Docstoc

doc512_en

Document Sample
doc512_en Powered By Docstoc
					                      I




European Union :

Study on training of young sportsmen/women in Europe
- Final Report


Study of the national and European legal and political
frameworks preserving and promoting the training of young
athletes.



                                               June 2008
INTRODUCTION
I - INSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS                                    7
    A       Identification of the authorities responsible for the training of young athletes ... 8
    B       Role and powers of the competent authorities .......................................................... 12
    C       Structure of the competent authorities ......................................................................... 15
II - LEGAL ASPECTS                                                                                                                                 17
    A       Age of legal majority .......................................................................................................... 17
    B       General regulations in sports matters .......................................................................... 17
    C       Specific regulation and/or case law relating to the training of young athletes . 19
    D       Plans for new regulation regarding sports matters and the training of young
    athletes ........................................................................................................................................... 24
    E       Regulation setting out an obligation to set up training centres ............................. 27
III – POLITICAL ASPECTS                                                                                                                            30
    A       Specific training programmes ......................................................................................... 30
        1) Authority having power to decide such programmes .............................................. 30
        2) Financing of training programmes ................................................................................ 33
    B       Financing of sports equipment........................................................................................ 37
    C       Financing/building of sports facilities and stadiums ................................................. 38
    D       Submission of the financing to quality criteria or other conditions ....................... 41
IV – EDUCATION                                                                                                                                     44
    - The existence of special schools for young athletes combining sports training and
    regular education and allowing flexibility in educational training, ................................. 44
    - The possibilities for young athletes to continue their professional education /
    occupation after compulsory school, existence of specific programmes. .................. 44
    A       Duration of compulsory education ................................................................................. 44
    B       Special schools for young athletes combining sports training and regular
    education and allowing flexibility in educational training ................................................. 45
        1) Schools.................................................................................................................................. 45
            a) Sports classes (in regular schools) .......................................................................... 45
            b) Sports Schools ............................................................................................................... 46




2     © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
         c) Other means of combination of sports training and education ........................ 47
             i – The allocation of a specific status........................................................................ 47
             ii – Professional sports centres .................................................................................. 47
     2) Universities........................................................................................................................... 48
         a) Member States having sports faculties ................................................................... 48
         b) Member States which entitle high level athletes to benefit from specific
         advantages taking into account the specificity of their condition ......................... 49
         c) The existence of a network: the example of Finland........................................... 50
 C       Possibilities for young athletes to continue their professional education /
 occupation after compulsory school, existence of specific programmes ................... 51
     1) States which provide professional education through the educational system51
     2) States which provide professional education through job opportunities ........... 52
     3) States which provide advice and help to their athletes .......................................... 53
 D       Existence of specific scholarships ................................................................................. 55
     1) Competent authority .......................................................................................................... 56
     2) Allocated amounts and relevant criteria ...................................................................... 57
 E       Existence of regulation related to ethical values to be transmitted to young
 athletes ........................................................................................................................................... 58
     1) Member States benefiting from established rules .................................................... 59
         a) Legal rules ....................................................................................................................... 59
         b) Sports associations rules ............................................................................................ 60
         d) Member States currently deprived of rules ............................................................ 61
 F       Existence of after-career programmes ......................................................................... 62
     1) Member States which do not have after career programmes .............................. 62
     2) Member States which set out after career programmes ........................................ 63
         a) Regulations provided by the State ........................................................................... 63
         b) Regulations provided by sports related associations ......................................... 63
V - TRAINING OF YOUNG ATHLETES                                                                                                                  65
 A       Existence of regulations limiting the duration of training of young athletes and
 setting out a minimum age for practising high-level sports............................................. 65



   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                                                                       3
        1) Limitation of the training duration .................................................................................. 65
           a) Member States providing limitations of the training duration ........................... 66
           b) Member States not providing limitations for the training duration ................... 67
        2) Minimum age required for practising high-level sports ........................................... 68
    B      Common training for men and women ......................................................................... 71
        1) Member States where the training is common to both genders .......................... 71
        2) Member States where the training is not common to both genders ................... 71
    C      Regulations related to professionals and further education of the staff working
    with young athletes ..................................................................................................................... 72
        1) Member States where regulations originate from sports organisations ............ 73
        2) Member States where regulations involve legal regulations ................................ 73
           a) Member States with legal regulations only ............................................................ 73
           b) Member States with legal regulations and rules drafted by sports
           associations .......................................................................................................................... 74
VI - HEALTH AND PROTECTION OF YOUNG ATHLETES                                                                                                   76
    A      Specific doping prevention regulations regarding young athletes ....................... 76
        1) Member States having anti-doping regulations deriving from general law....... 77
        2) Member States having specific anti-doping regulations set out by sports
        organisations ............................................................................................................................ 79
        3) Specific cases ..................................................................................................................... 80
    B      Specific regulations relating to medical and nutritional survey during the
    training period ............................................................................................................................... 81
        1) Medical survey of young athletes .................................................................................. 82
           a) Legal regulations............................................................................................................ 82
           b) Sports associations rules ............................................................................................ 85
           c) Best Practices ................................................................................................................. 86
           d) Very limited regulations and absence of regulations .......................................... 86
        2) Nutritional survey of young athletes ............................................................................. 87
    C      Specific regulations protecting young athletes in case of injury / Existence of
    specific funds and schemes. .................................................................................................... 88




4    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
     1) Specific regulations protecting young athletes in case of injury .......................... 88
        a) Specific regulations deriving from law ..................................................................... 88
        b) Specific regulations set out by sports institutions ................................................ 91
        c) Absence of specific regulations ................................................................................. 92
     2) Specific funds / schemes ................................................................................................. 94
 D      Specific regulations relating to the protection of minor athletes ........................... 95
     1) Regulations ensuring general protection of minors ................................................. 95
     2) Specific regulations relating to minor athletes........................................................... 95
     3) Absence of regulation protecting minors .................................................................... 97
 E      Transposition of the Council Directive 94/33/CE on the protection of young
 people at work .............................................................................................................................. 98
VII - LABOUR ASPECTS                                                                                                                                 99
 A      Legal relationships between young athletes and clubs / sports associations .. 99
     1) Existence of a contractual relationship ........................................................................ 99
     2) Other kinds of relationships between young athletes and their clubs / sports
     associations ............................................................................................................................ 101
     3) Granting of a pecuniary compensation to young athletes ................................... 103
     4) Enforcement of European rules ................................................................................... 105
 B      Free movement of young athletes in the Member States .................................... 106
 C      Pecuniary compensation for the first training club .................................................. 108
 D      Regulations relating to social security and pension plans ................................... 113
 E      Recruitment of young athletes according to their place of residence ............... 115
 F - Regulations relating to sports managers and agents of the athletes .................. 116
VIII - SPORTS FOR DISABLED PERSONS                                                                                                                   120
 A      Existence of specific regulation relating to sports training of disabled persons ..
         ................................................................................................................................................ 121
     1) Member States with regulations relating to sports training of disabled persons
     .................................................................................................................................................... 121
        a) Legal rules ..................................................................................................................... 121
        b) Sport related organisation rules .............................................................................. 122




  © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                                                                             5
        2 – Member States that have no regulations regarding sports training of disabled
        persons ..................................................................................................................................... 122
    B           Promotion of the practice of sports by disabled persons ensured by the
    Government or other organisations ..................................................................................... 123
    C       Existence of specific programmes aiming at promoting sports training and
    competitions with mixed teams (composed of disabled and valid athletes) ............ 125
    D       Existence of specific schools combining sports training and education for
    disabled persons........................................................................................................................ 127




6    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
INTRODUCTION

This document contains the study of the national and European legal and political frameworks
preserving and promoting the training of young athletes.
The information contained in this document originates from the very detailed and accurate
answers received from our legal correspondents in the 27 Member States of the European
Union further to our sending of a questionnaire.
The main themes covered in this study are:
    -   Institutional aspects: identification of authorities responsible for the training of young
        athletes and determination of their role, powers and structure ;
    -   Legal aspects: existence of general and / or specific regulations and / or case law
        relating to the training of young high level athletes as well as the plans for new
        regulations;
    -   Political aspects: existence of specific training programmes, financing of training
        programmes, sports equipment, sports facilities and stadiums, submission of such
        financing to quality criteria;
    -   Educational aspects: existence of special schools combining sports training and
        education, existence of programmes allowing young athletes to continue their education
        after compulsory school, existence of specific scholarships, existence of regulations
        related to ethical values to be transmitted to young athletes, existence of after-career
        programmes;
    -   Training aspects: existence of regulations limiting the duration of training, common
        training for men and women, regulations relating to professionals and to further
        education of the training staff;
    -   Health aspects and protection of young athletes: existence of specific doping prevention
        regarding young athletes, existence of specific regulations relating to medical and
        nutritional survey during the training period, specific regulations protecting young
        athletes in case of injury, existence of specific funds and schemes, existence of specific
        regulations relating to the protection of minor athletes, and transposition by the Member
        States of the Council Directive of 1994 on the protection of young people at work;
    -   Labour aspects: study of the legal relationships existing between young athletes and
        clubs or sports associations, study of the free movement of young athletes in the
        Member States and the pecuniary compensation for the first training club, existence of
        regulations relating to social security and pensions plans, recruitment of young athletes
        according to their place of residence, existence of regulations relating to sports
        managers and agents of athletes;




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                     7
    -   Sports for disabled persons: Existence of specific regulations relating to sports training
        of disabled persons, promotion of the practice of sports by disabled persons ensured by
        the Government or other organisations, existence of specific programmes aiming at
        promoting sports training and competitions with mixed teams, existence of specific
        schools combining sports training and education for disabled persons.




I - INSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS



A       Identification of the authorities responsible for the training of young
        athletes


In all European Member States, governmental and non-governmental organisations co-operate
in the domain of the training of young athletes. In the 27 countries studied, there is never a sole
competent authority regarding sports. The competences are divided on several levels.
Comparing the different competent authorities in the 27 Member States, our study allowed us to
identify the following main actors:


    -   Ministries,
    -   National Olympic Committees,
    -   Local and regional authorities (municipalities, provinces and regions),
    -   Sports Associations,
    -   Clubs and associations.


The study showed that:


The Government is in all Member States somehow competent for the training of young athletes.
The Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Italy, Poland and Slovenia all have a
Ministry of Sports and/or a Department of Sports.


Other Ministries, such as the Ministry of Education and Health like in Lithuania, the Netherlands
and Slovakia, intervene as well in the training of young athletes by setting forth education and
health policies. In some countries, sports are represented in sub-departments within different




8   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
ministries - for example, the Department of Education in Finland or the Ministry of Health, Youth
and Sports in France since May 2007.


The competent authorities vary according to the political organisation of the State. They may be
very different in the centralized Member States and federal or non centralised Member States.


In Austria, Germany and Slovakia, the State Government delegated a part of its powers to the
federal governments or the self-governing Regions. The National Sports Association
(Bundessportorganisation, BSO) is the body reuniting all sports associations in Austria.


In Germany, each federal state has a sports minister, though the main governing body is the
German Olympic Sports Confederation, Alliance (Deutscher Olympischer Sport Bund), a non
governmental institution. The main principles of the sports policy are the autonomy of the sports
movement, the partnership and the cooperation. Within the federal government, the Ministry of
Interior coordinates sports aspects and acts for the promotion of high level sports. It supports
two research institutes for high level sports: the Institute for Applied Training Techniques and
the Research Institute for the Development of Equipment. Furthermore, the Deutsche Hilfe
performs important missions within the policy of support of high level sports.1.


In the United Kingdom, the overall responsibility is with the Department for Culture, Media and
Sports. In addition, the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly have responsibilities for
sports policy and there are five Sports Councils (UK Sport, Sport England, Sports Council of
Northern Ireland and Sport Council of Wales). However, the United Kingdom does not have a
formal institutional structure for the organisation of sports. Sports are mainly organised under a
series of voluntary self-regulating structures (National Governing Bodies “NGBs”), which
operate independently from Government Agencies. In the United Kingdom, the Britannic
Olympic Association (BOA) is a distinct and independent organisation responsible for the
development of the Olympic movement in Great Britain.2


In most of the Member States, the system is centralised:




1
  Information report remitted by the Delegation of the National Assembly for the European Union on the organisation
and the financing of sports in Europe and presented by Mrs. Arlette Franco, Deputy, registered with the presidency of
the National Assembly on January 30, 2007, p. 10.
2
  Information report remitted by the Delegation of the National Assembly for the European Union on the organisation
and the financing of sports in Europe and presented by Mrs. Arlette Franco, Deputy, registered with the presidency of
the National Assembly on January 30, 2007, p. 11.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                                        9
In Hungary, Greece and Portugal (Secretaria do Estado da Jeventude e do Desporto, ‘SEJD’),
there is a State Secretary for Sports.


In Belgium, the Ministry of Sports of each Community (Flemish /French/ German Community) is
competent for sports matters within the relevant community.


In Ireland, the main authority is the Irish Sports Council.


In some Member States, special bodies depending on the Government have specific
competences in sports matters in general and in the training of young athletes in particular.


     -   Belgium :          Flemish Community: Flemish Agency for the Advancement of Physical
                           Development, Sports and Outdoor Recreation (“BLOSO”);
                           French Communtiy: Department of the Ministry of the Flemish
                       Community (“ADEPS”);
     -   Bulgaria:          State Youth and Sports Agency (“SYSA”);
     -   Cyprus:            Cyprus Sports association (“KOA”);
     -   Denmark:           Team Denmark;
     -   Hungary:           National Sports Office and National Sports Committee;
     -   Malta:             Kunsill Malti Ghall-Isport (Malta Sports Council);
     -   Portugal:          Portuguese Institute of Sports (IDP);
     -   Romania            National Agency for Sport;
     -   Spain:             Sports Council (Consejo Superior de Deportes);
     -   Sweden:            Swedish Sports Education (SISU).


In Bulgaria, the SYSA governs, coordinates and oversees the implementation of the national
policy in the field of physical education and sports approved by the Government. The SYSA has
the following relevant special-purpose departments: “International Youth Programmes”, “Policy
for Youth” and “European Coordination and International Activities”. It grants licenses and keeps
registries of the sports clubs and sports associations, distributes the financing of the sports
activities to the sports associations.


Team Denmark, the Danish Elite Sports Institution, which is a semi-public organisation financed
by the Ministry of Culture, is the umbrella institution of all elite sports in Denmark.




10   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
In Spain, the Sports Council, which depends on the Spanish Government, controls the sports
associations, clubs, high performance centres, private and public sports associations and public
schools. It is entitled to dismiss the president and other members of the sports associations.
Furthermore, the Spanish Olympic Committee is a private association which exclusively deals
with Olympic sports and performs a function of representation of the sports movement. 3


The Czech Physical Training Association, a non-governmental sports association, supports
sports, physical training and tourism. Furthermore, the Czech Olympic Committee performs the
national Olympic functions and unifies the associations which sports are registered with the
olympic programmeand the national associations members of the international associations
recognised by the International Olympic Committee 4.


In the non governmental sports sector, in each country, a National Olympic Committee has
been set up, as mentioned in the regulations of the International Olympic Committee. The
National Olympic Committees (NOCs) are in all Member States competent for the training of
young athletes. In Malta, Slovenia and Italy, the National Olympic Committee is the main sports
authority. In Italy, the CONI is the umbrella body of all sports associations: It is simultaneously a
confederation of national sports associations, an Olympic committee and a non governmental
public organisation.5 Some National Olympic Committees mainly depend on the State, such as
the CNOSF in France and the NOC in Greece, whereas in Austria and Sweden, they are fully
independent from the State.


In the Netherlands, the national association NOC*NSF, which also incorporates the Dutch
Olympic Committee, units all Dutch sports organisations. This country is on the way of a specific
regulation to protect sports matters from any negative implication of other laws and regulations.


In all countries, there are sports associations which act as national representatives of the sports
clubs for a specific sport. Generally, there is only one association per sport, except in the United
Kingdom, where athletes and sports clubs within a specific sport are partly structured in



3
  Information report remitted by the Delegation of the National Assembly for the European Union on the organisation
and the financing of sports in Europe and presented by Mrs. Arlette Franco, Deputy, registered with the presidency of
the National Assembly on January 30, 2007, p. 11.
4
  Information report remitted by the Delegation of the National Assembly for the European Union on the organisation
and the financing of sports in Europe and presented by Mrs. Arlette Franco, Deputy, registered with the presidency of
the National Assembly on January 30, 2007, p. 11.
5
  Information report remitted by the Delegation of the National Assembly for the European Union on the organisation
and the financing of sports in Europe and presented by Mrs. Arlette Franco, Deputy, registered with the presidency of
the National Assembly on January 30, 2007, p. 11.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                                        11
separate associations for home countries, men and women, professionals and amateur
athletes.


In Poland, the Polish Federation of Sport for the Youth is in charge of the sports system for
youth and the programming of sports training for young athletes.


The system mainly depends on sports clubs at a local level which are, generally, from a legal
point of view, associations / memberships. The clubs allow the practice of the sports by all and
are mainly composed of volunteers.


As a conclusion, we may acknowledge that there is an important variety of authorities in charge
of sports in the 27 Member States of the European Union. Our opinion is that it would be useful
to create a European Network in order to stimulate the exchange of information between those
associations. This would contribute to a better knowledge and thus to the expansion of the best
practises existing in numerous Member States.


                                                 *
                                             *       *


For the detailed list of all competent authorities Member State by Member State see appendix A
to the present chapter.




B        Role and powers of the competent authorities


Although the State in all Member States plays a role in the training of young athletes, the
powers and the degree of intervention of the State vary amongst the 27 Member States. Non-
governmental organisations have an undeniably important role and important powers regarding
the training of young athletes. It can be said that nearly in every Member State, the State
creates the legal and political framework and exercises supervising functions and that the non-
governmental organisations manage the training of young athletes on a daily basis.


The Bulgarian Government approves the national policy in the field of physical education and
sports. The SYSA governs, coordinates and controls the implantation of this policy.




12   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
BLOSO and ADEPS in Belgium are responsible for public funding to the sports associations and
promote sports in their respective Communities (Flemish / French).


In France, sports are mainly governed by the State through the newly created Ministry of Health,
Youth and Sports and the sports movement lead by the French national Olympic Committee
(CNOSF). Furthermore, it has to be noted that recently, private academies or teams appeared.
The best examples are Team Lagardère which trains young athletes in the fields of athletics,
tennis and rugby and Moratouglou Academy which is specialised in the training of young tennis
players.


In Germany, the German Olympic Sports Confederation is in charge of the care and promotion
of sports.


The Cyprus Sports Association, a semi-governmental organisation has the overall responsibility
for the development, cultivation and promotion of sports in Cyprus.


The aims of the Irish Sports Council are to encourage the promotion, development and co-
ordination of competitive sports. The Irish Sports Council is given wide discretion to exercise all
powers necessary to exercise its functions, including the power to provide assistance (including
financial assistance) to any person or body in respect of any matter related to the performance
of the Irish Sports Council’s functions, to enter into contracts and arrangements, to establish
trust funds, to encourage sponsorship for both competitive and recreational sports.


The role of the authorities competent for sports when independent from the Government may
vary a lot from a country to another. Please find hereafter some examples:


In Austria, sports issues are mainly self-governing, which means independent from the State
influence. The Governmental Agencies have mainly legal obligations concerning financial
support. The BSO has the right to make suggestions to the competent authorities regarding the
granting of financial resources.


In Poland, the Polish Association of Sport for the Youth is in charge of the coordination of the
sports system for the youth on the territory of the whole country.


Team Denmark, a self governing institution, is handling the overall coordination and structuring
of the training of young elite athletes.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                      13
In the United Kingdom, the role of the Government and the devolved executive bodies is to
develop and implement general sports policy including the provision of sports facilities. The
Government Agencies in the United Kingdom have only indirect power over the activities of the
NGBs (over allocation of public funds, grants and other funded programmes), which have the
primary responsibility in their particular sports and in the training of young athletes.


Beside the governmental or independent organisations as mentioned above, the role of another
actor which intervenes almost in all Member States regarding the training of young athletes, i.e.,
, the national Olympic committee, must be examined. Its powers are particularly developed in
Slovenia, Italy and Malta. Nevertheless, it should be noted that in Italy, the POGAS
(governmental body) has been recently created to supervise the CONI. In Italy and Slovenia, it
represents the bulk of organised sports and operates as an umbrella sports association for
almost all national sports associations. In Malta, the sports associations and the sports
associations are affiliated to the Maltese Olympic Committee from which they receive funds for
the technical preparation of the athletes. In Luxemburg, the COSL, a non-profit association,
ensures sports interests. It supervises the sports movement and provides support to high level
athletes. In the Netherlands, the NOC*NSF has joined with the umbrella body and is uniting all
Dutch sports associations is focused on the promotion and the marketing of professional sports.
It is in charge of securing a top-10 ranking for the Netherlands regarding professional sports.


In most Member States, the role and powers of the local and regional authorities consists in
building and maintaining sports facilities and promoting local sports associations.


Sports associations are dedicated to the organisation and the promotion of the practice of their
respective sports. In some Member States, they create professional leagues to regulate the
professional sector of their sports (e.g. Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy and Slovenia). Sports
associations also have disciplinary powers over their athletes in all matters concerning the
practice of their sports.


In its report on the future of professional football in Europe6, the European Parliament “invited all
the management authorities in football to better define and coordinate their competences, their
responsibilities, their functions and their process of decision making so as to increase their
democracy, their transparency and their legitimacy in the interest of all the football domain”. This


6
 European Parliament – Report on the future of professional football in Europe (2006/2130 (INI)) – Culture and
Education Unit. February 13, 2007




14   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
remark may also be applied to sports in general. Indeed, our study shows that a great variety of
structures is responsible for sports in the European Member States. A clear delimitation of the
role and powers of each body in each country would undeniably provide a more coherent
framework for the respective roles of the sports associations and the non governmental
organisations throughout the European Community. A study could be lead on this theme by all
authorities intervening in the field of sports.


                                                           *
                                                       *       *


Please refer to appendix B of chapter I for the details that we were able to collect for each
country regarding such aspect.




