found that UEFA and FIFA authorisation rules, which prevented the emergence of competing leagues (including the European Super League), were an abuse of dominance. The Spanish court ruled that both UEFA and FIFA must cease their anti-competitive practices. The Spanish Court has not openly endorsed projects like the European Super League, confining itself instead to tackling the abuse of dominance practiced by some of UEFA and FIFA's authorisation rules which have established barriers that prevent the development of different leagues in competition with them. 

The decision by both courts underlines the importance of scrutinising regulations imposed by such organisations to ensure they do not unfairly hinder market entry or limit innovation and competition. Many of the non-abusive pre-authorisation rules of both UEFA and FIFA will remain. In fact, the Court confirmed that the revised UEFA authorisation rules, which were changed in June 2022, are not affected by today's judgment, so it remains to be seen how this judgment will impact UEFA's governance rules. 

Nonetheless significant barriers to the establishment of new leagues have been removed by this judgment which will no doubt encourage attempts to create competing leagues in the future. For further information you can read my previous article on the judgement of the Court of Justice.


competition eu & trade, competition compliance