C         Structure of the competent authorities


It may be said that, in almost all Member States, the structure is a pyramid structure in all the
selected sports. The base of the pyramid is formed by the main sports actors, clubs and
associations, which in turn are guided by sports associations. Sports associations might be
headed by a national association. The governmental institutions, in general, cover and support
all sports. The National Olympic Committee and special sports institutions, which constitute the
independent sports movement, may interfere collaterally or directly7. Sometimes, there is a sole
organisation which is simultaneously the Olympic committee and the sports association of the
sports associations, such as for example, in Italy, France and Germany, sometimes, they are
several associations such as for example in the United Kingdom, Spain and the Czech
Republic8.


As such a structure, which is very different from the organisation of sports in the United States
of America, suits very well the European sports system, we consider that there is no need to
change it.


7
  Two Players One Goal? Sport in the European Union Walter TOKARSKI, Dirk STEINBACH, Karen PETRY & Barbara
JESSE. Meyer and Meyer, 2004 ;
8
  Information report remitted by the Delegation of the National Assembly for the European Union on the organisation
and the financing of sports in Europe and presented by Mrs. Arlette Franco, Deputy, registered with the presidency of
the National Assembly on January 30, 2007, p. 11 and 12.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                                        15
                                                 *
                                             *       *


Please refer to appendix C to this chapter for the details that we were able to collect for each
country.




16   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
II - LEGAL ASPECTS



A       Age of legal majority


In all Member States, the age of legal majority is 18, therefore we do not have any further
comments.




B       General regulations in sports matters



The existence of regulations relating to sports is directly linked with the legal and political
structure of the Member State, i.e., Members States under the common law system do not have
or have only few regulation on sports whereas Member States under the civil law system have
such type of legislation.


The structure of the regulation in sports matters is also strongly related to the organisation and
structure of the competent authorities in sports in general and in the training of young athletes in
particular. The general regulation in sports matters is in most of the Member States a
combination of hard law and soft law.


In Spain and Portugal, sport is embodied in the Constitution, which automatically involves a
specific legislation pertaining to sports. Law N° 5/2007 of 16 January 2007 is the main legal
framework for sports in Portugal. It lays down the general guidelines regarding sports
associations, Olympic organisation, supervision, clubs, sporting activities, etc. In Spain, sports
are regulated under the Spanish Sports Law of 1990,


Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Latvia,
Lithuania Luxembourg, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Poland have specific sports
Acts, as follows:


    -   Bulgaria:                  Physical Training and Sports Act (the “PTSA”) of 1996,
    -   Czech Republic:            Act n° 115/2001 Coll. on support of sports,




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                       17
     -   Denmark:                   Danish Act on Elite Athletic Sports n° 288 of 2004
     -   Estonia:                   Estonian Sports Charter of 2002 and Sports Act of 2005,
     -   Finland:                   Sports Act n°1054/1998,
     -   France:                    Sports Code, including Law n° 84-610 of 16 July 1984 relating
                                    to the organisation and the promotion of physical and sports
                                    activities,
     -   Greece:                    Law 2725/1999,
     -   Hungary:                   Act I on sport of 2004,
     -   Ireland:                   Irish Sports Council Act of 1999,
     -   Latvia:                    Sports Law of 2002,
     -   Lithuania:                 Law on Physical Culture and Sports Activities of 1996,
     -   Luxembourg:                Law related to sports of 2005,
     -   Malta:                     Sports Law of 2003,
     -   Romania:                   Law no. 69/2000 regarding the physical education and sport,
     -   Slovakia:                  Act on Physical Culture (no. 288/1997 Coll.),
     -   Slovenia:                  Sports Act of 1998,
     -   Poland:                    Law of 1996 on physical culture and Law of 2005 on qualified
                                    sports activity,


It must be emphasised that the content and aims of these specific Sports Acts is very variable.


For instance in Slovakia, the Act of Physical Culture sets forth the framework for physical
culture, physical education, specifies the responsible institutions and their powers, determines
the high-performance and elite sport, specialised activities of trainers, instructors, referees and
others and accreditation of the educational institutions.


In Malta, the Sports Law regulates the KMS and the MOC, the registration of sports persons,
the resolution of sports disputes and the facilities and venues available to sports associations.


In France, the Sports Code covers many aspects of sports, such as sports agents, referees,
training centres, professional sports, amateur sports, high level sports, sports for disabled
persons, the National Olympic Committee (CNOSF), doping, the sports facilities, teaching of
physical activities, sports associations, tax, social security and labour aspects.


In the other Member States, such as Germany, sports matters are mostly regulated through
general law (Civil law acts, Regulations of Public financial support and Criminal law).




18   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
In Belgium, the French and the Flemish communities have their own regulations.


In Germany, sports matters are dealt with by the Federal States.


In the Netherlands, there is no specific law on sports, but plans have been made to create such
regulations. The Public Welfare Act is used as the general framework for the sports of the
various authorities.


In the United Kingdom, a common law country, there is no general regulation on sports matters.
Sports organisational structures and administration are organised within a framework of NGBs,
which adopt self-regulating rules and regulations governing their individual sports.


We consider that all Member States which do not have any State regulation nor NGBs which
may adopt adequate self-regulation rules and regulations, should consider to adopt a least
some general regulations in order to take into account the important role of sports in society, the
economic impact of sports and the organisational aspects of sports. This could be done for
example in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.


                                                  *
                                              *       *


Please refer to the appendices to this document for a list and description of the regulations
Member State by Member State.




C       Specific regulation and/or case law relating to the training of young
        athletes


Our study showed that less than half of the Member States have specific hard and soft law
relating to the training of young athletes.


We wish to point out the United Kingdom, Ireland, and France that have very exhaustive
regulations. Hereafter, are stated the main elements of those three regulations:




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                      19
In France, until law n°99-1124 of 28 December 1999 (“Loi Buffet”), the training of professional
high level athletes was only regulated by the rules enacted by sports associations as for the
amateur sports.
Such law is entirely dedicated to the training of young athletes practising professional sports. It
imposes a mandatory ministerial approval of the training centres, further to the advice of the
National Commission of High Level Sports and the signing of a training agreement between the
sports association and the legal representative of the young athlete when minor for each young
athlete integrated in a training centre. Please note that such regulations mainly concern
collective professional sports but also professional individual sports such as cycling and since a
few months athletics as a professional league has been created. The training of young athletes
is regulated by various other legal texts. Top-athletes may be trained by qualified coaches in
various teams (“elite – seniors-juniors”).
Article 1 of a regulation (“arrêté”) dated 15 May 20019 defines the training centre as “any
structure under the authority of a sports association or a company mentioned in Article 11 of
Law of 16 July 1984 and allowing young sportsmen of more than 14 to benefit from a sports
training and from a general, professional or university education”. Therefore, the training centre
must be managed by a sports club if it wishes to be granted public subsidies under article 19-3
of law n°84-610 of 16 July 198410.
Ireland has a Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport issued by the Irish Sports
Council. Furthermore, ‘Children First’ (Department of Health and Children) sets forth the
national guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children in line with the Irish Sports
Council’s overarching framework documents. In the five selected sports, there are the following
codes:


       -    Football: Code of Practice for Child Protection in Soccer, Children’s Entitlements in
            Soccer; Child Protection in Soccer
       -    Basketball: Coaches Charter;
       -    Athletics: Utilises the Irish Sports Council Code of Ethics and Good Practice, and Anti-
            doping programme;
       -    Rugby: IRFU Code of Ethics, IRFU Code of Conduct for Players, Coaches, Parents and
            Spectators;
       -    Golf: Charter for Junior Golf.




9
    Official Gazette. 6 June 2001
10
    Instruction n° INTB 02 – 000026C, 29 January 2002




20     © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
In the United Kingdom, almost all NGBs have adopted specific regulations in relation to working
with children. These cover Criminal Records Bureau checks, health and safety, bullying policy,
welfare and other social aspects of training of young athletes which are common to all sports.
With the exception of golf, all five selected sports have adopted various regulated programmes
for the training of young athletes. In England, the Football Association operates its Charter for
Quality to ensure that the training received by young players is of the highest standard. Similar
requirements are imposed on clubs affiliated to the Scottish Football Association and the
Football Association of Wales. There is also an increasing emphasis on improving the standards
of football coaching for young players. For example, the Scottish Football Association requires
coaches to hold at least a “Level 1 or “Level 2” qualification in order to train young players.
England Basketball requires clubs to reach a certain standard in order to be awarded
recognition as Training Centres of Excellence as part of the “Clubmark” scheme. A scheme of
qualification is also operated for basketball coaches, with different standards required in order to
teach players of ascending ability. Basketball Scotland regulates training by reference to its
Long Term Player Development principles. In athletics, the programme “Power of 10” sets forth
some regulations. Competitive events are governed by a set of rules that are published each
year for competitions in which young athletes can compete. In England, rugby academies are
extensively regulated with detailed plans for the training of athletes, for example involving
training in an equivalent 15 to 20 hours of skills development, technical skills development,
conditioning, tactical awareness, and “active rest” each week. The number of games players
that will play in is also strictly regulated. Golf clubs can apply to the English Golf Union for the
”Golfmark” status, which identifies the as possessing junior and beginner friendly facilities.


We must add that we also identified, in other Member States, the following specific hard and
soft laws:


In Austria, there is a Federal Act on Schools on the Training to Physical Education Teachers
and Sports Teachers.


In Bulgaria, the specific regulation of training of young sportsmen or women is scattered in
various provisions without being codified. (e.g. Ordinance on the Procedures for Admittance of
Children to Sports Schools, Ordinance on the Terms and Conditions of Providing Protection to
Outstandingly Gifted Children).


The German Sport Association has developed guidelines for a concept for young athletes of
high-performance sports.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                       21
Hungary has regulations of the Minister of Youth and Social matters on the employment of
under-age athletes, who are still subject to compulsory education and sports activities at school.


In Italy, the CONI and the MUIR (Ministry for Education, University and Research) entered into
an agreement dated September 2005 for the promotion of sports culture in schools. In a
Memorandum dated 13 October 2006, the Education Ministry issued suggestions and
guidelines for the 2006/2007 school year for motor activities at the primary and secondary
compulsory schools, with specific reference to the organisation of the Youth Student Games
and supporting actions in favour of depressed areas.


The National Sports Programme of Latvia contains a specific section on the Children and Youth
Sports.


In Lithuania, since 2000, there is a Government ruling to promote successful athletes, doctors,
masseurs and scientists by awarding them premiums.


In Poland, there are plans on young athletes’ training prepared by the Polish sports associations
and regional interdisciplinary associations of physical culture. These plans are created pursuant
to the guidelines for the Polish Sports Association set forth in the document drawn up by the
Minister of Sports named: “The programme of training and sport competition for the talented
youth in 2007”. There is also “Youth’s sports system 2007” setting forth regulations of sports
competition for talented children and youth.


In Luxemburg, the Grand-Ducal Regulation dated 10 December 1998 sets forth specific
measures for talented young sportsmen and sportswomen.


The “Young sportsmen’s” Law nº 28/98, 26 June 1998, in Portugal establishes the legal
framework for the sports training contract (youth directed).This law is specifically directed at
young sportsmen who enter into their first sporting contract, at the minimum age of 14.


In Romania, Education Law 84/1995 contains the general applicable legal framework with
respect to the training of young sportsmen/women by regulating the sports practice in school as
well as the possibility of setting up schools with a sports profile.




22   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
The Slovenian Sports Acts sets forth a special restriction as to the status of professional
sportsman/woman by laying down an age limit, which inter alias is at least 15 years.


                                                   *
                                              *        *


It must be stressed that most of the legal regulations do not distinguish between the genders
and are thus applicable to both sportsmen and sportswomen.


In any case, it is crucial to ensure an efficient protection of the well being and health of high
level young athletes in general and not only regarding professional sports.


Therefore, we consider that minimum standards regarding the minimum age to start sports
training and competition, the duration of training, the qualification of trainers and the other staff
looking after young athletes, etc. could be enacted in all Member States.


Such rules could be based on the best practices existing in France, in the United Kingdom and
Ireland as mentioned above.


                                                   *
                                              *        *


In all Member States, there is not much case law relating to the training of young athletes. The
cases we identified mainly relate to accidental injuries, the civil liability of clubs and the scope of
insurance. Those cases are mainly based on specific facts and may not necessarily lead to
general principles. We also found some interesting cases in France involving disputes deriving
from the transfer of young football players while training in a French football club. Please refer to
section VII – C (Pecuniary compensation for the first training club) for more details.


Please refer to appendix C to this chapter for a detailed list of all specific regulations that we
were able to collect for each country.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                          23
D        Plans for new regulation regarding sports matters and the training
         of young athletes


Our study allowed us to identify plans for new regulations, which mainly relate to the protection
of young athletes especially minors, the development of sports classes, the creation of training
concepts. The following Member States are involved in such evolution:


In Bulgaria, there is a bill of a new Youth Development and Protection Act, which is currently at
the very early stage of public discussion.


Team Denmark and the unions of badminton, ice hockey, gymnastics, athletics, ball games,
handball, golf, orienteering, volleyball and swimming are currently working on training concepts
specifically tailored to each sport and age class concerning the training of athletes.


In Latvia, there are currently draft regulations for setting forth the obligation to introduce medical
personnel at schools and sports clubs. Furthermore, it is also planned to establish legal
regulation to limit the hours permitted for sports classes for young athletes in sports
clubs/schools in certain age categories, as well as to limit the number of children to be allowed
at sports classes simultaneously. The draft of the 2007/2008 National Sports Programme
includes amendments to the Law on Education on the funding of professional education
programmes implemented both by public and private schools, and sports clubs, including the
implementation of the principle where funding is directly associated with the number of children
educated and trained at particular schools or sports clubs.


In Luxemburg, further development of sports classes is being contemplated. There are also
discussions on setting up a “sport-études” system.


In France, Ordinance (“Ordonnance”) n° 2007-329 of 12 March 2007 entering into force on 1
March 2008 extends the provisions of French Labour law relating to the remuneration of minor
workers to minor athletes. Part of the remuneration of the minor may be given to his parents.
The other part is held by the “Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations” (a state-owned financial
institution that performs public-interest missions on behalf of France’s central, regional and local
governments) that administrate the savings until the majority of the athlete. Furthermore, in April
2007, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Affairs presented a new law project relating to the
pension of high level athletes which would particularly concern high level non professional
athletes. This project should be submitted to the Parliament soon.



24   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
There are plans in Poland to issue “Regulations of sports competition of talented children and
youngsters for 2008-2010”.


In Portugal, the Athletics Association is presently reformulating the contents of the coaching
manual, namely parts concerning the training of young sportsmen.


In the United Kingdom, there are a number of new regulations, in the form of NGB development
and training programmes designed to develop young athletes for the London Olympics 2012.
For example, England Basketball is presently discussing and planning its policy on disabled
athletes and how to progress and integrate its training into the more general plans. Scottish
Athletics is currently considering new performance strategies and regulations. In athletics, as
with other sports, there are plans to develop the “Clubmark” seal of quality. By the end of 2008,
it is planned to have 400 clubs with “Clubmark” award. Lastly, sports were recently reintroduced
in school programs in view of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.


We also identified three Member States which should adopt new Act on Sports within a short
time period.


In Slovakia, there is currently a proposal for a new Act on Sport which shall replace the current
Act of Physical Culture, which is insufficient for the actual needs and the role of sports in the
society. The new act shall regulate matters which are not governed by the current law, such as:
    -   protection of the health of athletes including protection of minor athletes,
    -   fight against the violence at stadiums,
    -   direct and indirect support of sport from the State, including control of the usage of
        finances of the State dedicated to the support of sports,
    -   rules for hazard games and contributions from the gains,
    -   education to regular sporting with special emphasis on the sports of children and youth
        at all levels of schools and school facilities, including building of school sports
        equipment,
    -   sports of women and families,
    -   sports of disabled persons,
    -   supervision over the activities of sports associations and institutions,
    -   construction, maintenance and modernisation of sports infrastructures,
    -   status and education of sports specialists (trainers, referees, agents, managers),
    -   protection of environment and animals used in sports,




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                    25
     -   regulation of transmission rights to sports events,
     -   regulation of financing of sports, including rules on sponsorship and advertisement,
     -   specific pension plans for retired elite athletes, etc.


The Slovenian Parliament is actually debating to amend the Sports Act.


The Netherlands have plans to set up a sports law.




In some other Member States, the plans mainly consist in campaigns promoting sports.


In Belgium, the Minister for the sports of the French Community has just started the "Ethical
Sport" campaign which promotes ethical values and fair play in sports in the French Community
(for more information, see www.sportethique.be).


The National Agency for Sport of Romania promoted the National Strategy Programme for the
development and organisation of sports activities for 2005 – 2008. The scope of the campaign
is the insurance of the continuous development, organisation and functioning of sports in
Romania. The objectives of the programme were identified as follows:


     -   Harmonisation of the Romanian legal framework related to sports activities with the
         European legislation;
     -   Increasing of contribution allocated to the sports scientific research and medicine;
     -   Modernisation of sports bases, construction of new ones in view of ensuring the training
         of sportsmen/women and the organisation of national and international competitions;
     -   Promoting the prevention, control and restraining of the prohibited substances;
     -   Development of international relations and exchanges with respect to sport matters,
         according to the Romanian external politics.




The above shows that there is currently a tendency of regulation of sports matters in most of the
Member States and our opinion is that such trend should not decrease in the next following
years as sports are becoming more and more important in the European way of life..




26   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
E       Regulation setting out an obligation to set up training centres


Such regulations mainly exist in the Member States having football clubs playing at an
international level in order to comply with the UEFA Regulations, which oblige all clubs
participating in their international championships to have specialised training facilities.


Furthermore, we identified the following regulations, whether exclusively concerning football or
applicable to several sports:


      - Multi-sports regulations


In Belgium, at the Flemish level, BLOSO shall build/renovate and exploit sports centres
(Flemish Decree of 7 May 2004 on BLOSO). Currently, BLOSO exploits 13 training centres in
the Flemish Community both for recreational sportsmen and top athletes. For the Walloon
Region, there is no specific obligation in the legislation applicable to sports in the French
Community. However, ADEPS currently operates 16 training centres in the French Community,
both for recreational sportsmen and top athletes.


Training centres for sportsmen in Bulgaria, with few exceptions, were set up before 1990. At
present, most of them constitute public property, which is operated by sports clubs and
associations or, especially in football, by professional sports clubs on contractual terms. General
regulations (i.e. laws and their subordinates) do not contain obligations of setting up training
centres (unless for specific establishments, like schools, for which having a training facility is a
condition to operate).


In Hungary, there are the so-called Olympic centres, where the athletes practising different
sports (including disabled athletes) can train and organize training camps. These are mostly not
discipline-specific, and usually athletes from different sports train there at the same time. They
are supervised by the president of the National Sports Office, who may also provide subsidies
for the effective operation of these centres.


In Italy, in the case of international events (for example the 2009 World Swimming
Championship to be held in Rome), the host city has the duty to realize the necessary sports




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                       27
facilities and relevant constructions (gymnasium, accommodation, transportation), with the
financial and organisational support of the CONI.


The Lithuanian Law on Physical Culture and Sport sets forth the obligation of establishing
sufficient conditions (including sports equipment) for physical culture. According to this law, local
governmental institutions are obliged to allot a sufficient amount of funds in order to guarantee
the appropriate number of physical culture and sports facilities.


In Luxemburg, a law dated 29 June 2000 created a National Sport and Culture Centre, which is
a public institution managing notably a multi-sports hall and the Olympic swimming pool. 21
sports associations benefit from these facilities. This Centre is notably used by sports classes
and training centres athletes. There is also a 5-year period development programme of sports
facilities. This programme is led by the State and supported by 50 communities and 2 sports
associations. This programme aims at setting up 53 sports facilities, which includes an athletics
stadium and an indoor cyclist facility. The National Football Association has also set up a
National Training Centre.


In the United Kingdom, the English Football Association’s Charter for Quality programme
requires all Premier League clubs to have ‘Academies’ and all Football League clubs to have
‘Centres of Excellence’; there are similar requirements regarding the Scottish Football
Association, Football Association of Wales and Irish Football Association. Regarding basketball,
athletics, golf and rugby, there is no such obligation. However, England Basketball runs seven
academies across the country on a voluntary initiative and every English rugby club in the
Premiership has an academy. The Rugby Football Union has invested in 12 Premier England
Rugby Academies and two Regional Academies. Within the Community Game, over 750 clubs
have training centres with qualified coaches and helpers.


       - Football regulations


All Member States are members of UEFA and thus comply with the rules issued by such
organisation with regards to professional football, as stated hereinafter.
In France, article 102 of the Charter of Professional Football sets out that each club of the first
league must create a training centre, otherwise it will not benefit from the protective measures
contained in the Charter, the obligation of the player to sign his first professional contract with
the club and the right to receive public subsidies.




28   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
The Portuguese Football Association (F.P.F.) is preparing certain measures in order for all the
professional clubs to comply with UEFA regulations (even though the requirements will be less
demanding). The goal is to uniform training conditions and raise them to a higher quality
standard.


The Licensing Rules of the Slovenian National Football Association set forth that training
facilities must be available to the professional club during the entire season, so that the club is
either an owner of a training centre or has access to it following a written agreement with its
owner.


Our study shows that only a few European countries have some regulations setting out an
obligation to create training centres in other sports than football. Moreover, it has to be noted
that this obligation concerns nearly exclusively professional sports and that regarding amateur
sports, the enacted rules are at the discretion of the respective sports associations.


Therefore, it would be appropriate to ensure the creation of training centres for top level athletes
in every country of the European Union, providing adequate and high quality training to young
sportsmen, sportswomen and disabled persons. In order to save funds, those training centres
could be multi-sports centres. An answer could be found in the creation by the European
Commission of a European label for training centres which would be granted if minimum training
conditions, such as the quality of the facilities, the quality of the training, the quality of the staff,
etc. are fulfilled. A good basis may be found in the contents of the UEFA license manual which
intends to submit the participation of European clubs to the obtaining of a license under the
condition that clubs meet sports, facilities, administrative, labour, juridical and financial
criteria.11. This system is supported by the European Parliament as set forth in its report the
future of professional football in Europe because it “aims at guaranteeing equitable competition
conditions between clubs and participates to their financial stability”. 12




11
  UEFA procedure for granting licenses to clubs. Manual version 2.0. UEFA, Ed. 2005.
12
  European Parliament – Report on the future of professional football in Europe (2006/2130 (INI)) – Culture and
Education Unit. February 13, 2007




     © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                                 29
III – POLITICAL ASPECTS



A        Specific training programmes


1) Authority having power to decide such programmes


There are big variations among the Member States regarding the authorities having the power
to decide such programmes due to the organisation of sports in their countries. Such
programmes may be decided by various institutions or organisations, which may be the
Government, sports associations, the National Olympic Committee or clubs and sports
associations.


In Belgium, the Top Sport Schools are a joint initiative of the Flemish Minister of Sports, BLOSO
the Belgisch Olympisch en Interfederaal Comité (BOIC), the Flemish Sports Association, the
Association for Physical Education and the three major umbrella associations for education (see
the Top Sports Covenant).


In Bulgaria, the outset of such programmes is normally approved by the Government. Further,
their development is in the competence of the SYSA.


In France, under article 1 of the law on sports of 1984, the State and sports memberships and
associations ensure the development of high level sports with the assistance of local and
regional authorities and their groupings, together with companies interested in sports. Another
main actor is the sports movement. The link between the sports movement and the State is
ensured by the High Level Sports National Commission (CNSHN) which defines the main
orientations of the national policy for high level sports.


Some specific access paths to high level sports have been created by the Ministry of Sports in
1995 in particular for sports recognised as high level sports. These access paths are composed
of poles (“Pole France” and “Pole Espoirs”) which offer to talented young athletes a high quality
training, an adapted education and an appropriate medical survey.




30   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
Furthermore, private academies are currently created in France. For example, Team Lagardère
was recently founded in order to support and train high level athletes, rugby and tennis players.
The Moratouglou Tennis Academy, created by a private individual, Mr. Patrick Moratouglou, is
another example of private academy located in France.


In Hungary, there are four programmes that were initiated by sports associations and the
different non-governmental sports bodies and which were accepted by the Government or the
Parliament:


In Ireland, the Team Ireland Golf Trust was established by the Ministry for Tourism, Sports and
Recreation, and the Trust Committee consists of one representative from each of the following:
the Ministry for Arts, Sports and Tourism, the Irish Sports Council, Failte Ireland, the Irish PGA,
the GUI, the ILGU and the private sector. Regarding football programmes, the technical
department of the Football Association Ireland works closely with all affiliates, leagues, clubs,
local authorities and the Irish Sports Council, UEFA and FIFA. In basketball, there is a central
committee called the International Affairs Committee and Basketball Ireland also employs a
Director of High Performance. The Athletics Association Ireland has a Director for Development
who works in conjunction with Regional Development Officers. The Rugby programme was put
in place with the help of a world-renowned development expert, Dr Istvan Balyi, and by the
National Coaching and Training Centre and the IRFU Coach Development Department.


In Italy, each sports association provides its own training programme for young athletes
depending on the age and on the category of the athletes.


In Luxemburg, within the scholar framework, sports classes were created in 1999. The setting
up of sports classes was decided upon by the Ministry of Education in conjunction with the
Ministerial Department of Sports (DMS). The content and organisation of training programmes
are decided by the Sports Movement, i.e., clubs, sports associations and COSL. Sports
associations usually entitle their National Technical Director(s) and National Trainer(s) to
manage this task. These classes aim at combining scholar obligations and sports training. This
system does not dispense pupils from academic obligations but provides them with convenient
arrangements for their sports training and closer academic, medical and psychological support.
The National Association of Athletics, the National Association of Cycling, the National
Association of Basketball and the National Association of Football participate in these sports
classes programmes. In coordination with the administration of these sports classes, the
National School for Physical Education and Sports (Ecole Nationale de l’Education Physique et




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                      31
des Sports, “ENEPS”), is in charge of organising non-scholar sports trainings for young athletes.
These weekly sports programmes comprise 2 hours of federal training, 2 hours of scholar sports
and possibly 1 or 2 hours of physical preparation. Most young athletes practice additionally in
their clubs. Talented young athletes may also benefit from COSL support programmes.


In Portugal, training programmes may be decided by the SEJD (Secretaria do Estado da
Juventude e do Desporto), the Portuguese Institute of Sports (“IDP”), the local authorities or the
specific sports associations. The SEJD establishes the main guidelines and the IDP lays down
the practical measures necessary to enforce them. Currently, the formation programme at the
IDP (“a podium for all”) for all participants in federative youth sports training is suspended. The
local authorities may have special programmes for young athletes, as, for example, the
Municipality of Cascais, which currently supports three Olympic athletes and several young
athletes. Sports associations decide about the training programmes for athletes who are part of
the national teams. Clubs decide their athlete’s programmes. Football clubs in Portugal are
responsible for the training of their young players; therefore, they develop their own
programmes. However, the football Association is responsible for young athletes who
participate in the national teams. In this case, the sports association is responsible for the
development of the training programmes. Regarding athletics, there are specific training
programmes for young athletes. The Athletics Association pays special attention to young
athletes. When a young athlete achieves a certain level in his/her competition results, he/she is
to be integrated within the “Percurso de Alta Competição” (High Competition Circuit). This
grants him/her the possibility of becoming a High Competition Athlete (this status can be
achieved at the age of 15 and depends only on sports results). A young athlete within the High
Competition Circuit may also be trained at the “Centro de Alto Rendimento” (High Performance
Centre) under sports association’s supervision. The latter depends on the competition results as
well as on the school performance of the athlete.


In Slovakia, the concepts of development of specific sports are prepared at the level of Ministry
of Education, self governing regions and municipalities, the Olympic Committee, national sports
associations, regional associations within sports associations and sport clubs. According to the
newly proposed Act on Sports, the Government shall regularly approve an 8-year national
programme for sports development. Training programmes are prepared individually for each
high-performance athlete or team by the trainer and approved by the club. Specific programmes
are prepared for sports classes and secondary sport schools. Such programmes must be
approved by the respective bodies at the Ministry of Education.




32   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
The Slovenian State adopts each year the Annual Sports Programme based on the National
Sports Programme.


In Spain, the Sports Council, sports associations and universities, among others, may decide
about such programmes.


In Sweden, the initiative is mainly within specialised sports associations.


In the United Kingdom, there are many training programmes for different sports decided by the
NGBs and the Government Sport Agencies. With London hosting the 2012 Olympic Games,
there is a political emphasis on training programmes for young Olympic athletes.


Most of the programmes existing in the Member States relate to professional and Olympic
sports and are decided by public institutions. However, private academies are currently
emerging so as to ensure more efficient and specific training to high level athletes. This
phenomenon represents another approach, which may have an interesting impact on sports
training in general as traditional sports associations, which sometimes do not offer good training
conditions and support to their top athletes, may have to challenge those academies and
modernise their activity and therefore increase the quality of their support and training.




2) Financing of training programmes


The financing of specific training programmes emanate mainly from the same authorities that
those which decide the establishment of such programmes. As a consequence, these are
varied. We identified the following main financers:
     -   Government,
     -   Sports associations,
 -       Local and regional authorities,
 -       National Lottery,
 -       Sports Aid and foundations,
 -       Commercial sponsors.


It has to be noted that the State is the main financing provider of training programmes in the
Member States. This may be demonstrated in countries such as the Czech Republic, France,
Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Romania, Slovenia and Spain.



     © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                    33
Sports associations also participate in such financing; this is the case in the Czech Republic,
Italy, Luxemburg, Portugal and Sweden. Local and regional authorities are also very often
involved in the financing of training programmes, for example in Austria (federal states), Estonia
(local municipal governments) and Portugal. National lotteries are another funds provider in
several countries (Czech Republic, Germany, France, United Kingdom, etc…).


Hereafter, you will find an overview country per country:


In Bulgaria, such programmes are normally financed by the State budget.


In Austria, national and federal associations are supported by financial resources provided for
by the Federal States.


In the Czech Republic, these programmes are financed by the relevant associations; however,
State grants are possible. The respective associations/clubs also commonly sponsor training
trips to other countries to use sports facilities that do not exist in the Czech Republic or which,
because of the climatic conditions, are not ideal for training 365 days a year. A major part of the
relevant associations´ income is a dividend from a lottery company, Sazka, a.s. This joint stock
company is 100 % owned by the Czech sports associations; CSTV holds 67.9 % of Sazka
shares. Sazka is the largest Czech lottery operator and the largest non-governmental provider
of funds to Czech sports. Sazka´s dividend is paid to respective sport associations. The amount
of money paid by Sazka to sports associations in 2005 was approximately CZK 1,289 billion
(approximately EUR 45.7 million).


In Estonia, the main sources of financing are the local municipal Governments. The State may
provide part of the financing. However, this is minor compared to the municipalities’ contribution.
Certain amounts are received from various funds (local and international). Commercial sponsors
also finance the training and equipment of specific athletes.


In France, except for professional clubs, which create their own training centres (also often
subsidised by the local and regional authorities), programmes relating to high level sports are
financed by the State and more particularly, regarding high level sports, by the National Fund for
the Development of Sports which is mainly financed by the national lottery. This scheme may
change as the European Commission is currently challenging the monopoly of the French
national lottery. In the case where the monopoly would no longer exist, alternative funding
should have to be found to finance the development of French high level sports. The




34   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
Government already spoke about the possibility to tax foreign lotteries proposed on the French
territory.


In Germany, the main funds providers are municipalities which grant subsidies to sports
associations and ensure the maintenance of sports facilities. The Federal State also allocates a
part of the budget to such financing. Moreover, the income generated by the Glücksspirale
lottery is distributed to sports on a basis that may vary depending on the Länder.


In Hungary, the Ministry ensures the financial background and the National Young Athlete
Education Institution (NUSI) coordinates the allocation of the amounts. It may also give it to the
Associations, clubs and schools taking part in the programme.


The Irish Sports Council provides support in two ways, through support of individual high
performing athletes by means of the International Carding Scheme, and also for field sports
(rugby, football and Gaelic football) through the provision of funding. Financial support is also
provided to the specific training programmes, depending on the requirements of the relevant
governing body and the proposals made by them as part of an annual grant submission to the
Irish Sports Council. The Irish Rugby Football Union pays all the National Elite Squad and
academy development costs.


In Italy, for each sports association, training programmes are financed directly by funds of the
CONI and the Government. Furthermore, sport associations usually negotiate specific
sponsorship agreements with private entities. In addition, sport associations may obtain income
from their marketing business.


The Latvian Sports Law sets forth that youth sports shall be all financed by the State budget.


In Lithuania, pursuant to the Law on Physical Culture and Sports Activities, the funding of
physical culture and sports activities is the prerogative of the Government. The right of disposal
of these funds is vested in the Department of Physical Education and Sports. Consequently, the
Department decides whether to buy or refrain from buying sports equipment.


For training programmes in Luxemburg, there are some direct State contributions and ENEPS
has specific budgets that it may grant to some sports associations. However, training
programmes are mainly financed by the sports associations’ budget.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                     35
The Maltese Olympic Committee funds the technical preparation of top athletes through funds
obtained from the Government through the Kunsill Malta Ghall-Sport. However, since this
funding is insufficient, sports associations are expected to generate more funds themselves for
the other categories such as youth.


Regarding athletics training programmes in Portugal for young athletes, most of them are
financed by clubs (insufficiently), by local authorities and by some private companies. The IDP
also funds programmes through protocols with sports associations (Contratos-Programa) or
local authorities. The same programmes may be supported by social lottery funds. Such funds
are redirected to sports associations and clubs by means of protocols. Sports associations
finance training programmes for athletes who are members of the national teams. Clubs finance
their athletes’ programmes.


In Romania, the National Agency elaborates norms with respect to the use of resources
(including the financial ones) that are provided by the State budget for sports activities.
According to each of the sports associations’ statutes, there may also benefit from private
finance resources.


The training of young athletes is being mainly financed in Slovenia by the State pursuant to the
Annual Sports Programme.


In Spain, it is the Government who finances these programmes through the Sports Councils.


In the United Kingdom, the programmes are financed by a mix of public and private funding
arrangements.


It appears that some European countries are not so wealthy and may not allocate huge budgets
for sports development and training. Therefore, our opinion is that private funding should be
encouraged, as for example in the United Kingdom, so as to maintain the quality of training
programmes. It could be performed through the setting up of foundations, trusts and
philanthropy / charity. A best practice existing in the United Kingdom may constitute a good
basis for the development of such type of funding throughout the European Union: In 2006, the
National Foundation of Sports was created by the Government so as to encourage private
investment in sports13.

13
  Information report remitted by the Delegation of the National Assembly for the European Union on the organisation
and the financing of sports in Europe and presented by Mrs. Arlette Franco, Deputy, registered with the presidency of
the National Assembly on January 30, 2007, p. 13.




36   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
B       Financing of sports equipment


Regarding the financing of sports equipment (clothes, etc…) as well, there are substantial
differences between the Member States. Sports equipment may be financed by the athletes
themselves, by clubs, sports associations, by local and regional authorities or the State and, in
some rare cases, by commercial sponsorships.


In Austria, due to the high costs of professional skiing equipment, it is usually made available by
companies of the skiing industry who have cooperation contracts with clubs, federal
associations or the young athletes themselves.


In Estonia, mostly the athletes’ parents will buy the equipment for their children. For a great part,
sports clubs may offer assistance. In Greece and Hungary, buying and financing sports
equipment is under the responsibility of the club.


In France, the equipment is either supplied by clubs or by the parents or the athletes
themselves. Many sports associations, clubs and high level athletes enter into sponsorship
agreements with private / public companies.


In Italy, the decision about the financing of sports equipment is mainly reserved to clubs or
associations for each sports category. Moreover, in most cases, sports associations subscribe
to supply contracts with their official sponsors (i.e. Nike, Puma, Adidas etc.), for a duration of at
least one year.


In Luxemburg, local and regional authorities usually buy and provide sports equipment for their
facilities and associations providing sports activities in each territorial community may be
allocated some budget and supplied in equipment.


As for “individual” equipment, in Portugal, sports associations have special protocols with the
IDP for “High Competition Circuit” athletes. Finally, sports associations are responsible for the
equipment used by them to train the national teams.


In Slovenia, sports equipment is mainly financed by the State pursuant to the Annual Sports
Programme.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                        37
In the United Kingdom, the funding bodies are the same as those which finance training
programmes: the State, the National Lottery, Sports Aid, local authorities, the European Union,
community fundraising, private trusts and foundations, companies offering commercial
sponsorship (e.g. McDonald’s football sponsorship).


                                                         *
                                                     *        *


As described, and especially regarding the United Kingdom, some good practises may be found
in Europe on this subject matter. We consider that sponsorship agreements should be promoted
so as to encourage the access of young athletes to appropriate equipment. We also
recommend that funds be allocated more equally between all sports so that all high level young
athletes shall benefit from appropriate facilities to practice their sports.




C         Financing/building of sports facilities and stadiums


As shown hereinafter, in almost all Member States, the decision of financing/building sports
facilities and stadiums is made by the Government, local and regional authorities and/or
municipalities. In rare cases, private bodies may make those decisions.


In Finland, more than 70 percent of the sports facilities and stadiums are built and maintained
by municipalities. Some bigger facilities may be privately owned.


In the Czech Republic, municipalities and regions carry out the construction, management and
decide of the availability of their sports facilities.14


In Germany, the Government, statutory corporations, clubs with their sponsors, regional
authorities and municipalities with their funds and business companies build and finance
facilities and stadiums.




14
  Information report remitted by the Delegation of the National Assembly for the European Union on the organisation
and the financing of sports in Europe and presented by Mrs. Arlette Franco, Deputy, registered with the presidency of
the National Assembly on January 30, 2007, p. 9.




38   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
In Hungary, sports facilities are usually built with State and local Government subsidies, and
remain their property, but the State/local Government may grant a right of utilisation to a public
company or a business association. The decision is made accordingly by the Government and
the local Government.


In Ireland, the primary decision-making group in each of the sports governing bodies decides if it
is necessary to build/finance sports and stadiums. Where sports facilities are to be built /
financed in a particular sports club, then the sports governing body will make its decision in
conjunction with the relevant sports club.


The 2007 Italian Financial Act passed by the Government contains a paragraph dedicated to
provisions on sports activity. For example for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009, the Financial Act
has assigned to the Credit Institute for Sports a fund of Euro 20 million (each year) for the
building of new sports centres. The Credit Institute grants the financing for the construction of
the building and the enlargement of existing centres, as well as the purchase of the equipment,
the purchase of the area where new centres are to be built and the purchase of the building to
be used for sports activities. In addition, the Financial Act provides that the Ministry of
Education, allocating funds for the education, encourages the utilisation of school facilities
(including gymnasiums) outside class hours for practising sports or extra-curricular activities. In
such country, it may be said that sports facilities generally belong to municipalities.15


In Luxemburg, financing is mainly provided by public contributions paid to a special dedicated
fund, i.e. the National Sports Equipment Fund. The State, local and regional authorities and the
sports movement collaborate to decide the set up, maintenance, adaptation and modernisation
of sports facilities. The five-year development programme of sports facilities is led by the State
and supported by 50 communities and two sports associations. The decision results from a
legislative process.


In France, local and regional authorities, and more particularly municipalities, own 77% of the
traditional sports facilities. Local authorities ensure the main part of the construction and of the
management of sports facilities and decide on the availability of such facilities. Sports facilities
are made available to the public or to clubs, on a free basis to non professional clubs and on an
onerous basis to professional clubs. The management may be performed directly by local


15
  Information report remitted by the Delegation of the National Assembly for the European Union on the organisation
and the financing of sports in Europe and presented by Mrs. Arlette Franco, Deputy, registered with the presidency of
the National Assembly on January 30, 2007, p. 9.




     © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                                       39
authorities or delegated to commercial corporations, sports associations or semi-public
companies. An inventory of sports facilities on the French territory was carried out in 2002 under
the authority of Mr. Lamour, then Minister of Sports.16 Things are currently changing in this area
as professional clubs, for example in football and basketball, tend to have their own sports
facilities. However, the investment is very high and clubs cannot afford it without the intervention
of private investors which shall occur through various forms such as the Initial Public Offering of
sports clubs (recently authorised in France for the professional football club Olympique
Lyonnais) or the naming of the stadium as in the United States of America, Canada, the United
Kingdom or Germany. The first French naming agreement was concluded for the stadium of Le
Mans at the beginning of 2008.


In Portugal, sports clubs, local authorities and the State, through the SEJD and the IDP, are the
entities that decide the financing/building of sports facilities. The IDP, as a public entity, is also
responsible for the construction of the main facilities and stadiums. It may cooperate with local
authorities. The State finances all the sports facilities it owns. Other than that, local authorities
are responsible for municipality facilities and clubs are responsible for their own sports facilities
and stadiums. It is important to note that State entities (SEJD and IDP) often finance federative
sports facilities by means of subsidies and/or protocols. However, sports associations and local
authorities have, most of the time, their own budget for certain type of equipment and/or
facilities. Sports associations are often responsible for the technical supervision of the
equipment when constructed.


In Slovenia, stadiums and sports facilities are primarily financed or at least co-financed by the
State and local communities in accordance with the National Annual Sports Programme.


The Spanish Sport Law 10/1990 of 15 October 1990 establishes the regulation for the building
of public sports entities financed by State funds. There is a specific regulation for sport facilities
and recreation (NIDE) elaborated by the Sports Council. Furthermore, the Sports Council
summons public provides funds to autonomous regions in order to finance sports facilities in
public schools. Most of the Spanish sports facilities are built by municipalities and receive
subsidies from the State.17


16
  Information report remitted by the Delegation of the National Assembly for the European Union on the organisation
and the financing of sports in Europe and presented by Mrs. Arlette Franco, Deputy, registered with the presidency of
the National Assembly on January 30, 2007, p. 8.
17
  Information report remitted by the Delegation of the National Assembly for the European Union on the organisation
and the financing of sports in Europe and presented by Mrs. Arlette Franco, Deputy, registered with the presidency of
the National Assembly on January 30, 2007, p. 9.




40   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
In the United Kingdom, local authorities are the significant providers of funds of local sports
initiatives and benefit from a large autonomy in the field of sports policy. They finance a lot of
investments in facilities18. Additionally, Sport England, NGBs, the National Lottery, the Football
Foundation, the Foundation for Sports and the Arts and Central Government offer
comprehensive funding to build/finance sports facilities. For example, the Golfing Union of
Ireland, as part of its aims to promote and develop the game, has provided financial assistance
to the building of many courses through grants and interest-free loans.


It must be added that, as in Germany, United Kingdom and recently France, the construction of
the stadiums of the professional football clubs is very often financed by naming rights granted to
a sponsor (for example, the Reebok Stadium of Bolton, the Emirates Stadium of Arsenal, the
Allianz Arena of Bayern Munich, the MMA stadium of Le Mans, etc…).


                                                         *
                                                     *        *


As it has been already performed for example in France and Ireland, the Member States should
be encouraged to realize an audit of the sports facilities existing in their territory so as to be able
to operate a better allocation of the financing of such facilities.
The development of naming rights agreements and other sponsorship agreements relating to
the building and maintenance of sports facilities should be encouraged through advantages
consented to such private investors. Such advantages could for example take the form of partial
tax deductions.




D         Submission of the financing to quality criteria or other conditions


Due to the fact that equipment or facilities are mainly financed with public funding, the relevant
parties shall comply with the provisions governing the award of such funding.




18
  Information report remitted by the Delegation of the National Assembly for the European Union on the organisation
and the financing of sports in Europe and presented by Mrs. Arlette Franco, Deputy, registered with the presidency of
the National Assembly on January 30, 2007, p. 8.




     © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                                       41
Regarding this aspect, we particularly identified good practices in Finland, France, Italy and the
United Kingdom.


In Finland, special attention is placed to unhindered access of disabled persons to sports
facilities.


In France, training centres created by professional sports clubs must be agreed by the Ministry
of Health, Youth and Sports so as to receive public subsidies (article 2 of decree n° 2001-828 of
4 September 2001). This agreement is granted provided that the training centre complies with
the books of specifications enacted by the relevant sports association under the direction of the
national technical direction19.


Those books of specifications mainly relate to:
     -    The maximum number of young athletes that may be welcome in the training centre;
     -    The nature of the school /university/professional education and its accessibility;
     -    The weekly duration of training and competition of the young athletes;
     -    The nature and conditions of the medical survey;
     -    The nature of the sports equipment and facilities;
     -    The conditions of housing, catering, workplace and relaxation available to young
          athletes;
     -    The number and the qualification of the medical and social staff20.


In Italy, quality criteria and political reasons influence the decision in financing training
programmes and the purchasing of facilities or sports equipment. The CONI itself has
established some criteria of effectiveness for regulating the financial support of sports
associations, requiring more managerial behaviours and the application of more scientific
training methods for athletes and teams.


In the United Kingdom, generally, financing is submitted to the respect of quality criteria, though
these criteria greatly vary. Local authorities, for example the London Borough of Southwark,
have targeted sports and age/ethnic groups for which they prioritise their funding. UK Sport
operates a 'Funding Triggers' scheme where guaranteed receipt of continued funding requires
performance and governance standards to be met. Athletes applying for the Talented Athlete
Scholarship Scheme (‘TASS’) are selected by their sport's NGB, each of which administers its


19
   Instruction n° 02-074, JS of 5 April 2002 + letter n° 000187 of 28 June 2001 of the sports manager sent to the
National Technical Managers (DTN).
20
   Lamy Droit du Sport. Lamy Edition 2007




42   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
own criteria according to the abilities and the potential of the applicant. For those colleges
applying to be designated as Sports Colleges, Sport England and the Department for Education
and Skills will assess their suitability for such designation before granting it.


                                                   *
                                              *        *


Our study reveals that only a few countries submit the financing of sports training centres to the
compliance of quality criteria.


We believe that it is crucial to encourage the European Commission to promote through a
European social dialogue the development of discussions between the various actors involved
(national sports associations, professional leagues and clubs) on the aspects related to the
training of young high level athletes and, particularly, to promote the consideration of quality
criteria.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                     43
IV – EDUCATION


            Education is one of the key aspects of this study, since, in all countries, school is
compulsory until a certain age, which may be from 15 to 18 and must be combined with the
practice of sports. The quality of this combination will very often determine the post-career of the
young athlete. Every young athlete in the European Union should therefore be able to benefit
from both good quality education and sports training.


The European Commission recently expressed this opinion in its White Paper on Sports. The
Commission stated that: “In order to ensure the reintegration of professional sportspersons into
the labour market at the end of their sporting careers, the Commission emphasises the
importance of taking into account atr an early stage the need to provide “dual career” training for
young sportsmen and sportswomen and to provide high quality local training centres to
safeguard their moral educational and professional interests”21.


The main aspects studied in this section, which are crucial for young athletes relate to:


- The duration of compulsory education,

- The existence of special schools for young athletes combining sports training and regular
education and allowing flexibility in educational training,

- The possibilities for young athletes to continue their professional education / occupation after
compulsory school, existence of specific programmes.



A           Duration of compulsory education

Our study shows that the duration of compulsory education is quite similar within the European
Union (hereinafter “the EU”). It seems that the duration is never shorter than 8 years (Bulgaria is
the only Member State where compulsory education may last 8 years) and never longer than 12
years (4 countries: Belgium, Hungary, Romania, and Germany which compulsory school
duration varies from 9 to 12 years). Two Member States (Italy and Spain) only specify the age
when compulsory education stops and not the beginning. (Italy: until 15 years old; Spain: until


21
     Commission of the European Communities, White Paper on Sport, Brussels, 11 July 2007, COM (2007) 391, page 6.




44     © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
16 years old). All other Member States have a compulsory education duration ranged between 9
and 11 years. For more details, see table in appendices.


The duration of compulsory education is quite uniform in the European countries. This seems to
be a good basis to encourage the combination between educational and sports training.




B       Special schools for young athletes combining sports training and
        regular education and allowing flexibility in educational training


Our study shows that there are currently several ways through the European Union for young
athletes to combine education and sports training. The combination of education and training
remains a delicate issue since both are extremely demanding and time consuming. It is
therefore crucial for young athletes to have them provided with adapted educational structures
in order to avoid that they have to make a choice between sports training and studies.




1) Schools

It seems that three Member States do not have any programme combining education and
sports. They are Cyprus, Malta and Hungary.


Concerning the other Member States, distinctions may be performed according to the level of
education. The amount of training per week will notably depend on the nature of the school.




        a) Sports classes (in regular schools)


At least 12 Member States out of 27 have regulations setting up sports classes: Austria,
Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland,
Slovakia and Slovenia.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                 45
Please find hereafter some elements regarding the functioning of such sports classes:


In France, it is usually difficult to combine education and sports training. However, since a
circular dated 12 October, 1995, young athletes mentioned in a list provided by the national
technical directions of the various sports may benefit from specific adaptable arrangements.
Conventions are concluded between school institutions and sports training centres (such as the
National Institute for Sports and Physical Education (INSEP), regional popular and sports
education centres, national schools and sports associations) so as to allow young athletes
benefiting from specific school schedules, exam calendars and from a greater autonomy in
order to facilitate their sports development. High level athletes may under this text keep the
notes equal or superior to 10 for the 4 following years when taking their high school degree.


Sports classes are specific programmes within regular schools, allowing students to have more
sports classes per week. These sports classes are not especially targeting high level athletes,
and are consequently not suitable to their level of training. However, in Finland, high level
athletes who could not integrate sports schools usually integrate sports classes and therefore
benefit at least from the training provided in these classes.


These classes have various advantages according to the country where they are located. In
France, like in most of the other countries organising sports classes, members of such classes
benefit from more intensive sports training and are medically taken care of. In Slovenia, where
there are no sports schools, sports classes provide more advantages like the tolerance of
missing school until a certain time period, flexible timetables or additional exam dates etc. ….




         b) Sports Schools


It appears that sports schools can be found in 19 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the
Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia (private schools), Finland, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania,
Luxembourg (one upper secondary school), the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia,
Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.


These schools are ‘sports orientated’, which means that sports is the main skill and
programmes are therefore taught around trainings. Most of the time, however, it is made clear
that students have to be taught the same educational programmes than in regular schools.



46   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
These schools can either concern one or several sports. Weeks are organised according to the
training programmes of athletes. These structures allow flexibility, which is convenient, since
each sport has different requirements. These schools benefit from the relevant facilities, but
sometimes also from aside structures related to sports, like sports medical staff.


Since sports is a central issue in these schools, it is logical that the relevant layouts are part of
the day-to-day life: timetables are flexible and adapted to athletes’ trainings, exams can be
postponed; athletes can benefit of more time in order to complete a study cycle, they are
allocated tutors and are allowed more absence from school compared to other students due to
competitions.




            c) Other means of combination of sports training and education



                  i – The allocation of a specific status


Three countries, Belgium, Slovenia and Portugal, have created a specific status, granting to
their owners related rights. In Belgium, for instance, the ‘promising young athletes’ are granted
advantages such as more absence at school because of competitions, but also several types of
aids (financial aid, training…). In Slovenia, the status will entitle its owner to scholarships and
flexible timetables or exam dates, such as in Portugal.



                  ii – Professional sports centres


Two Member States allowed the creation of sports centres: France and the United Kingdom.
Once their classic compulsory education is accomplished, athletes can choose the way of
apprenticeship and integrate professional sports centres. Those centres are most of the time
football, rugby or basketball centres, which belong to a club. The setting up of an athletics
professional sports centre is also planned in France. In France, sports associations decide on
the opportunity of the creation of training centres. In these centres, athletes are allowed to train
solely in their sports, so as to become professional athletes. In France, sports centres bind their
members through contracts of maximum three years so that once they are well trained, they do
not abandon the centre that trained them (which would otherwise lose money).




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                        47
As a conclusion, it can be said that, nearly throughout the European Union, sports classes,
sports schools and training centres are well established institutions providing athletes with the
opportunity to train at different levels, and allowing talented athletes to get a minimum education
while training.




2) Universities


At this level, the combination of education and training becomes more complicated because of
the substantial investment needed in both domains. Opportunities of pursuing an academic
education and a sports career are unfortunately not planned as well as at compulsory school
level.


Some small countries such as Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary and Luxembourg, due to their limited
number of high level athletes, do not provide any opportunity for athletes to combine sports
training and upper studies.


The other countries may be split in three groups:


     -   Those which have created sports faculties (a),
     -   Those which entitle high level athletes to benefit from specific advantages during their
         studies, taking into account the specificity of their condition (b),
     -   Finland and its sports network (c).




         a) Member States having sports faculties


Several Member States have chosen to set up sports faculties. These countries are Bulgaria,
the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Greece, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. Sports faculties
are, by essence, just like sports schools, adapted to training since their subjects are all sports
related. Some of the above mentioned countries only have sports faculties as an adapted
means for athletes to access to upper education. They generally lead to teaching and training
jobs.




48   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
        b) Member States which entitle high level athletes to benefit from specific advantages
            taking into account the specificity of their condition


Apparently, most of the time, in the various Member States, universities are autonomous and
therefore entitled to regulate themselves the status and advantages allocated to high level
athletes. They may consist in flexibility in timetables, distance learning, tutors etc...


In France, article 28 of Law on Sports of 16 July 2004 sets out that university must favour the
access of high level athletes. Therefore, they may benefit from the status of employed students
or from an extension of the studies duration or from the granting of bonuses for the exams or
from absence authorisations.
Furthermore, each year, 20 high level athletes may access to schools that organise a
preparation of the diplomas of masseur-physiotherapist without taking the entry exam. Another
example may be mentioned: The University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas (law and economics) is
currently trying to set up online lessons, tutors and allocation of scholarships. These advantages
are the only ways to enable athletes to follow upper studies. Furthermore, high level athletes
may also benefit from specific arrangements to take the National Certificate of Sports Instructor.


In Italy, there is no regulation concerning advantages allocated to athletes. It seems that in
practice, however, athletes find ways to approach their lecturers and discuss examination dates.


It has to be noted that despite such advantages, it remains difficult for a talented young athlete
to combine studies and high level sports training in most of the Member States. In France, for
example, there is a huge issue regarding scholarships grant to young athletes which are training
in professional sports centres. The scholarship has to be requested when they start their first
year of university. Very often, this year will be also decisive with regards to their sports career
and they will often fail their exams. In such a case they will lose their scholarship which may not
be further granted. Thereafter, if for any reason, they have to stop their sports career, they will
have to find the financing of their studies elsewhere.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                      49
                   c) The existence of a network: the example of Finland


In Finland, there is a network of ‘academies’, dedicated to young high level athletes. It
associates sports associations to institutions in order to combine their knowledge and better
help the athletes in order to pursue their academic and sports careers.


                                                 *
                                             *       *


Many efforts are being made in several Member States so as to allow high level young athletes
to combine higher education studies and high level sports. However, the practise often shows
that this is not sufficient and that many high level athletes cannot go on studying efficiently if
they want to reach the high level on the sports side as they need to invest much time in training.


Our recommendation is to encourage the Member States to offer the possibility to high level
young athletes to organise in a different way their academic path. In order to equalize the
opportunities offered to high level young athletes regarding their educational / professional
training, a programme specifically adapted to their needs and constraints could be set up within
the framework of the Lifelong Learning Programme, programmededicated to the promotion of
the apprenticeship all life long. Such a programme would allow high level young athletes to
perform their studies within a longer time period.


This also means that the statute of high level athletes should be studied in order to make sure
all potential high level young athletes get the appropriate environment to combine sports and
studies.


Another solution could be found in the development of e-learning programs. Such educational
system could be created so that high level athletes who travel very often and have very heavy
schedules may combine their sports and educational / professional training.




50   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
C        Possibilities for young athletes to continue their professional
         education / occupation after compulsory school, existence of
         specific programmes


    Once the compulsory school is terminated, athletes are confronted to several different
choices. They can either:


    -    abandon their studies and keep on training and competing, or,


    -    keep on training and continue their professional education through the available ways in
         their country.


This part of the study enlightens us about the available ways, for athletes, to continue their
professional education once their compulsory education is over in the various Member States.


First of all, it has to be stated that:


Three Member States do not have any available programme. They are Bulgaria, Malta and
Luxembourg (apparently, athletes are anyway trying to assist to evening courses, but there is no
specific programme). It can be observed that these Member States are relatively small and have
few top athletes. This may partially explain the absence of such programme.


One Member State, Cyprus, was not able to give us any data on this question.


Apart from these Member States, others can be departed in the following three categories:



1) States which provide professional education through the educational system


This is the most common configuration. In the following countries , young athletes are provided
with educational programmes: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France,
Greece, Hungary (currently developing a new education plan especially aimed at combining
sports training and education), Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia,
Sweden and the United Kingdom.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                    51
These Member States provide two types of educational programmes that allow athletes to
continue their professional education:


     -   Sports colleges and faculties,
     -   Professional training centres.


While sports schools, colleges and faculties are still strongly linked to the educational system
since they provide both sports training and academic skills, professional training centres are
closer to apprenticeship as skills are essentially situated around sports chosen by athletes.


Sports schools, colleges and faculties are present in most of the afore-mentioned Member
States. Training centres, on the contrary, are only available in two Member States, namely
France and the United Kingdom.




2) States which provide professional education through job opportunities


Several Member States give the opportunity to their top athletes to get jobs which, by essence
will either have an important part of their schedule related to sports, or consist in working around
sports. A few Member States are currently providing their athletes with jobs:


- Austria and Germany, which both make available army jobs. In Germany, police jobs are
offered to athletes as well;


- Belgium, which enrols voluntary athletes in its civil service within sports related services, or, for
the Flemish Community exclusively, the BLOSO, which provides jobs in the framework of the
‘Top sport team Flemish Community’; The Sports Department of the Flemish Community also
finances a professional cycling team, along with a continental team for young cyclists and
professional athletics team;


- France, where, under article 28 of the Law on sports of 16 July 1984, high level athletes are
exempted from conditions of diploma for applying to the entry exams of the State, departments,
towns, national, departmental and municipal public institutions. Article 29 of the same Law
states that high level athletes are exempted from the age limit to access to State and local and
regional authorities’ employments. Furthermore, 20 % of them may have access to the exam
allowing them to become a sports teacher. Another type of assistance of young athletes



52   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
currently very applied in France are the contracts for professional integration that may be
concluded between the Ministry of Health, Youth and Sports and public or private companies
under article 32 of the Law on sports of 16 July 1984 (for example, the French rowing champion,
Adrien Hardy works under such a contract for EDF, the French electricity company). Such
conventions allow high level athletes to have a sports career while occupying a remunerated
function and prepare their professional redeployment. Under those conventions, high level
athletes may benefit from adapted work time schedules so that they can train in an adequate
manner.




3) States which provide advice and help to their athletes


Three Member States have currently chosen this way of helping their athletes once their
compulsory education period is over. They are Denmark, Finland and Portugal.


Team Denmark hired a permanent job consultant who is at the disposal of the athletes. He has
a good knowledge of the job market and of the status of athletes and is therefore useful in
helping them to find a job.


Finland, on its side, disposes of a network composed with sports associations, institutions and
former athletes. Together, they are aware of the problems that may be encountered by young
athletes and are therefore efficient in advising them, when it comes to the continuation of their
career. This, of course, includes the decision of athletes of going on with their studies, to finding
a job or simply going on with their sports training.


In France, the Ministry of Sports entered in 1996 into conventions with the National Labour
Agency (ANPE) and other employment authorities in order to provide high level athletes with a
personal follow up and help them in their employment research. Such type of aids is sometimes
granted by players’ trade unions as in football and basketball for example22. Another type of aid
that may be granted to high level athletes in France consists in an assistance granted for the
setting up of a company. This aid was created in 1979 and mainly corresponds to a loan with a
preferred interest rate.




22
  Interviews of the Union Nationale des Footballeurs Professionnels and of Mr. Maurice Beyna (Syndicat National des
Basketteurs) – June 2007




     © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                                     53
Moreover, sports associations may grant financial aids to high level athletes mentioned on the
list of high level athletes. Those aids are paid by the French National Olympic Committee
pursuant to the instructions of the National Technical Managers (DTN).


In Portugal, the SJPF (Secretaria do Estado da Juventude e do Desporto) runs a ‘stage for
unemployed professional football players’ allowing them to go on training thanks to the relevant
facilities, playing matches, etc. … which in the end may lead to contracts with clubs. This stage
is unfortunately only available for professional football players and does not concern any other
sports. The same opportunity exists in France for unemployed professional football players
under the auspices of the players’ labour union, Union Nationale des Footballeurs
Professionnels (UNFP)23.


                                                             *
                                                        *         *


As a conclusion, it can be pointed out that many Member States make their best efforts to follow
their athletes once their compulsory education is over. Many of them, such as France, have
diversified the ways of helping their athletes. However, it seems that other Member States
sometimes offer few opportunities and that athletes can be left with almost no guidance once
their compulsory educational period is over.


Our recommendation is to encourage the Member States to offer the possibility to high level
young athletes to organise in a different way their academic path, for example during a longer
period.


Furthermore, it would be interesting to set up in the various Member States, as it is already
done in Finland, structures composed of former athletes, independent from sports associations
and trainers, who would be able to efficiently advise young athletes.




23
     Interview of the Union Nationale des Footballeurs Professionnels. June 2007




54     © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
D       Existence of specific scholarships


The study showed that scholarships are allocated to athletes in almost every Member State of
the European Union.


However, it has to be mentioned that:


It seems that Malta does not allocate any scholarship to its athletes, probably because of two
factors: it is a small country and it does not have many high level athletes.


Three other Member States, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands, do not allocate specific
scholarships to athletes, due to the fact that they have a global scholarship system which
entitles every student to a time-limited scholarship. However, this does not mean that the
specific status of athletes is not taken into account since Dutch athletes are entitled to a
supplementary year of scholarship.


Two Member States, Estonia and Luxembourg were not able to provide us with any detail
concerning this matter.


Furthermore, the study made obvious that scholarships allocated by the other Member States
are extremely different:
    -   The competent authority which decides to allocate them varies a lot according to the
        country.
    -   The amount and the set criteria (although we have few information about the amounts)
        may also be greatly different due to the independence of the founders.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                 55
1) Competent authority

Most countries have scholarships originating from various organisations. Basically, (i) public
institutions, (ii) sports related organisations and (iii) private organisations may allocate
scholarships:


         i) Public scholarships are usually granted by the relevant Ministries, that is to say, very
         often, by the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Education. 12 Member States are
         concerned by this system (Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, the
         Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom). In France, for example,
         high level athletes engaged in a professional training (sports training or other) may
         receive a scholarship from the Ministry of Health, Youth and Sports.


         It is not rare that universities benefit from enough independence so that they can decide
         on their own on which criteria and up to which amount scholarships are to be allocated.
         It is for example the case in France or the United Kingdom. The main issue in these
         types of system is that universities are not bound to allocate scholarships and therefore
         not all of them decide to allocate funds to scholarships for athletes. This means that
         athletes do not have much choice when they have to choose their university.


         Another means currently used is to ask local authorities for funding. In France, Poland
         and Italy, athletes can ask their regions for help. In Denmark, athletes may even ask the
         municipalities where they live. In this case again, these entities decide on their own the
         criteria they set and the amount they are willing to grant to the athlete.


         ii) Scholarships can also be allocated by sports associations, depending or not on the
         State.


         The Governments of several Members States generated sports programmes which
         sometimes allocate scholarships. For instance, the Austrian ‘Sporthilfe’ compensates
         expenses that may have been incurred by athletes performing their sports and not
         earning more than € 50,000 per year. The Top Sport Austria, on the other side, is a
         programme run by the Austrian Agency of the Federal Chancellor and allocates
         financial support to associations training high performance athletes preparing
         international competitions. In Belgium, the BLOSO (Flemish Agency for the




56   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
        Advancement of Physical Development, Sports and Outdoor Recreation) proposes
        specific programmes aiming at financially assisting high performance athletes.


        Similarly, sports associations, and, at their level, sports clubs allocate scholarships in at
        least 6 Member States (Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Italy and Portugal). Olympic
        Committees also fund athletes in several Member States as well, such as in Italy,
        Slovenia, France, Hungary and Sweden.


        iii) Sometimes, private companies or persons decide to fund athletes. Such financing
        exists in Sweden. Once again, the amounts and criteria set by these persons are left to
        their discretion.




2) Allocated amounts and relevant criteria


        Only a few Member States provided us with scholarships amounts and criteria. The
reason of this abstention is that, generally, entities allocating scholarships are independent, like
universities in France or in the United Kingdom, and that they set both the amount allocated and
the criteria according to which they will provide scholarships. It can therefore be established that
this question gives rise to a huge number of possibilities, certainly providing an obvious
advantage to athletes who benefit from the most important incomes and financial advantages.


Some countries which have set national programmes, like the United Kingdom with its ‘TASS’
(up to £ 3,000 per year, available to anyone up to 24years old who is studying at least 50% of a
full time higher level course at college. Disabled athletes may apply up to age 35; the Flemish
Community, with BLOSO, finances several programmes and allocates up to € 20,000 within the
framework of the athlete’s sports activity and up to € 3,000 credit for advice by the relevant
university; the German Sport Aid foundation funds 4,000 athletes per year with a budget of €
12,000,000 (€ 3,000 per athlete).


Sometimes, scholarships are directly allocated by the Ministries. In Finland, the Finnish Ministry
of Education allocates up to € 6,000 to young promising athletes and up to € 15,000 per year to
athletes competing at an international level. In Poland, the Ministry of Sports grants up to € 600
per month to the Paralympics and the national team members and up to € 1,800 per month to
the Olympic teams members. In Slovenia, the Ministry of Education and Sports in accordance
with the Olympic Committee and the foundation for the financing of sports associations, allocate



    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                        57
scholarships to athletes according to their educational level 80% (primary, upper secondary
schools) to 120% (university) of the guaranteed wage.


Relevant criteria are often linked to the participation in national/international/Olympic
competitions like in Poland, Finland, Hungary and others. The may also relate to a specific
status like in Belgium with the ‘top sport athletes’ status, or the level of education attained by the
athlete like in Italy for instance.


It is interesting to notice that Italy has a system based on a partial allocation: the scholarship
allocated to the athletes is being divided in two parts: one is directly paid to the athlete, while
the other is allocated to the club where he/she trains. This system has the advantage to provide
clubs with funds and may facilitate the athlete’s training and his/her everyday life since he/she is
not going to have to change club because it is not adapted to his/her needs in terms of training.


                                                  *
                                              *       *


Our study shows a great variety of scholarships that may be granted to high level athletes,
whether in their form or in their amount. In order to equalize the opportunities offered to high
level athletes regarding their educational / professional training, a European programme
specifically adapted to their needs and constraints could be set up within the framework of the
European Lifelong Learning Programme.This would allow high level athletes to go studying or
following their professional training even in case of move from one country to another.




E        Existence of regulation related to ethical values to be transmitted to
         young athletes

Ethical values may concern several themes such as doping and prohibited substances and
therefore medical issues, but also means fair play while practicing sports activities;
companionship, etc.


This study reveals that most Member States ensure somehow that ethical values are
transmitted to their athletes. Apart from Latvia, which did not to provide us with details, and the
Netherlands where it seems that the athletes are not specifically trained taking into account




58   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
these values, the 25 other Member States have integrated this theme in the training of their
respective athletes.


Not all the Member States have set specific rules concerning the information of athletes, but
athletes are warned on these values.


The European Parliament, in its report relating to the future of professional football in Europe,
emphasized on the “necessity of ensuring to young players appropriate conditions for
developing themselves and to train them in a spirit of honesty and respect of fair-play rules”24.




1) Member States benefiting from established rules


These rules may be of two types:



          a) Legal rules


Nine Member States have set forth legal regulations relating to ethical values (Belgium,
Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia).


Looking more accurately at these provisions, it is obvious that they may be divided in two
groups:


The fist group may be composed of legal provisions that are accurately regulating the
transmission of ethical values, such as in Belgium, for instance, where the Flemish Government
produced an order stating that among the educational programmes of secondary schools, pupils
had to be able to apply ethical values related principles (acceptable behaviour in sports
relationships…). Moreover, France and French Belgium state compulsory medical exams which
frequency is set out by governmental decrees, in order to watch for athletes’ health and control
that their sports practices is nor dangerous, nor unhealthy.


The second group may relate to legal provisions providing general obligations to be
implemented either by sports related associations like clubs and committees. For instance, a

24
  European Parliament – Report on the future of professional football in Europe (2006/2130 (INI)) – Culture and
Education Unit. February 13, 2007, p.10.




     © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                                 59
decree of the French Community Government states that each sports club has to make
available to parents of children under 16, information about good ring practices as well as
harmful consequences of prohibited substances and prohibited means; the list of substances
and prohibited means… Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia have set
forth specific provisions in their respective sports related legislation in order for their athletes to
benefit, at least at one level, from information concerning, what is considered to be ethical
values according to the country.


It is also interesting to mention that in several Member States, such as Poland, Codes of Ethics
have been drafted. Their legal authority is however not made clear.




         b) Sports associations rules


         As previously mentioned, in the institutional and legal parts of this study, international
associations, non-governmental sports associations, and sometimes clubs draft their own rules.
As ethical values are important aspects of the practice of sports, it is current that clubs or sports
associations draft their own regulation in this area.




         c) Customs


First of all, the term ‘customs’ commonly means accepted and used practices, that are not
legally prescribed. Not all the Member States have indeed chosen to generate specific rules
about ethical values. This does not mean that athletes who train in those countries do not have
any access to such rules.


It is necessary to clarify that even Member States which have regulated the transmission of
ethical values through official regulations, sometimes also benefit from sports practices
consisting in the information of athletes even in cases where it is not legally prescribed (i.e. to
one category of athletes). In these cases, information is considered to be part of the general
education of the athlete. It can be compared to custom, in the meaning that there is no official
regulation, but that it is generally provided by trainers (this is particularly the case in Malta, the
United Kingdom, Slovenia, Slovakia, Austria and France). Therefore, it is awaited, that at some
point of the training, the trainer is going to talk about ethical values. It can be provided at an
early stage of the practice of sports, in order to explain the interests and needs generated by fair



60   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
play practices for instance; or at an advanced stage, when the young athlete is likely to be
confronted to doping.


        In the countries where education about ethical values is only transmitted through
trainers like in Austria, Malta or the United Kingdom, there would be a need for a legal text in
order to render the transmission of such type of information compulsory, especially when it
comes to the prevention of doping practices.



        d) Member States currently deprived of rules


        A few Member States (the Netherlands and Lithuania) answered that they had no such
rules. Even though they have no specific legal regulation, these countries are not deprived of
regulations concerning ethical values since they ratified the international anti-doping
conventions. Furthermore, they apply the rules set out by sports international associations like
FIFA, which state that football players have must get information about ethical values.


Furthermore, two States, Italy and Spain, are currently deprived from any regulation about
ethical values but are drafting projects in order to remedy this lap in their respective legislations.
In Italy, the POGAS recently suggested to organise within the sports curriculum meetings with
former Olympic or world champions and young students, in order to discuss doping and
violence prevention issues aiming at developing fair play and education within sports practices.
In Spain, a new project of plan against sports doping mentions that information should be
displayed to athletes.


                                                  *
                                              *       *


As a conclusion, it would be recommendable for each Member State to have at least a minimum
standard regarding the transmission of ethical values relating to fair-play, the fight against
doping, against racism and against violence, the protection of health and the protection of
minors , even if it seems that in practice this type of information is being displayed.
An ideal solution might consist in calling systematically together young promising athletes in
order to organise prevention about serious issues related to ethical values, like doping and
prohibited practices. Even if we were told, while searching for information, that young athletes
were informed about ethical values, one can never be ensured that the information is being
displayed in an efficient way. It is important to ensure that young athletes are aware of the



    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                         61
dangers which may occur due to the infringement of the ethical values, especially regarding
their health.
.




F        Existence of after-career programmes


After-career programmes are becoming increasingly important in the life of high level young
athletes. Indeed, as mentioned previously in this study, their sports careers are short and fragile
and the labour market is currently extremely demanding. Today, apart from the assumption
where athletes are planning to become sports trainers or teachers, their high level sports career
is useless when they search for a job. High career programmes are therefore of crucial
importance in the way that they are able to help former athletes to integrate a labour market that
is often not tailored for them.




1) Member States which do not have after career programmes


         Nine Member States appear not to have a real after career programme (Cyprus,
Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden). The fact that
there is no official programme does not mean that nothing is being accomplished in order to
help former high level athletes integrating the labour market. Indeed, in Ireland, for instance, a
specific benevolent trust helps former football players by allocating funding in order for them to
benefit from secondary education.


In Latvia, funding can be allocated. However, it seems that it is at the sole discretion of the
Government.


         Furthermore, depending on the Member State, former athletes may benefit from
particular advantages linked to the employment research, even if there is no regulation to
confirm this situation. For example, former athletes in Luxembourg and Slovenia often manage
to find jobs when their career ends, especially in ministries or sports associations.


         It may be interesting to mention that in Portugal, specific rules aiming at helping former
athletes once their career is over have been set forth (Decree Law 146/93, 26/04). However,




62   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
athletes are still deprived of such help since these rules were never applied, even though former
athletes who fulfilled the required criteria asked for the before mentioned funding.




2) Member States which set out after career programmes


Thirteen Member States provide after-career programmes. Part of them result from sports
associations, the other part deriving from legal regulations.



        a) Regulations provided by the State


Nine Member States provide regulations that set forth after-career programmes (of which
Austria, Denmark, France, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal). They may
consist in financial aids (Austria, France: Instruction 94-031 clarified by the Decree of 29 April,
1994 relating to sports persons registered in the ‘reconversion’ category), Lithuania, the
Netherlands and Poland), which generally have educational purposes. They may also consist in
tax advantages (Finland).


Positive measures, like the above mentioned contracts for professional integration (CIP) in
France, allowing athletes to get professional experience and pursue their career at the same
time are also available in the European Union. Athletes generally work as civil servants in
services allowing light and extremely flexible timetables. They therefore manage to pursue their
sports and professional careers at the same time. Consequently, once their sports career ends,
they are neither deprived from a job nor from work experience. The Spanish Sports Council
seems to have set out similar provisions, since it concludes agreements with private companies
so that they provide athletes with jobs compatible with their particular way of life. These
measures are dedicated to the integration of former athletes in the labour market (Spain, RD
1467/1997).



        b) Regulations provided by sports related associations


        Sports related associations are aware of the issues generated by the arrival of former
athletes on the labour market. In nine Member States, sports related associations (State,
Associations, clubs or associations) have created specific programmes aiming at helping



    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                      63
athletes after their sports career. Help may be of a different nature, such as, of course, financial
aids like in the United Kingdom: the English Institute of Sport (EIS) offers £ 1,000 for
postgraduate studies. Most commonly, aids consists in counselling and guidance aiming at a
future career like in Finland (sports associations), Denmark (sports associations) and United
Kingdom (sports associations). The Scottish and English Professional football associations, for
example, run after career programmes aiming at providing education to former football players.
Similarly, these organisations sometimes try to build networks with private companies (British
Olympic Association, Team Denmark, Spanish Sports Council, Dutch NOC*NSF).


                                                 *
                                             *       *


         This study shows that the question of after-career programmes is taken into account in
the different Member States. Programmes are principally aiming at giving athletes an
opportunity to get more education, in order to find an employment contract or provide them with
connections with private companies, so that at the end, they are able to find a suitable job. It
would however be recommendable to ensure that such programmes are made available in
every Member State and to spread the best practices identified throughout Europe between the
various Member States.




64   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
V - TRAINING OF YOUNG ATHLETES


         The performance of an athlete generally depends on several criteria. One of the most
important ones is obviously the quality of the training. Quality trainings take into account, not
only general principles related to the considered sports, i.e. what is globally required to improve,
but also the personality of the athlete. As a consequence, trainings are tailored for each high
level athlete, and may therefore be very different from an athlete to another even in the same
sport.


Training plays an important role in the life of the athletes and their trainers, since both of them
wish to reach high level competitions and are therefore ready to make sacrifices. This study
shows that there are globally two trends within the European Union. Some Member States
regulate training at the institutional level whereas others leave this matter to the relevant sports
associations.




A        Existence of regulations limiting the duration of training of young
         athletes and setting out a minimum age for practising high-level
         sports


The duration of training and the age at which a young athlete may start training in a given sport
are crucial. Moreover, it has to be noted that each sport does not require the same rules
concerning these two parameters. This study shows that minimum ages and duration of training
are regulated by the Member States of the European Union through different ways:




1) Limitation of the training duration


This limitation is extremely important. Indeed, accidents due to trainings which are too intensive
sometimes happen, like recently in Greece, where two young athletes died after their training
session. Limitations are generally imposed by State regulations or sports associations’ rules,
according to different criteria, for one sport or several ones.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                       65
             a) Member States providing limitations of the training duration


Limitations are generally provided through the following two means:


         Legal requirements: some Member States regulate the duration of training through
         official regulations:


              o    Some Member States regulate those aspects through laws on education. As an
                   example, Belgium and Latvia regulate the duration of training through
                   educational requirements. In Latvia, the duration of training may only be
                   regulated in public schools;


              o    Labour law provisions apply in Member States where young athletes may be
                   bound under labour contracts, such as France, Portugal, Lithuania and
                   Hungary, but also by collective bargaining agreements, as in France (see
                   paragraph below);


              o    According to the guidelines given by official institutions: In Slovenia, common
                   regulations are agreed between the Ministry of Education, the Olympic
                   Committee and the National Branch Association. The training time for each of
                   the 5 selected sports is carefully determined in function of the age of the
                   athletes: requirements are set forth by the National Branch Association in
                   agreement with the Ministry of Education and the Sport and Olympic Committee
                   of Slovenia. The scope of training may not exceed the following limitations: 1.
                   youngest athletes (6-8 years): 240 hours/year, 2. juveniles (9-11): 240-400
                   hours per year, 3. older boys and girls: 300 – 800 hours. For youth, i.e. athletes,
                   who are 15-20 years’ old, the duration of yearly sports training may not exceed
                   400-1,100 hours.


              o    According to a governmental decree concerning training for amateur athletes,
                   as for example in France.


              o    According to collective bargaining agreements applicable to professional
                   athletes, like in France. Not all sports negotiated such agreements. Indeed,
                   there are currently agreements mainly for football, rugby, basketball, handball



66   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
                  and golf. Other sports are currently regulated by a new and common sports
                  collective bargaining agreement, which deals with the training of the athletes.


        Sports associations’ rules: it is quite common for Member States to have sports
        associations dealing with such matter, based on the assumption that they have a
        perfect knowledge of their respective sports and are consequently aware of the
        minimum suitable age for practising such sports. These regulations may vary a lot:


             o    In Italy, Luxembourg or the United Kingdom, there are rules enacted by sports
                  associations:


                           In Italy, sports associations set the following rules:


                                   •   Football: until the age of 12, the young athletes must respect
                                       compulsory breaks of at least 24 hours between 2 training
                                       sessions.
                                   •   Basketball: the youngest athletes shall not train for more than
                                       2 hours a week.
                                   •   Cycling: young athletes between 8 and 12 can only participate
                                       to one race per day and must comply with a compulsory break
                                       of 5 days between two races.


             o    Sports associations rules are very often guided by the State, like in Finland
                  where they have to be in accordance with national recommendations. In
                  Germany, there are such recommendations, although it seems that they may
                  not be binding.




            b) Member States not providing limitations for the training duration


Several Member States do not have any regulation limiting the duration of training of young
athletes. Most of the time, the training duration is decided by the trainers, who are meant to be
aware of the limits of their trainees, such as for example in Greece and Slovakia.


However, other parameters may be taken into account. This is the case in the Czech Republic
and Estonia, where the health of the athlete is considered as a reference.



    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                         67
In Spain, efforts are realised since the Sports Council requires from the trainers working in
performance centres that they send their training programmes for information.


Finally, it has to be noted that the gender is generally not taken into account to determine the
training duration.


                                                    *
                                                *       *


Our recommendations would be that every Member State should be encouraged to set out
limitations of the training duration according to the considered sports and to the level of high
level athletes so as to ensure that trainers do not threaten the health of high level young
athletes.




2) Minimum age required for practising high-level sports


This study shows that this question may be treated in different ways regarding the gender and
the various sports. Indeed, as previously mentioned, the age at which sports may be started
often depends on the requirements of each sport. Technical sports require from athletes that
they acquire a real expertise and thus must be started at a very young age while sports
requiring strength may be started later. Furthermore, in the majority of the European Member
States, it appears that the age at which a sport may be started and the age of the first
competitions is different. For instance, in Belgium, tennis can be started as from the age of 5 or
6, but children cannot compete before 8. As this matter may become quite complex due to the
nature of each sport, it will often be dealt with by sports associations themselves. We
understand that this is the case in Finland, Italy, Luxembourg and Slovakia although we did not
receive any details from those countries. Furthermore, the following other Member States
provided us with the following information:


         France: generally, 14 years is the minimum age accepted to participate in high level
         competitions such as the Olympic Games. However, this limit is not applied when it
         comes to minor competitions, at the regional level for instance. Each sports association
         may therefore set out its age limit.




68   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
       Germany: the facultative limitation is not directly related to the age of the athletes but to
       the amount of training years.


       Hungary: the age limit for practising football is 5 years, while it is 10 to register in an
       athletics club/association.


       Portugal: in athletics, the minimum age required to compete is 14 years.


       Romania:


                          Football: the minimum age limit to enrol for a club (which triggers the
                          possibility of participating in local or national official competitions) is 7
                          years for boys and 13 years for girls;
                          Gymnastics: young athletes can join a club at the age of 7;
                          Rugby: young athletes can join a club at the age of 7 but until the age
                          of 8 they can only participate to competitions reserved to them.


       United Kingdom: all sports are structured according to age brackets.


Other Member States drafted laws on this matter. These Member States are


       Belgium:


                          In Belgium, minimum ages are set forth for each of the 5 selected
                          sports; and, generally, within each sport, there is a distinction between
                          the age at which the sport can be started and the age at which a young
                          athlete can start competition:


                                  •   Flemish Community:
                                         o   Athletics: the age at which competition can be started
                                             is 7. There is no specification concerning the age for
                                             starting a sport.
                                         o   Cycling: training can be started at 7, participation to
                                             cycling events may began as from 8; participation to
                                             competitions/races may start as from 12.




   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                           69
                                          o   Tennis: non competitive competitions can be started at
                                              age of 5; competitive competitions can be started at
                                              age of 8.
                                          o   Basketball: children can be part of a team from 6 years
                                              onwards.
                                          o   Football: no data was provided to us.




                                    • French Community:
                                          o   Athletics: competitions start at age of 7, derogations to
                                                    start at age of 6 are sometimes allowed.
                                          o   Cycling: participation to cycling events is allowed as
                                                    from age of 12 and participation to races and
                                                    competitions is allowed as from age of 15.
                                          o   Basketball: children can be part of a team at 6 and
                                                    over.
                                          o   Tennis: children being 5 years’ old can take part in
                                                    non competitive competitions; and from age of 9
                                                    (exceptions may be possible) for competitive
                                                    competitions.
                                          o   Football: children can join a club when they are 5
                                                    years’ old.


         Denmark: the rules are contained in the Danish Act on elite sports;
         Greece : no further data was provided to us regarding the applicable law;
         Latvia: the rules only concern national team players (basketball, football, athletics and
         ice hockey 19 years old; handball: 20 years old.);
         Slovenia: the National Sports Programme sets out the age of 6 years old as general
         age limit.


                                                       *
                                                *           *


The study shows that the age limits set out in the various countries of the European Union are
quite different and it would certainly be recommendable, so as to ensure a more efficient
protection of the children’s health, to initiate the various Member States or sports associations




70   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
(depending on the current practice of the country) to set out a general age limit, like in Latvia, in
order to avoid the recruitment of extremely young children. Furthermore, the practice of several
Member States, consisting in dissociating the age at which sports can be started and the age at
which competition can be started is undeniably of interest.




B       Common training for men and women


As a preliminary remark, please note that the Czech Republic did not provide information on this
subject matter.


Otherwise, this study shows that the training is most of the time common to both genders in
almost all Member States of the European Union:




1) Member States where the training is common to both genders


        Denmark: training is common when considered as possible by the trainer.
        Finland: training is not only common to athletes of both genders, but also to every age.
        Ireland: training is always common in basketball and often in athletics but more rarely in
        football.


Many other Member States, such as Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany,
Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland,
Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain, indicated that training was common to men
and women as soon as it was possible (see Appendix B to the present chapter). This may
especially be the case for individual sports without duals.




2) Member States where the training is not common to both genders


        France: It depends on the sports and on the level of athletes. Very young athletes
        usually train together but as the level increases, training becomes more appropriate to
        the gender. At the professional level, in football and basketball, for example, it is not




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                        71
           common to sportsmen and sportswomen. However, the INSEP allows common
           trainings. Such differences derive from the fact that at a high level, competitions are not
           as numerous for women as for men.




           The United Kingdom: as for France, it may depend on the sports and on the level of the
           athletes.


                                                       *
                                                  *         *


The development of feminine paths for all sports should be encouraged as the physiological
development of women is very different from the men’s one as it may be noted that there are no
specific paths for women in several high level sports. The organisation of such paths could be
derived from the French and British systems where for many sports, women benefit from a
specific training (for example, in addition to football and basketball, in judo, gymnastics and
fencing). The existing programmes such as European Sport and Women should also be
supported by the Member Sates and sports associations.


This development is wished by the European Parliament as set out in its report on the future of
professional football in Europe25 and by the European Commission in its White Paper on
Sport26.




C          Regulations related to professionals and further education of the
           staff working with young athletes


The results of our study are encouraging. Almost all Member States have regulations relating to
professionals and to further education of the staff working with young athletes. Regulations may
originate from State institutions and sports associations or both of them.



25
   European Parliament – Report on the future of professional football in Europe (2006/2130 (INI)) – Culture and
Education Unit. February 13, 2007, p. 10.
26
   Commission of the European Communities, White Paper on Sport, Brussels, 11 July 2007, COM (2007) 391, pages 8
and 10.




72   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
It must be specified first, that most of the time, the concerned ‘staff’ are only the trainers.


Furthermore, please note that Lithuania and Sweden did not provide information on this subject
matter.




1) Member States where regulations originate from sports organisations


The involved sports organisations cover several levels. There are Olympic Committees, sports
associations and clubs. Sometimes, these organisations go as far as organising themselves the
training and graduation of their staff.


In the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal and Slovakia, sports
associations are responsible for setting up criteria concerning the education of the staff. In the
Netherlands especially, each sports association has set out criteria and requires specific
qualifications and degrees that it supervises. For instance, the judo, football and athletics
associations have created their own diplomas. In Slovakia, one can only be a trainer if he/she
manages to enter a national sport centre.




2) Member States where regulations involve legal regulations


Those Member States may be classified in the two following categories:




             a) Member States with legal regulations only


          Belgium drafted a decree relating to the requirements which are necessary in order to
          work as medical staff in specialised medical centres;


          Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Spain set out specific regulations regarding the
          requirements to be fulfilled in order to become a trainer (degrees, sports trainings…);




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                     73
         Belgium, Latvia and Greece drafted regulations setting forth criteria to be met in order to
         manage training centres and associations.




         b) Member States with legal regulations and rules drafted by sports associations


In this case, the legal regulations constitute a framework around the regulations issued by the
sports related associations. In other words, legal regulations are often general whereas rules
issued by     sports related associations set accurate obligations adapted to their respective
sports. Such a system is currently implemented in Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy,
Luxembourg and Poland.


                                                 *
                                             *        *




This system has the advantage to cumulate the security of a legal framework and to take into
account the specificity of each sport. This framework may ensure that at least minimum
requirements for the training of the sports staff, as well as further requirements that are specific
to each sport, are imposed.


The involvement of sports associations in the definition of regulations relating to the further
education of the staff is essential as the specificity of each sport has to be taken into account.
This requirement could be included in the criteria allowing a training centre to obtain the
European label. The obligation could consist in setting out a minimum of hours of training to be
performed each year by the staff and the compliance with such obligation should be checked by
each relevant sports association.
Another solution, which has been foreseen by the French National Olympic Committee, could
consist in the creation of a specific status for sports coaches, including further / continuing
education obligations.


As the amateur sector of sports tends to be more and more professional, the mobility of trainers
and other people in charge of the training of high level young athletes within the European
Union may increase in the next few years and should be facilitated through a standardisation of




74   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
the conditions of delivery of the required authorisations27. Therefore, the Member States could
be encouraged to implement the recognition of equivalences for professional qualifications at a
European level for professions in the area of the training of young high level sportsmen and
women in training centres.


It has to be emphasized that the European Parliament, in its report on the future of professional
football in Europe, stressed the importance of the mutual recognition of professional
qualifications acquired in another Member State to make the freedom of movement of workers
possible28.


Further, it is essential that sports organisations get involved as the specificity of each sport has
to be taken into account. Coaches and other persons training young athletes should be obliged
to attend every year a minimum hours of life long vocational training. The compliance with such
obligation should be checked by each competent sports organisation.
The development of institutions providing such vocational training should also be guaranteed.




27
  Information report remitted by the Delegation of the National Assembly for the European Union on the organisation
and the financing of sports in Europe and presented by Mrs. Arlette Franco, Deputy, registered with the presidency of
the National Assembly on January 30, 2007, p. 8.
28
  European Parliament – Report on the future of professional football in Europe (2006/2130 (INI)) – Culture and
Education Unit. February 13, 2007, p. 10.




     © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                                       75
VI - HEALTH AND PROTECTION OF YOUNG ATHLETES

With the professionalisation of sports and the intensification of competitions at a high level, it
becomes urgent to prevent young athletes against drifts or threats that may prejudice to their
physical integrity. Measures should therefore be taken against doping practices and a regular
medical and nutritional surveillance should be performed during their training. Actions could also
be lead so as to ensure that young athletes benefit from an efficient social security system and
from pension schemes as most of the European workers. The integrity of young athletes could
also be preserved by strengthening the rules applicable to the profession of sports agent


Furthermore, young athletes may benefit from the freedom of movement within the European
Union as stated by the Treaty of Rome.


Please find hereafter an overview on these various themes.




A        Specific doping prevention regulations regarding young athletes


Doping prevention is now ensured at the worldwide level since the International Convention
against Doping in Sport adopted by the UNESCO on October 15, 2005 and entered into force
on 1st February 2007. The Convention provides a framework for harmonizing anti-doping rules
and policies worldwide, and to ensure the effectiveness of the World Anti–Doping Code
unanimously adopted on 5 March 2003 by the second World Conference on Doping in Sport in
Copenhagen.


There is a degree of flexibility in the approach which may be implemented by the governments
to give effect to the Convention, either by way of legislation, regulation, policies or administrative
practices. However, governments will need to take specific actions to:

     •   Restrict the availability of prohibited substances or methods to athletes (except for
         legitimate medical purposes) including measures against trafficking;

     •   Facilitate doping controls and support national testing programmes;




76   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
        •    Withhold financial support to athletes and athlete support personnel who commit an
             anti-doping rule violation, or to sports organisations that are not in compliance with the
             Anti-Doping Code;

        •    Encourage producers and distributors of nutritional supplements to set forth ‘best
             practices’ in the labelling, marketing and distribution of products which may contain
             prohibited substances;

        •    Support the provision of anti-doping education to athletes and the wider sporting
             community29.


This text, which mainly concerns athletes in general, provides in its article 19 that the Member
States undertake to support, conceive and implement educational and training programmes on
the anti-doping fight. These programmes shall be proposed to the athletes but also to their
trainers. Article 20 of the Convention also sets out that it encourages the Member States to draft
best practice Codes or Codes of Ethics including anti-doping rules.


Most of the 27 European Member States have adopted this convention and therefore enforce
the rules it sets out (Sweden, Denmark, Latvia, United Kingdom, Lithuania, Romania, Spain, the
Netherlands, Luxemburg, Finland, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia, France, Czech Republic,
Germany, Portugal, Austria, Estonia, Hungary, and Italy).


However, as far as young athletes within the course of their traineeship are concerned, there
are no specific legal rules. Most of the countries have only general anti-doping regulations
applicable to all athletes. Others benefit from rules set out by their sports associations and many
of them combine both sources of regulations.




1) Member States having anti-doping regulations deriving from general
             law


The majority of the Member States involved in this study have specific anti-doping regulations
deriving from general law:




29 29
        www.unesco.org.




        © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                      77
In Austria, under the National Doping Act, each sports association is obliged to promote doping
prevention issues by performing information and education programmes for trainers, doctors,
physical therapists and athletes.


In France, there are no specific rules relating to the training period. However, there are general
regulations applicable to all athletes:
- Law of 1st February 2007 authorising the ratification of the International Convention against
Doping in Sports
- Law n°2006-405 of 5 April 2006 aiming at adapting the French Regulations to the World Anti-
Doping Code voted in 2003 by the Anti-Doping World Agency has focused on the improvement
of the medical survey of athletes and the implementation of therapeutic use authorisations. The
president of a sports association may withdraw the license from any athlete which would have
practised doping.
- Currently, no text imposes on training centres or poles to warn student athletes about the risks
linked to the doping. However, in practice, it is a custom for trainers to give information to their
trainees on this issue. Some institutions even go further: the National Institute of Sports and
Physical Education (INSEP) sometimes organises seminars about this topic.
- Article L 230-1 of the Sports Code sets compulsory lectures about doping that have to be
followed by doctors, teachers, trainers and other people (listed in this article) working with
athletes.


In Italy, there are several general regulations relating to anti-doping:
- Law n° 376 of 14 December 2000, concerning the health protection and doping prevention
creates a special Commission for the surveillance and prevention of the use of doping. This
Commission has been entrusted to implement and improve the medical survey of the athletes.
- With Decree of the Public Health Ministry, dated October, 2001, the organisation and powers
of such Commission have been formalised.
- The CONI, in January 2004, adopted the Anti-Doping Code voted by the World Anti-Doping
Agency (WADA). The presidents of the sports associations may withdraw the license from any
athlete which would have practised doping.
- This issue is, currently, the centre of the attention of the main national governing bodies, and
private associations. For instance, the sports associations, CONI, the Ministry of Public Health
and the POGAS have organised last November, at the IUSM (Superior Institute for the Motor
Science), in collaboration with the University “La Sapienza” of Rome, a seminar tilted “Doping in
youth context”.




78   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
In Lithuania, there are no specific regulations relating to young athletes. However, Lithuania has
ratified the International Anti-Doping Convention as well as the Additional Protocol to the Anti-
Doping Convention. Both legal acts apply to the training period.
Moreover, there is a provision related to doping prevention stipulated in the Law on Physical
Culture and Sports Activities. Such provision prohibits the use of doping as well as the offering,
promotion and imposition of doping.


In Portugal, there is a general duty of “no doping activity” (article 3 Decree-law n°125/95: “duties
of a sportsman”).


In Romania, there are only general regulations. Prevention and control of doping in sports are
regulated under Law 227/2006 (Anti-Doping Law) regarding the prevention and the fight against
doping. Furthermore, the Anti-Doping Law sets forth the sports physicians’ obligation to prevent
the usage by athletes of forbidden substances or methods and to inform them, as well as the
national sports associations.


In Spain, there are no specific regulations relating to young athletes. However, there is the
General Law on doping (Law 7/2006).




2) Member States having specific anti-doping regulations set out by
     sports organisations


In those Member States, although there are no specific rules deriving from law, other efficient
ways of preventing doping are implemented by the sports associations.


In Denmark, Danish people consider that doping prevention is a crucial issue. Therefore, many
authorities and sports associations are taking part in educational programmes in order to
generate debates.
Anti-Doping Denmark (ADD) offers special courses to trainers and sports officials (including
lessons named “education of young talents in relation to doping”).


In Germany, trainers of clubs educate young athletes through lectures and brochures from the
National Anti Doping Agency (NADA). Furthermore, in the German Basketball League, athletes
only receive their player-pass if they sign an anti-doping-declaration.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                       79
In Greece, the National Council against Doping is in charge of the prevention. It especially
targets young athletes in schools and at university.


In Ireland, the Irish Sports Council overseas anti-doping rules which are in accordance with the
World Anti-Doping Code. For high performance athletes in any sports to receive funding through
the Irish Sports Council, they are required to adhere to these rules.


In Luxembourg, there are specific regulations:
Compulsory medical examination,
Particular attention is given to doping prevention by both, the sports movement and the State.
Furthermore, young athletes of the ENEPS benefit from advanced and reinforced medical
control and from specific lectures concerning the dangers relating to doping practices.


In Sweden, there are specific rules: The Swedish Sports Confederation (SC) and the Swedish
Sports Association (SSF) are actively working on this issue. The SC is responsible for doping
issues whereas all SSFs have their own anti-doping programmes working with prevention of
doping.


In the United Kingdom, there are no specific regulations relating to young athletes. However,
rules that are specific to each sport equally apply to young and confirmed athletes, as they train
as much as when they work.




3) Specific cases


Apparently, in Malta, there is no doping prevention for young athletes during their traineeship.


In the Netherlands, doping prevention may be more or less implemented depending on the
considered sports:
          Judo: Top classes athletes receive a list providing specific information about doping
          products and the risks thereof.
          Swimming: The KNZB teaches on doping issues and there is a specific website about
          this issue.
          Apparently, there is no prevention in football and basketball
          Athletics: The KNAU teaches on doping issues.




80   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
We received no information on this aspect regarding Finland.


                                                          *
                                                     *         *


As a conclusion, it appears that doping prevention relating to young athletes during their training
period may vary a lot according to the Member States and the sports involved. The Member
States should be encouraged for favouring the information of high level young athletes and for
ensuring an efficient doping prevention through for example investments on scientific research
so as to be able to identify new doping substances. The European institutions should strengthen
the co-operation with the World Anti-Doping Agency and the co-operation between the Member
States and encourage the ratification of such convention by the sports associations of the
Member States. The European Commission, in its White Paper on Sports, insisted on the fact
that the services of the Member States in charge of the compliance with the applicable
legislation and anti-doping laboratories approved by the AMA and INTERPOL could develop
partnerships so as to exchange information on new doping substances and practices. The
Commission proposed that the European Union supports these efforts by organising training
sessions and initiating co-operations between training centres for the members of the services
in charge of the compliance with the countries’ legislation30.




B           Specific regulations relating to medical and nutritional survey
            during the training period


An other efficient means of protection of young athletes consists in ensuring before and during
the training at a high level that their physical condition allow them to have such an activity and
that the intensive practise of sports does not represent a risk for their health.


Furthermore, due to the growing settled way of life in the Member States, it is nowadays
important to ensure a nutritional survey so that young athletes do not encounter weight issues
during their training.




30
     Commission of the European Communities, White Paper on Sport, Brussels, 11 July 2007, COM (2007) 391, page 5.




       © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                                  81
Regarding medical survey, the 27 Member States are highly divided as some of them have very
detailed legal regulations on this point while others do not benefit from any mandatory rule and
the survey is often left at the discretion of the sports associations, which may represent a risk for
young athletes.


Regarding nutritional survey, only a few Member States have rules which are often issued by
sports associations. This may be due to the fact that this social issue is quite recent in Europe.




1) Medical survey of young athletes


As mentioned above, rules relating to the medical survey of young athletes may both derive
from legal regulations and from rules set out by sports associations.



         a) Legal regulations


Some countries have passed specific regulations relating to the medical survey of young
athletes.


This is notably the case of Belgium:


Flemish Community
A Decree of 27 March 1991 states that athletes can only take part in sports competitions
provided that they have been medically examined and declared fit to participate. Such
examination has to be renewed on a regular basis (depending on the relevant sport). For top
athletes, such examination is performed by authorised medical professionals in special centres.


French Community
A Decree of 8 March 2001 on the promotion of health in the practice of sports, the prohibition of
doping and doping prevention in the French Community states that athletes have to be
medically examined (and declared fit to participate). Such examination has to be renewed on a
regular basis (depending on the relevant sport). For top athletes, such examination is performed
by authorised medical professionals in special centres.


In Bulgaria, the Ordinance on Doping Control and Training Activities applies to all athletes.




82   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
In the Czech Republic, under the Public Act n°20/1966 Coll., each young athlete is obliged to
undergo medical examinations of his/her health state, with special consideration regarding
his/her ability to the relevant sports. These exams are done every year.


In France, articles R 3621-1 to R 3621-9 of the Public Health Code (CSP) state that:
 - Every sport is submitted to the general provisions of these articles. Those articles also refer
 to posterior acts: Orders dated 11 February 2004 and 16 June, 2006, which are included in the
 Public Health Code. The Ministries of Sports and Public Health have to define the nature and
 frequency of the medical examinations. These examinations have to be realised by sport
 medical practitioners or competent medical institutions. Some provisions of these texts
 concern particular sports which require specific medical examinations like scuba diving, rugby
 or cycling. After complying with the provisions previously mentioned, each sports association
 may organise additional medical examination according to its will (article R 3621-1 CSP).
 Moreover, it nominates the medical staff entitled to perform the examinations (R 3621-2 CSP).
 - Furthermore, article 7 of a Decree dated 1 July 1987, as modified on 8 February 2004, states
 that athletes and students within sports units have to be medically controlled at least once
 every season.


In Hungary, young athletes intending to compete have to go through regular compulsory
medical examination and need a certificate attesting that they can compete.


In Italy, a Decree of the Health Ministry (28/02/1983) provides specific regulations for students
who practice sports, members of sports associations and clubs and youngsters taking part in
sports games for students. Furthermore, Law n° 376 (14/12/2000) states general rules about
medical survey. Sports associations always impose medical examinations to their members.


In Lithuania, the Law on Physical Culture and Sports Activities states that all athletes who are
engaged in the physical culture and sports as well as sports competitions are obliged to
examine their health. Athletes and competition (training) organizers are prohibited from
participation in training activities and competitions in the cases when they would not have had a
timely health examination.


In Luxembourg, there are compulsory medical examinations.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                     83
In Poland, there is a regulation of the Minister of Health of 22 December, 2004 on the
compulsory medical tests and their frequency towards children and youngsters not older than 21
years’ old and applying for granting a license or possessing license for amateur practising of a
given sport discipline.


In Romania, a Technical Norm of 2003 of the former Ministry of Youth and Sports established
the main regulations regarding the medical control of athletes, the medical assistance within the
national sports bases and the cantonments of the national and Olympic teams, as well as the
medical assistance ensured to the sports bases during trainings and competitions. It organises
preventive medical survey twice a year for members of clubs. If the athletes are not club
members, they must also be subject to medical survey twice a year within the sport medicine
surgeries organised at school or at university level. For this type of athletes, the medical survey
shall include general examination, physical growth and Ruffier cardio-vascular examination. The
athletes who are members of national or Olympic teams must be examined three or four times a
year.
Furthermore, the athletes performing football, basketball and rugby must be subject to complete
medical examination at least three times a year. Football players must be subject to
neuropsychiatry examination at least twice a year. It is moreover recommendable that rugby
athletes should be subject to at least one annual electro-encephalographic and cranial
examination.


In Slovakia, professional athletes shall attend the medical survey twice a year, students of sports
classes once a year.


In Slovenia, the Sports Act sets forth preventive medical examinations for every athlete
participating to international competitions.


In Spain, there is a Royal Decree 112/2000 on the health of athletes but it does not contain any
specific provision for young athletes.


The major sanction applicable in case of non compliance with the above mentioned rules would
be the exclusion of the young athlete to participate in the training and / or competitions.




84   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
          b) Sports associations rules


In many Member States, the health area is left to the decision of sports associations
themselves. This is the case in the following countries:


In Cyprus, each sports association may determine the periods during which medical surveys
may be carried out.


In Germany, there is an autonomous law enacted by sports associations and clubs that varies in
detail.


In the Netherlands, once again, medical survey may vary depending on the considered sports:
          In judo and athletics, there is no obligation.
          In swimming, there is no obligation also; however, dietary/nutrition advice is given.
          In football, it depends on the different clubs whether or not young athletes have a check
          up every year.
          In basketball, it depends on the club. Furthermore, the NBB is currently drafting quality
          criteria in co-operation with the Olympic Network.


In Portugal, regarding football, professional clubs pay special attention to this aspect.


In Sweden, there are general guidelines about medical examinations of elite athletes in general.


In the United Kingdom, this issue is more commonly covered within the general welfare and
health safety policies, applied to NGBs.


One major disadvantage of this system lies in the fact that the rules are not uniform according to
athletes and sports and that the efficiency of their application is not easily ascertainable.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                      85
          c) Best Practices


In some countries, as in Austria, there are no legal rules or regulations issued by sports
associations but best practices aiming at protecting the health of young athletes are enforced as
it is considered that these issues are part of the education of the respective trainers.




          d) Very limited regulations and absence of regulations


In Malta, there is no specific regulation, except perhaps at the national team level.


It seems that Denmark, Estonia, Greece and Latvia have no regulation regarding this subject
matter.


The health of young athletes is a substantial aspect which should be strictly regulated. This
study shows that in more than ten European countries, regulations are unclear and that
sanctions may thus be inefficient.


                                                  *
                                              *        *


An efficient means for ensuring the medical survey of high level young athletes, whether
amateur or professional, could consist in instituting a health record which would be delivered to
each high level athlete upon the beginning of his high level sports training and which would
remain his / her property. This record could be communicated to the medical staff of the various
clubs / teams he joins during his career, on a voluntary basis and in compliance with the
professional secrecy obligations applicable to medical data, so as to allow such medical staff to
be aware of his / her medical previous history. The health record could be delivered within the
license by each relevant sports association and the medical follow up could be supervised by
sports medical practitioners linked to each sport association.. Sports associations could decide
that this health record is required to entitle any athlete to participate in any sports competitions.


A similar idea was disclosed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) during its Paris summit
of October 22 and 23, 2007. The UCI announced that a biological passport would be put in




86   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
place as from 2008 for professional cyclists so as to avoid doping. This individual document
would mention the results of any blood and urinary tests of each cyclist and would allow a more
efficient supervision of the cyclists participating in the various international competitions.




2) Nutritional survey of young athletes


We obtained very few information on this point. We understand that this information is most of
the time directly transmitted by trainers to athletes.


However, we have identified the following best practices:


In the Netherlands, regarding swimming, a dietary/nutrition advice is given to athletes.


In Portugal, regarding athletics, a new protocol has been signed with universities in order to
have support from nutrition specialists.


In the United Kingdom, trainers, as part of their training, can take a module about eating
disorder. Thereafter, such knowledge may be transmitted to their trainees.


We must also add that we did not receive any information regarding Finland.


                                                  *
                                              *          *


This issue is currently faced by many training centres which encounter problems to recruit
children as obesity is growing fast in all European countries. Furthermore, special care should
also be brought to the anorexia of young gymnasts.


As a conclusion, it would be recommendable to inspire Member States to set forth common
standards throughout regarding these points which are essential for the health and thus the life
of young athletes.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                   87
The European Commission took many initiatives in this domain and issued on 30 May 2007 a
White Paper in which it proposes an initiative at a European level to stop the multiplication of the
cases of obesity31.


We recommend that sports associations be closely involved in every action deriving from this
White Paper and that the staff in charge of the training of high level young athletes receive an
accurate education on this theme and be able to transmit some advice to athletes, as from the
beginning of their sports practise.




C        Specific regulations protecting young athletes in case of injury /
         Existence of specific funds and schemes.


One major issue in the career of an athlete is the injury. Sports are more and more demanding
in terms of physical condition and very often, young athletes suffer injuries while training. It is
therefore important to consider how they are protected in such a case and particularly what kind
of assistance may be granted to them.




1) Specific regulations protecting young athletes in case of injury


The majority of the Member States have set out regulations applying to the case of injury of
young athletes during their training period.


Such regulations either derive from law or from sports associations themselves.




         a) Specific regulations deriving from law


In Belgium, in principle, athletes should benefit from an insurance policy in the event of a sports
related injury. In the Flemish Community, sports associations are required to conclude certain
insurance policies (minimum terms and conditions are set forth by the Flemish Government). In


31
  European Commission – White Paper – A European strategy for health problems linked to nutrition, excess weight
and obesity – 30 May 2007, COM (2007) 279




88   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
the French Community, the Decree of 26 April 1999 stipulates that all members of sports
associations recognised in the French Community must be covered for civil liability and physical
injuries.


In Estonia, young athletes are automatically insured with the Estonian Health Insurance Fund
(just as other underage persons), which provide full medical coverage in case of injury incurred
in Estonia. When travelling abroad, the normal practice is to buy extra health insurance from the
private sector.


In Finland, there is a regulation relating to the protection in case of injury during the training
period, the Act on Sportsmen’s Accident Security and Pension Security 16.2.2000/575. Young
athletes have to be insured in order to be allowed to participate in a competition. In case it is
agreed between the athlete and the sports club or any other corporation that while practicing a
sports activity, the athlete will get taxable salary during one or less than one season amounting
at least to € 9,600, the sports club or other corporation is obligated to arrange for the athlete up
to the age of 38 an accident security and pension security according to this law. In case the
athlete, who does not have the above-mentioned contract, gets taxable income amounting at
least to € 9,600, he/she has to arrange himself/herself the above-mentioned insurance.


In France, there are regulations relating to the protection in case of injury suffered by young
athletes during the training period:
Article 37 of the law n°84-610 of 16 July 1984 imposes on sports organisations the subscription
of an insurance policy covering their liability and especially injuries of their members while
practising a sport. Article 37 also states that sports associations must inform their members of
the importance of subscribing such an insurance policy. Therefore, sports associations must
make available to their members several insurance policies which may allow the latter to
choose the best adapted to their needs. Furthermore, athletes may personally subscribe
complementary individual insurance policies to protect themselves.
Article 3621-2 of the Public Health Code (deriving from article 12 of Law n°99-223 of 23 March
1999 relating to the protection of the health of athletes and to the fight against doping requests
from sports Association, which have been granted a delegation by the Ministry of Youth, Sports
and Social Affairs, that they ensure the organisation of the medical survey of their members
registered on the list of high level athletes and of those members that are registered in the
access paths to high level sports.
This requirement is recalled in the standard statutes of all sports associations which now

provide for the setting up of a medical commission which must set out a medical regulation




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                       89
mentioning the rights and obligations of the sports association vis-à-vis its members. A

Ministerial Order of 28 April 2000 sets out the medical examinations (around 10) which have to

be practised on high level athletes. Complementary examinations may be decided by each

sports association due to the specificity of the sport it deals with.

Article L 231-5 of the Sports Code provides that sports associations are responsible for the
health of their athletes.
As clarified in paragraph D, professional athletes are considered as every employee, are
registered with the Social Security and benefit from the “general scheme” (article L 311-2 of the
Social Security Code). This scheme (or any other social security scheme in case the athlete
subscribed to another scheme) will be in charge of the athlete. Then, according to the different
collective bargaining agreements, the status will be more or less favourable. For instance, the
employer will guaranty the payment of the salary of the athlete till the 90th day under the
provisions of the sport national collective bargaining agreement CCNS, whereas it will last until
the end of the working contract under the collective bargaining agreement applicable to rugby.
These regulations may apply to all athletes and not specifically to young ones.


In Hungary, the Act of Sports regulates the duty of sports associations consisting in determining
which insurance is suitable for a given competition. Athletes’ injuries are considered as
workplace incidents. An athlete’s employer may be bound to conclude an insurance contract on
behalf of its employees (sports association rules).


In Lithuania, there is a protection if the athlete looses his/her capacity while training/competing.
Damages are compensated on the basis of the contract of sports activities, the law on accidents
at work as well as other laws.


In Luxembourg, the State subscribed an insurance policy protecting all athletes who own a
license issued by a national sports association. This insurance covers injuries directly and
exclusively related to sports activity.


In Malta, there are regulations relating to the protection in case of injury during the training
period established by Maltese Law. Furthermore, the youth section of the Malta Football
Association has a child protection policy which has been accepted by the UEFA and is now
bound by the UEFA Charter which includes minor’s protection and safety policy.


In Portugal, the applicable regulations to all sports are the following:




90   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
      Governmental Order 392/98, regulates a special sports insurance for practitioners of high
      competition,
      Decree-Law 146/93 of 26 April 1993 establishes the obligation for all sports agents
      enrolled in sports associations endowed with public funds to take out sports insurance,
      and the need for those same sports associations to provide insurance to their associates.


 Furthermore, specific provisions may apply to particular sports, such as:


      Football: A specific insurance is required.
      Basketball: There are sports insurance certifications.
      Athletics: Young talents competition rules concerning age and development provide for
      insurance.


In Romania, the Technical Norm of 2003 provides that emergency medical assistance or
surgery is ensured by sports medical practitioners / practitioners of the local sanitary unit.


In Slovenia, article 44 of the Sports Act provides that no one can demand that an athlete
competes or trains during a period where he is injured or ill.




        b) Specific regulations set out by sports institutions


In Austria, there is no regulation relating to the protection of young athletes in case of injury
during the training period. However, the membership of certain sports associations might
include the subscription of an insurance policy.


In Germany, as regards regulation relating to the protection in case of injury during the training
period, there is the autonomously enacted law by associations and clubs that varies in detail. In
the regional Basketball Leagues, the athletes are protected by the insurance of the Federal
State Sport Alliance, if the own insurance of the athlete does not cover the injury.


In Italy, sports associations are responsible for the health of their athletes. Once an athlete is a
club member, he/she benefits from injury insurance.


In the Netherlands, as regards regulations relating to the protection in case of injury during the
training period, it depends on the sports:



    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                       91
          In judo, football, basket ball and athletics, there is no regulation.
          In swimming, there is a safety regulation around the swimming pool.


In Poland, young athletes are subject to general legal provisions. Associations/clubs are obliged
to provide their competitors with such insurance.


In Slovakia, young athletes are submitted to general legal rules.


In Spain, once athletes are federated (compulsory), they get an insurance coverage.


In the United Kingdom, there is a general regulation applying to all injured athletes. Moreover,
UK Sports recommends that NGBs take specific measures in order to counteract the risk of
injuries. Moreover, many NGBs produce Child Protection policies as part as their governing
roles, for example the Safeguarding Children and Young People in Football policy produced by
the FA.




          c) Absence of specific regulations


In the Czech Republic, only general civil and criminal liability may apply.


In Denmark, “the training of young talents is based on the philosophy that young athletes are
trained in order to train, therefore, injuries are prevented”…


In Greece, amateur athletes, who do not benefit from insurance, are entitled to get a free
medical treatment in C class of every public hospital of the Greek National Health Service.


In Slovakia, young athletes are submitted to general legal rules.


In Sweden, in case of injury of a young athlete, general public coverage may apply.




92   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
Finally, please note that we were not provided with information on this point from Bulgaria,
Ireland and Latvia.


                                                             *
                                                        *         *




As the practise of high level sports requires more and more physical efforts, injuries of young
athletes may be frequent. Therefore, it is recommendable that some measures are taken in
every Member State to insure an efficient protection of high level young athletes while they are
training. As mentioned above, best practises exist in some countries such as France and
Luxembourg. They could constitute the basis of a system to be implemented in all EU Member
States, under which each athlete upon obtaining a sports license would also benefit from an
injury insurance coverage, whether through the competent sports association or his club upon
simple presentation of his sport permit.


Another way of efficiently protecting high level young athletes may consist in recognizing that
high level young athletes mentioned on lists established by the relevant sports associations
practise a dangerous activity due to the physical involvement required, which would place them
under specific regulations similar to those applicable, for example, in France, to firemen, which
imply a better insurance coverage.


This is very well showed in the reports relating to work injuries suffered by young professional
football players published each year by the French Union of Professional Football Clubs
(UCPF). The UCPF noted in its report for the year 2007 that the number of work injuries was
increasing and that the insurance contributions to be paid by professional football clubs were as
high as those required for more dangerous sports and could hardly be afforded by some of the
clubs32.


This means that it would be convenient to clarify the statute of high level young athlete,
especially regarding health protection.




32
     Union des Clubs Professionnels de Football- Report on contributions for work accidents 2007




       © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                 93
2) Specific funds / schemes


In eight countries covered by this study, i.e., Austria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Ireland,
Latvia, Malta, Romania and the United Kingdom, there is no specific fund / scheme open to
young athletes in case of injury during their training period.


Please also note that we did not have any information with regards to Bulgaria, Ireland, Poland
and Lithuania.


In the sixteen remaining countries, there are either State funds, such as in Denmark through
Team Denmark, Estonia, France through the collective bargaining agreements applicable to
some professional collective sports and sports associations, Germany through the Federal
States, Greece through the Greek National Bank, Italy through SPORTASS and the National
Institute for Workers (INAIL), Luxembourg, Portugal if the injury is considered as a work
accident, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden through sports associations, or private funds such as in
Austria, Cyprus, Hungary, in the Netherlands for football, Slovakia where athletes may enter into
private insurance contracts, the same for Sweden and the United Kingdom.




                                                  *
                                              *        *




Whereas we were not able to assess the good level of coverage of the insurance schemes
mentioned hereinabove, it is however possible to pretend that insurance of injuries of young
athletes during the training period is somehow not sufficient as many countries leave this to
private insurance coverage, which is very costly for a young athlete. It would be recommendable
that all countries have a minimum insurance scheme subscribed by sports associations so as to
allow any injured athlete to get an indemnification.


For professional athletes, the setting up of a collective bargaining agreement, which would apply
to all sports, could be discussed between European sports organisations representing clubs and
high level athletes with the co-operation of the sports movement. This would allow a reduction of
the differences existing between the contracts executed by high level young athletes who could
be provided with a more efficient protection regarding social aspects.



94   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
Regarding amateur athletes, we recommend that the sports movement coordinate with the
Member States and sports associations the creation of a specific status for high level athletes
(multi-sport status) granting them a minimum social and health protection.




D       Specific regulations relating to the protection of minor athletes


At the beginning of their traineeship, young athletes are minors and therefore, their protection
as such has to be taken into account within the framework of this study.




1) Regulations ensuring general protection of minors


Our study reveals that, among the 27 Member States, 18 of them have a general legislation
protecting minors with regards to civil, labour and criminal laws, which also applies to minor
athletes. These countries are Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy,
Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain,
Sweden and the United Kingdom.




2) Specific regulations relating to minor athletes


Five countries have specific regulations which protect minor athletes. These countries are the
following:


In Belgium, the specific regulations consist in:
      minimum age requirements in order to participate in certain competitions together with
      general rules protecting minors,
      laws on child labour,
      minimum age requirements in order to participate in certain competitions,
      parental consent required in order to be affiliated with a sports club,
      A Flemish Decree dated 13 July 2001 states that in order to be recognised as sports
      associations, such sports associations have to respect the principles laid down in the




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                   95
       International Convention on the Rights of the Child and have to take the necessary
       measures to prevent any human trafficking.


In the Czech Republic, Act n° 262/2006 on employment of minors conducting artistic or sports
activities submits the exercise of these activities to the requirement of the suitability for the child
and a limited amount of days. A specific approval by the labour authority is required. The
contractor (i.e. the sports association) is responsible for the child’s protection.


In Denmark, the regulations are apparently specific to each discipline, e.g. agreement between
football players’ union and professional football clubs union when a contract is signed for a
player below the age of 18, there must be made plans for the player’s future education and
career. The plan has to be revised at least once a year.


In France, article L 222-5 of the Sports Code states that minors are not allowed to have paid
agents.
There are other regular texts concerning the protection of minors which cover nearly all aspects
of minors’ training:
- Ordinance n° 2005-1092 of 1 September 2005 concerning the protection of minors
accommodated outside their domicile during holidays, professional vacation or leisure time,
- Decree n°2006-923 of 26 July, 2006 relating to the protection of minors accommodated
outside their domicile and modifying the Social Action Code,
- Order dated 22 September 2006 concerning the prior notification of accommodation of minors
stated in article R 227-2 of the Social Action Code,
- Order dated 25 September 2006 related to the prior notification of housing premises,
- Instruction n°06-192 JS dated 22 November 2006, concerning the housing of minors’ scheme,
- Provisions concerning doping are the same than for athletes of age,
- Transfers allowing any benefits are forbidden for minors.
- Concerning working conditions, minors benefit, as every other minors, of the provisions of the
Labour Code.
Furthermore, sports associations may add specific provisions to their collective or training
conventions. For instance, the sports national collective bargaining agreement (CCNS) states
that minors have a limit of 8 hours training per day (article 5.1.3.1). Article 8 of the collective
bargaining agreement for rugby contains an article 8 specifically aimed at minors, stating
particular requirements for the transportation of minor players. Moreover, this provision names
the people that will be responsible for taking care of minors in different types of situations. The
standard collective bargaining agreements for football and basketball contain similar provisions.




96   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
In Portugal, under Law 28/98 (26/06), there are two types of contracts:
- Sports contracts: such contracts may be signed with young athletes only as from the age of
16. The duration of these contracts may not be less than one season and not more than eight.
Clauses aiming at limiting the freedom of the athlete following the end of the contract are void.
- Formation contracts: these contracts are applicable to young athletes between 14 and 18, who
fulfil the necessary academic requirements.




3) Absence of regulation protecting minors

Estonia seems not to have any regulation relating to the protection of minors whether general or
specific to young athletes.


Finally, please note that we have no information for Lithuania on this point.




                                                  *
                                              *       *




A substantial Identified problem in this regard is the recruitment by European clubs of young
athletes coming from non European countries : sometimes, after a training period which is not
satisfactory to the club, they may be without resources and with no means for him to go back in
their country of origin.
Our study shows that regulations of the Member States relating to the protection of minors are
heterogeneous among the Member States.


Moreover, in professional sports such as football and basketball, many minors are recruited by
foreign clubs in quite bad conditions which do not allow them to pursue school and/or vocational
education.
Regarding football, the FIFA regulations dated 5 July 2001 strongly limit transfers of players
under 18. However, some clubs bypass this rule in enabling athletes to bring their family.


Some sports organisations have included in their regulations obligations for clubs to make sure
that young foreign athletes are properly welcome and are able to return to their country of origin




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                     97
after the test period or after the competition period. However, this seems to remain an
exception.


This point involves various policies of the European Union such as the protection of minors at
work and the immigration policy. We believe that it is crucial that the European Commission
supports actions related to this issue within the framework of those policies in order to prevent
bad practices.




E          Transposition of the Council Directive 94/33/CE on the protection of
           young people at work


Pursuant to our study, it seems that the Council Directive 94/33/CE was implemented by all
Member States. The Member States either implemented the Directive with the Labour or
Employment Code, for instance the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland,
Portugal and Slovakia or transposed it through one or several specific laws or acts, such as
Belgium, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Spain and the
United Kingdom.


For Estonia, we were not provided with any further information.


For more details on each Member State, please refer to table in appendix E to this chapter.


Furthermore, the European Parliament recommended the utilisation of such directive so as to
protect non EU young football players when they are recruited by European football clubs for
tests33.




33
  European Parliament – Report on the future of professional football in Europe (2006/2130 (INI)) – Culture and
Education Unit. February 13, 2007, page 10.




98   © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
VII - LABOUR ASPECTS



A        Legal relationships between young athletes and clubs / sports
         associations


The legal relationship existing between a young athlete and his club / sports association may be
formalised by a contract which may have various forms but also through many other means.




1) Existence of a contractual relationship


In the 27 Member States, young athletes generally enter into legal relationships with sports
clubs or with their respective sports associations, depending on the organisation of their sport.
The relationships are very often concluded on a contractual basis.


The contracts may have several forms: non-employment contracts, apprenticeship contracts,
labour contracts.


Those contracts may be found in the following countries:


• In Belgium, labour contracts can be concluded by young athletes. No full-time contract may be
 concluded before the player is 18 and part-time contracts may be entered into as from the
 player reaches the age of 16.
 There are several types of labour contracts:
    - Labour contracts for remunerated full-time professional players for a determined period: for
    minors not subject to compulsory full-time schooling.
    - Labour contracts for remunerated part-time professional players for a determined period: if
    the requirements of minimum age are met.
    - Labour contracts for amateur players for a (un-) determined period: amateurs who
    concluded a contract but do not earn the minimum wage.
 Regarding football, there are three types of players: amateurs, non amateurs, professional
 players. Young athletes can enter two types of contracts: a) Non amateur contracts: As from
 16, football players may be hired by clubs through this type of contract, b) Professional
 contracts: As from 18, contracts can be part or full-time.



    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                     99
• In France, the contract will be concluded between young athletes and sports clubs /
 professional league. The form of the contract may vary according to the considered sports:
 Regarding football, there are three types of contracts:
     - Apprenticeship contract: under such contract, young athletes can comply with their school
     obligations and prepare their professional career. Athletes have to be at least 16 or 17;
     however, a 15 years’ old athlete can conclude such a contract if he/she proves that he/she
     complied with his/her schooling obligations.
     - “Contrat du joueur aspirant”: the purpose of this contract is to prepare the professional
     career of an athlete in a training centre. Athletes may as from they are 15 enter into such
     contracts under the same requirements as above.
     - “Contrat stagiaire”: this contract is the continuation of the two afore mentioned contracts.
     Athletes from 19 may enter into such contract. The contract can last one or two seasons. It
     may be transformed in an elite or a professional contract.
 Regarding basketball, there are two types contracts dedicated to young athletes:
     -“Aspirant player”: this contract concerns players originating from the European FIBA
     zone/under the Cotonou agreement and as from 16 to 19.
     - “Stagiaire player”: the requirements are the same as for the above contract; however the
     player must be aged at least 20-21.
 Regarding rugby, the contracts may be the following:
     - “Convention d’entraînement”: this contract is concluded by players between 16 and 23
     wishing to become professional players.
     - Additionally, may be concluded a ‘contrat joueur espoir’ or ‘pluriactif” with an employment
     contract.
 Regarding athletics, professional contracts are concluded between athletes and the athletics
 professional league.


• In Hungary, young athletes can either enter into labour contracts (football or basketball) or into
 sports contracts (judo, fencing and athletics).


• In Malta, contracts exist in football and basketball but are very unusual for tennis, gymnastics
 and athletics.


• In the Netherlands, as from 16, depending on the sports they practise, young athletes may
 either enter into a sponsorship contract or a labour contract.




100 © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
• In Portugal, young athletes enter into sports formation contracts – specific labour agreements.
 There is only one model for this contract, set out in law 28/98 of 28 June 1998 and it is meant
 for young sportsmen between the ages of 14 and 18. Thereafter, each sport has further rules.


• In Romania, young athletes are either amateurs or professionals (art. 14 of Sports Law
 69/2000).
   - Professional athletes conclude labor agreements or contracts under the Civil Code (the
   reference in the Sports Law to civil agreements should be interpreted in consideration of the
   abrogation of former Law 130/1999 regarding civil agreements);
   - There are no specific provisions for amateur athletes.


• Contracts, whether civil or labour, may also be found in other countries such as Austria, the
 Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland (rarely), Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland,
 Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.




2) Other kinds of relationships between young athletes and their clubs /
           sports associations


Apart from the classical contractual relationship which may exist between two persons, in some
countries of the study, we discovered that the relationship between young athletes and their
clubs / sports associations may exist through various other forms.


In Cyprus, premiums are granted to athletes by the Olympic Committee (CSO).


In Estonia, no contracts may be concluded with underage athletes.


In Greece, there is only a system of athlete identification with the relevant sports association.


In Italy, no contract may be concluded with young athletes before they are 18, except for
cycling.


In the United Kingdom, there is some case law on this subject matter: British cycling Association
v Wendy Everson (2001): the Court held that a funded athlete participating the British Cycling
Association’s world class programme was not an employee. However, in the Modahl v The




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                    101
British athletics Association Ltd [2000] related to whether the membership of an athletic club or
submission to the BAF’s disciplinary committee’s jurisdiction was sufficient to form a contractual
relationship between the athlete and the two parties. The Court of Appeals concluded that there
was such a relationship due, among others, to the conduct of Modahl. However, she lost the
case. Therefore, it is difficult to generalise this case. Nevertheless, most of the time, since
training starts on an amateur basis, there is no contract.


                                                       *
                                                  *        *


Our study shows that the types of contracts concluded by high level athletes while training may
vary a lot from a Member State to another.


Regarding professional athletes, a multi-sports social dialogue at the European level should be
developed between European organisations representing clubs and high level athletes with the
co-operation of the sports movement in order to set up a sort of a framework collective
bargaining agreement. This would allow a better homogenisation of the contracts concluded by
high level young athletes and a more efficient protection of the latter regarding social aspects.


In its report relating to the future of professional football in Europe, the European Parliament
stated that it would be possible to implement instruments of social dialogue, particularly
regarding the rights of the players34.
The European Parliament also recommended the following measures:
     -   Intensification of the efforts of the European Commission and UEFA so as to strengthen
         the social dialogue on aspects such as the duration of contracts, the setting forth of
         transfer periods, the possibility of breaching a contract and the compensation of training
         clubs;
     -   Congratulates the dialogue engaged by FIFPRO, UEFA and EPFL aiming at increasing
         the rights of players and particularly in ensuring that players always receive written
         contracts containing minimum obligations;
     -   Recognises the necessity of applying more strictly labour regulations in the Member
         States so as to ensure that professional players effectively benefit from the rights owed
         to them35.

34
  European Parliament – Report on the future of professional football in Europe (2006/2130 (INI)) – Culture and
Education Unit. February 13, 2007, p. 7.
35
  European Parliament – Report on the future of professional football in Europe (2006/2130 (INI)) – Culture and
Education Unit. February 13, 2007, p. 11.




102 © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
As stated in Section VI, C, of this report, regarding amateur athletes, we suggest that the sports
movement, for example, the European Olympic Committee, coordinate the creation of a specific
multi-sports status for high level athletes granting them a minimal social and health protection..
The French National Olympic Committee already requested the social and tax recognition of
high level athletes which would have lead to specific education, training, follow-up or taxation. In
our opinion, such recognition should lead to the creation of a status for high level athletes
including health and pension aspects.




3) Granting of a pecuniary compensation to young athletes


In this domain, there is a general philosophy stating that where there is no contract, there is no
pecuniary compensation. Such principles apply in the majority of the 27 Member States involved
in the study, such as Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Sweden
and the United Kingdom. Therefore, amateur athletes are very often not concerned by such kind
of compensation. Consequently, the contents of this section mainly relate to professional sports.


a) In most cases, the pecuniary compensation will thus be granted by the clubs. This is the case
in the following countries:


In Finland, the Football Association states that there is a compensation if a contract is signed
and that no specific result shall be expected in the draft contract. The models of labor contracts
follow the provisions of the Labor National Act.


In France, the allocation of a pecuniary compensation to young athletes depends both on the
sports and on the applicable contract:
    o   Football:
                  “Apprenti/aspirant” player: € 198 to 660 per month,
                  “Stagiaire” player: € 396 to 1,122 per month,
                  “Elite” player: € 330 to 924 per month.
    o   Basketball:
                  “Aspirant” player: € 62.5 to 250 per month,
                  “Stagiaire” player: € 312.5 to 1,250 per month.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                       103
    o    Rugby: “Espoir” player: yearly compensation of € 15,060.


In Hungary, it also depends on the contract signed by the young athlete. In sports contracts,
there is no obligation to allocate a pecuniary compensation to the athlete. If a labour contract is
signed, the parties can agree on compensation.


In Ireland, it mainly depends on the sports.
Rugby: All the players are paid variable amounts during the contract period as they would in
other sports, i.e. soccer, athletics. If they do not succeed in achieving contract status, they play
as amateurs in the clubs. There is no reward for not achieving contract status.
Football: That is a matter for each individual employer (club) of the player. The FAI currently
does not pay any players for attending its Emerging Talent Programme or for non senior
international appearances.


In Lithuania, the sports association has an obligation to provide the athlete with pecuniary
compensation.


In Malta, the payment of a pecuniary compensation is at the discretion of the clubs.


In the Netherlands, the young athlete may be entitled to receive a pecuniary compensation from
a club if he / she signed a contract and is over 16. If he/she is under 16, he/she needs a
sponsorship contract and he/she cannot get pecuniary compensation. However, he/she can
claim for the refunding of his /her expenses incurred due to their sports training.


In Portugal, the pecuniary compensation varies between € 75 and 600 per month. Sports
associations may indicate pecuniary compensation for high competition and senior levels.


In Romania, a pecuniary compensation may be granted if the athletes are professional. The
same principle applies in Sweden and in the United Kingdom.


b) Apart from the financing by clubs, athletes may receive, while training, pecuniary
compensation from the State.


In Cyprus, if athletes have excellent results in international competitions under the authority of
the Ministry of Education and Culture. If an athlete manages to enter a university, he / she will




104 © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
be supported by the State. However, only a few students benefit from this support. The amount
goes to 1,000 to 1,500 Cypriot Pounds per year.


In Estonia, there is a legal prohibition of granting scholarships according to performances.
Pecuniary compensations may originate from bonuses, sponsors, and in case major
achievements from the State.


c) In the other countries, generally, young athletes do not receive any pecuniary compensation.
It is the case in Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, when athletes are under 18, and Slovakia.


d) In some countries, pecuniary compensation may be granted to refund expenses incurred by
young athletes, such as in Belgium and Luxembourg.


e) In Greece, the system is very particular as young athletes only get paid when they take part
in tournaments. The amount of the payment depends on the type of competition, on the level of
the athlete, etc…


Please note that we received no data on this subject matter from Latvia and Slovenia.


                                                  *
                                             *           *


Our study shows that the compensation of young athletes is not uniform according to the
countries. After a social dialogue at European level between the different European actors, a
European collective bargaining agreement could set out a minimum and a maximum
compensation according to the age of the high level young professional athletes. Regarding
amateur athletes, the high level athlete status could set forth the conditions of reimbursement of
costs incurred for their participation in competitions and the award of scholarships and
premiums.




4) Enforcement of European rules


As mentioned above in this section, applicable European rules are enforced in most of the
European countries on these themes as long as young athletes are 18 and have concluded a
labour contract with their club or sports association.



    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                     105
B        Free movement of young athletes in the Member States


The Member States apply EU regulations relating to the free movement of people to young
athletes.


Specific regulations in this area may be found for professional sports in the rules set forth by the
sports international associations such as FIFA and UEFA for football, FIBA for basketball, IAAF
for athletics, IHF and EHF for handball. Some of those regulations may provide limits to this
principle so as to ensure the protection of young athletes. This is the case of FIFA which
prohibits the transfer of minor football players.


•        The 27 Member States apply either directly the principles of the European Union
         relating to the free movement of workers, whether contained in the Rome Treaty or
         developed by the European Court of Justice in various rulings, the more famous and
         influent one being the Bosman ruling of December 1995. In the majority of the Member
         States, professional athletes may freely move from one State to another provided that
         they comply with the terms of their labour contract with regards to its termination and
         that their respective sports association issues a clearance letter before they enter a
         contract with a club located in another country.


•        Nevertheless, some countries, or some sports in given countries, considering the
         interests of sport, have set out specific rules which may limit the free movement of
         young athletes throughout the territory of the European Union.


         In Latvia, some professional hockey clubs ask for an entrance fee which may restrain
         their accessibility.


         In Italy, the rules of the football association (FIGC) set forth that, until 14, young athletes
         may not move outside their region unless with an exception granted by such sports
         association.




106 © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
         In France and in the United Kingdom, young football athletes may not be approached by
         other clubs during their traineeship within a specific club or otherwise induced to leave
         the club where they are registered as trainees.


•        We have no data on this theme regarding Bulgaria, Ireland and Lithuania.


                                                       *
                                                  *        *


The main practical issues regarding this aspect may be found in professional sports such as
football and basketball.


As mentioned hereinabove, the solution that may be applied to avoid that many young athletes
stop their educational training when they are transferred from one country to another would be
to strictly apply the FIFA regulations which limits any international transfer before the athlete is
18 (age of majority).


Moreover, the European Parliament specified, in its report on the future of professional football
in Europe, that it would be useful to take additional measures to guarantee that the initiative
regarding local players do not entail a minors’ traffic with clubs offering contracts to very young
players (less than 16 years’old)36.


Further developments on this matter may be found in the complementary study ordered by the
European Commission on the “home-grown players’ rule”.




36
  European Parliament – Report on the future of professional football in Europe (2006/2130 (INI)) – Culture and
Education Unit. February 13, 2007, p. 10.




     © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                                 107
C        Pecuniary compensation for the first training club


One way to efficiently protect the local training of young athletes is to indemnify the club or
structure which initially trained the young athletes once he / she succeeds in his / her sports,
and particularly becomes a professional athlete. Indeed, very often, the first training clubs are
very small structures with very poor operation budget and indemnifying them is a means to
allow them to continue identifying and training athletes who will become high level athletes.


Some international sports associations have issued regulations relating to the pecuniary
compensation to be paid to the first training club(s) of young athletes. This is the case, for
example, of FIFA (football), IHF (handball) and FIBA (basketball) which have inserted such type
of rules in their regulations relating to the transfers of players (see details in schedule).


•        The most protecting countries, as far as the first training clubs of young athletes are
concerned, seem to be Finland, Italy and Portugal:


    -    In Finland, sports associations have the practise that the first club of young athletes will
         be compensated. Furthermore, all sports have abandoned transfer fees deriving from
         international transfers.


    -    In Italy, article 6 of Law n° 81/1981 relating to the relationship between professional
         athletes and clubs, states that in the case of a first contract, associations have to
         establish a premium of training in favour of the last club or sports association where the
         athlete has performed his / her last amateur or youth sports activity. Thereafter, specific
         rules have been defined as from this rule by the football, basketball and athletics
         associations.


    -    In Portugal, articles 38 and 18 of the sports formation contract set out that the first club
         of a young player’s career is entitled to receive a compensation for his training
         formation. The amount has to be decided between clubs on a case by case basis and
         must be considered as acceptable. Thereafter, collective agreements in effect in some
         sports such as football and basketball set forth further criteria for the computation of the
         compensation.




108 © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
•       In most countries of the study (20 out of 27), there is no general regulation relating to
the pecuniary compensation of the first training club (s) of athletes. Therefore, such type of
compensation may exist according to the rules set out by each sports association. It has to be
noted that such compensation may be often found in professional sports rather than amateur.
Therefore, those rules exist for football, basketball, handball, rugby (Romania), tennis and ice
hockey (Slovakia), alpine skiing and judo (Slovenia), athletics (Italy and Slovenia). Sometimes,
as in Germany, the compensation of non-professional or semi-professional athletes is prohibited
or restricted to specific conditions.


Very often, a compensation is paid by the new club of the athlete to the former training club(s),
such as for example in Austria, Germany, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the
United Kingdom but it may also happen that the money is paid to a fund (such as in the Flemish
Community with the Plan Preud’homme which is a fund set forth by the professional football
clubs as well as the Youth Fund created by the Flemish Basketball Association, in the French
Community where the Brussels Basketball Association has set up a similar fund.


The Romanian football and rugby associations have set forth two types of pecuniary
compensation for the training clubs of athletes: i) a formation compensation which applies upon
the transfer of an amateur player to a professional club when occurring before the athlete is 23
and ii) a promoting compensation due to the club transferor by the club transferee when the
athlete is a professional.


•       The amount of the pecuniary compensation is mainly linked to the age of the athlete but
it may also depend on the duration of the training and / or on the category of the player
(amateur / professional).


•       We have no data on this theme regarding Bulgaria, Ireland, Latvia and Lithuania.


                                                *
                                            *       *


The main issues on this aspect are currently encountered in professional sports such as football
and basketball. Many disputes in the area of professional football entailed judicial proceedings.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                    109
These cases are the following:


In the AJ Auxerre / Sissoko / FC Valence case37, in July 2000, Mohamed Lamine Sissoko
entered into a “aspirant” contract with AJ Auxerre for 3 years. In April 2003, the contract expiring
in June of the same year, AJ Auxerre offered the player the execution of a new contract of
“stagiaire professionnel”, which he refused. In July, the player signed a contract of professional
player with FC Valence for a 5-year period. The Sports Arbitration Court, by a decision dated
August 27, 2004, confirmed the presence of the player in Spain where he had been playing for
one year but recognised the value of the French football regulations and stated that the player
had breached some of his contractual obligations, this violation entitling the club to obtain a
remedy beside a training indemnification.


In a case involving FC Girondins de Bordeaux / Sarr / Lyngby Boldklub / Lundtofte Boldklub38,
the player, Cheick Sarr had an amateur contract with Lundtofte for one year and with Lyngby for
the following year. In 2003, Bordeaux enters into a convention with the player for two years. The
Sports Arbitration Court in a decision rendered on 8 August 2005 confirms that a player with an
amateur license in France who receives a remuneration exceeding the reimbursement of his
costs is considered as a professional player at an international level. Also, players under a
training agreement (“aspirant“ and “stagiaire”) must, under the FIFA regulations, be considered
as professional players at an international level. In both cases, the club left by those players is
entitled to receive an indemnity.


In a case involving Le Havre / N’Zogbia / Newcastle39, in 2003, Charles N’Zogbia entered into
two agreements with Le Havre, the first was a training agreement, the second was an “aspirant”
contract which expired on 30 June 2004. Le Havre has previously proposed to the player the
execution of a new “stagiaire” agreement and the extension of the training agreement for two
additional years. This proposal was not accepted by the player. In the meantime, Newcastle and
the player entered into a professional player contract although the player was still linked to Le
Havre under the training agreement. The decision of the Sports Arbitration Court of 27 October
2005 partly cancels the FIFA decision to confirm that in any dispute, the provisions contained in
French law, the Professional Football Charter and the contract between the player and the club
must be applied. The training agreement is hereby officially recognised as an element of the
contractual structure existing around the training of the player. The Sports Arbitration Court
adds that refusing to sign the new contract proposed by the club, the player breaches his

37
   AJ Auxerre / Sissoko / FC Valence, TAS 2003/O/530.
38
   FC des Girondins de Bordeaux / Sarr / Lyngby Boldklub / Lundtofte Boldklub, TAS 2004/A/838.
39
   Le Havre / N’Zogbia / Newcastle, TAS 2004/A/791.




110 © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
contractual obligations and shall pay not only a training indemnity but also damages. The Court
also states that the reintegration of the player in a club shall be requested by the player himself.


In the case Olympique de Marseille (OM) / Flamini / Arsenal FC40, the player, Mathieu Flamini,
joined the OM training centre when he was 8 and was during two years an “aspirant” player and
thereafter “stagiaire", the last contract expiring on 30 June 2004. In March 2004, OM proposed
to the player the signature of a professional contract, the proposal was renewed in June 2004
and refused by the player. The player entered, in July 2004, into a professional contract with
Arsenal FC and pleaded that the offer of OM dated March 2004 did not contain sufficient
elements allowing him to make a decision as it did not mention any salary nor duration of the
contract. As a consequence, the Sports Arbitration Court decided in favour of the player
considering that OM did not really propose him a contract. Therefore, he was free to conclude a
contract with Arsenal FC. The Court also issued reserves relating to the prohibition to play in
France during three years which would be applicable to M. Flamini due to his refusal to sign his
first professional contract with his training club.


The most recent case is a decision rendered by the Court of Appeals of Lyon on 26 February
2007 concerning Olivier Bernard, a French player. Such player was under an “espoir” contract
with Olympique Lyonnais for 3 years and upon expiration of such contract, instead of signing his
first professional contract with Olympique Lyonnais as required by the French football league
applicable regulations, he entered into a professional player contract with Newcastle FC. The
French Court declared that article 23 of the National Football League Regulation (“Charte du
Football Professionnel”) which obliges a young player trained in a given club to sign his first
professional player contract with such club was breaching the principles of freedom of
movement and freedom of work included in the European Treaty together with French labour
law rules relating to the freedom of exercising a professional activity set out in article L 120-2 of
the French Labour Code.


The above decisions show that training clubs are not always protected against the departure of
their players to other clubs, often the richest European clubs, which offer them better contracts
and higher salaries.


The training of young football players needs heavy investments in order to offer them the best
conditions in terms of staff, facilities, education, etc... Football clubs make this investment with



40
     Olympique de Marseille (OM) / Flamini / Arsenal FC, TAS 2004/A/761.




       © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                     111
the objective that players will thereafter represent their first team. The quality of the training of
young players has in the past allowed “small” clubs to compete with the best clubs.


Today, a club may not have anymore the certainty that a young player will, at the end of his
training period, play for its first team. This situation threatens clubs on several aspects:


              •       The balance of European and national competitions could be threatened as
                      the rich clubs may become more and more dominating ;
              •       Some European clubs may decide to stop investing in training and choose to
                      recruit only adult players coming from non-European countries, which might
                      have a negative impact on the level of the European football and on the
                      societal role of football in Europe.


              •   FIFA regulations dated 5 July 2001, approved by the European Union, set out a
                  protection of training clubs in ensuring that they would be entitled to receive a
                  financial compensation upon the first transfer of the young player they would
                  have trained. However, clubs consider that this measure is not sufficient to
                  refrain rich clubs from recruiting their best elements, thus creating an imbalance
                  in the national and European competitions. In order to avoid such a
                  phenomenon, UEFA created (amongst other mechanisms) the “home-grown
                  players” rule which requires from teams participating to its competitions to
                  include in their strength a certain number of locally trained players. This rule
                  may contribute to protect the training of young players but cannot solve by itself
                  all problems related to training. A solution could certainly found in in the
                  combination of this rule with other rules or ideas which would comply with the
                  basic principles of the European Treaty and particularly with the freedom of
                  movement of workers (cf. part II of the complementary study).


The European Parliament, in its report on the future of professional football in Europe, states
that it fully supports this rule as it considers that this measure is proportionate41.


This theme could also be included in the European collective bargaining agreement applicable




41
  European Parliament – Report on the future of professional football in Europe (2006/2130 (INI)) – Culture and
Education Unit. February 13, 2007, p. 10.




112 © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
to professional athletes proposed hereinafter, in paragraph D.




D        Regulations relating to social security and pension plans


Another method allowing an efficient protection of young athletes would be the implementation
of social security or pension plans that would give them some warranties during and further to
their training period.


The main comments that may be made pursuant to our study are the following:


        •     A few countries have passed specific regulations relating to social security and
        pension plans regarding young athletes. Only three countries (Finland, Luxembourg and
        Portugal) have such specific regulations. However, regarding Portugal, whereas there
        are social security plans since law 30/2004 (21/07) which states that high competition
        athletes should have a specific social security regulation capable of offering them a
        better and more adequate integration. However, such regulation has never been
        applied.


        •    A distinction has to be made between professional and amateur athletes :


        In the major part of the involved countries (16 of them), young professional athletes may
        benefit from the general scheme of social security of their country. This is the case in
        Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Italy (article 9 of Law n° 91 / 1981
        extended the compulsory social security for workers to all professional athletes), Latvia,
        Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United
        Kingdom (concerning professional football players).


        Furthermore, it should be noted that the regulations of two of the above mentioned
        countries set forth age limits regarding the benefit of the social security regime or the
        pension plans. In Latvia, professional athletes are subject to general law on social
        insurance applicable to all employees who have reached the age of 15. In Spain, from
        age 16 onwards, young athletes may benefit from a pension plan if they enter into a
        labour contract.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                     113
         For amateurs, most of the countries do not have any specific plan with regards to their
         social security and pension plans.


         •    In three countries (Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Slovenia), the contributions may
         be paid by the State.


         In the Czech Republic, the social and health security insurance premium for pupils and
         students are paid by the State. In Luxembourg, according to a law dated 3 August 2005,
         the social security contributions for high level athletes are paid by the State when those
         persons do not otherwise benefit from Luxembourg social security schemes. In
         Slovenia, only top athletes are included in the pension insurance if they are at least 15
         years’ old.


         •    In six countries, there are specific social security regimes for specific professional
         sports. This is the case in Belgium for football and cycling, in Germany for football and
         basketball, in the Netherlands where professional football players may enter into a
         contract with the KNVB, the United Kingdom for professional players and France for
         football (UCPF) and basketball.


         •    Three countries have very specific regimes:


         - In Malta, there are no social security and pension plans applicable to young athletes.


         - In Sweden, general social security coverage applies to all residents.


         - In Denmark, professional athletes may subscribe to pension plans with favourable tax
         regulations and spend the money in an education programme or establish their own
         business.


         •    Some countries oblige young athletes to subscribe to private insurance policies or
         pension plans. This is the case in the Czech Republic where in most cases,
         professional athletes have to pay themselves except when employed by a club or an
         association. This is also the case in Germany for all athletes, except for professionals,
         in Romania and Slovakia.


         The main remarks that may be made on these regulations are the following:




114 © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
                  -   Social security regimes are only applicable to professional athletes in most
                      of the 27 countries.


                  -   In most countries, amateur athletes must subscribe private insurance or
                      pension plans.




        •    We did not receive any information concerning the following countries: Bulgaria,
             Greece, Ireland and Lithuania.


                                                  *
                                              *       *


National regulations on this theme vary from one country to another and efforts should be made
to generalise the subscribing of insurance policies, so as to better protect young athletes.


This type of measures could be a theme of the social dialogue to be engaged between the
athletes, their representatives, sports associations and the sports movement and could
thereafter be included in a framework collective bargaining agreement applicable to European
professional athletes and in the high level athlete status for European amateur athletes.




E       Recruitment of young athletes according to their place of residence



In this area, legislations are very homogeneous as detailed henceforth:


•       In most of the countries of the study (22 out of 27), there is no regulation relating to the
recruitment of young athletes according to their place of residence. Therefore, the recruitment
may take place in any part of the country.


In practise, the situation may be very different as the organisation of the sports may entail a
geographical recruitment. In many countries, although there is no legal framework, young




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                       115
athletes are members of clubs located near their parents’ residence. Furthermore, as some
sports associations are structured with regional leagues or associations and therefore the
recruitment is performed regionally. This is the case in Belgium (separation between Flemish
and French communities), Finland, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Slovakia and the United
Kingdom.


In Slovakia, there is a particularity as the recruitment is ensured by public institutions and more
particularly shared between the regional and municipal authorities and their sports departments.


•        We have identified two countries with internal legislation conditioning the recruitment of
young athletes to their place of residence:


In Italy, although there is no general regulation, sports associations may limit the transfer of
young athletes from a region to another on the basis of their age. The football association has
set out that the athletes under the age of 14 may not move from their region, unless they have a
special dispensation.


In Portugal, there is no specific regulation or case law at the moment but the football association
is currently setting forth new rules which may apply to all clubs (except clubs participating in
professional league) and which would oblige the clubs to play with locally trained players.


•        We have no data on this theme for the following countries: Ireland, Lithuania and
         Slovenia.


This point involves various policies of the European Union such as the protection of minors at
work and the immigration policy. We believe that it is crucial that the European Commission
supports actions related to this subject matter.




F - Regulations relating to sports managers and agents of the athletes



One means aiming to protect young European athletes may be found in the regulation of the
activities their agents, sports managers. Many abuses have occurred upon the transfers of
young talented football players and solutions must be found urgently on this point at an
international level.




116 © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
Regarding this subject matter, our study showed that:


        •    13 countries do not have a general compulsory regulation relating to sports
             managers and agents.
                  -   These countries are the French Community (Belgium), Bulgaria, Czech
                      Republic, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands,
                      Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden. The reason for such absence are
                      the few number of professional athletes in certain countries (such as Malta,
                      Luxembourg and Greece) or the fact that this area is under the jurisdiction
                      of the sports associations (Slovenia, Slovakia) or of the sports associations
                      themselves (such as in Bulgaria, Czech Republic or the Netherlands).
                      Sometimes, the rules of the sports associations are not publicly available
                      (Czech Republic). Some of the above countries however indirectly have
                      regulations as they enforce the FIFA rules relating to the transfers of
                      football players.


        •    Nine countries have a general internal regulation. This is the case in the Flemish
             Community (Belgium), Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal
             and Romania. The United Kingdom has to be added to those countries although no
             law has been passed on this subject matter taking into account the fact that it is a
             common law area and that there is some case law regulating this subject matter.


              The main comments that may be made on these regulations are the following:


                  -   The existing regulations are very recent. Most of them were passed
                      between 1999 and now. Slovakia should have such a regulation very soon
                      as it is included in the draft Act on Sports which is being discussed.
                  -   Some regulations are specifically dedicated to sports (Bulgaria, France,
                      Finland, Hungary, Italy, Poland, and Romania) whereas others derive from
                      the internal civil law (Germany) or case law (United Kingdom: law of torts).
                  -   Their contents are very close: most of them provide that agents have to
                      comply with residence, citizenship and honesty conditions, pass an exam
                      and obtain a license before being registered with an official list (this is the
                      case for Finland, France, Italy, and Portugal) and contain provisions relating




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                        117
                        to the performance of the agents’ mission. In case of default of compliance
                        with applicable legal provisions, the license may be withdrawn.


         •     It has to be noted that Belgium appears in the two above mentioned categories as
               there is a regulation exclusively applicable in the Flemish Community.


         •    For 5 countries, we did not receive any information. These countries are Austria,
              Cyprus, Denmark, Lithuania and Ireland.


                                                         *
                                                     *        *


         Only one third of the European countries involved in this study has a regulation relating
         to agents / sports managers.
         The French legislation is one of the most elaborated and is nevertheless regularly
         infringed, particularly within the framework of international transfers of professional
         football players. A report has been issued very recently by the National Assembly (20
         February 2007) and should built the ground work of a future law. This is not the case in
         every Member State as noted by the French Member of Parliament, Mrs Arlette Franco,
         in her recent information report relating to the organisation and financing of sports in
         Europe.42


         Most of the European countries involved apply the framework set out by the FIFA
         regulations of 5 March 2001 relating to the transfers of professional football players but
         this system is often violated as there is no competent authority in charge of the
         supervision of its enforcement. This is the reason why, in his report issued in October
         2006, the Independent European Sport Review (Chairman: José Luis Arnaut)
         recommended that, as for the independent commercial agents, a regulation could be
         passed on the basis of article 47 of the European Treaty, so as to harmonize and
         strengthen the application of regulations in this area. The other professional sports do
         not have any similar regulations and may encounter the same difficulties as football did
         while becoming more and more professional. Other solutions could be found within
         FIFA and UEFA regulations and are being studied by those two associations.


42
  Information report remitted by the Delegation of the National Assembly for the European Union on the organisation
and the financing of sports in Europe and presented by Mrs. Arlette Franco, Deputy, registered with the presidency of
the National Assembly on January 30, 2007, p. 25.




118 © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
         The European Parliament, in its report on the future of professional football in Europe,
         considers that directives of the Parliament and the Council could be implemented so as
         to regulate the activity of sports agent and estimates that considering the economic
         conditions under which agents perform their activity, the football authorities must
         improve, while consulting the European Commission, the regulation regarding agents
         and thus invites the European Commission to support UEFA efforts in this domain, if
         needed through the drafting of a European directive. 43.




43
  European Parliament – Report on the future of professional football in Europe (2006/2130 (INI)) – Culture and
Education Unit. February 13, 2007, pages 7 and 11.




     © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                                 119
VIII - SPORTS FOR DISABLED PERSONS


The creation of Paralympic Games, and the development of specialised associations, divided
according to the type of handicap (physical handicap, deafness, sight issues, but also mental
handicap) certainly helped the development of sports for disabled persons in the European
Union.


This study shows that, even if the development of such type of sports remains slow, many
efforts have been made and are currently performed. Today, sports associations for disabled
persons are grouped under the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), which organizes the
Paralympic Games to follow the Olympic Games and has developed training programmes. In
1998, the European Paralympic Committee (EPC) was created: it represents the IPC at the
European level and co-operates with the European Union. At the European level, many
intiatives have been taken in view of the development of sports for disabled persons. For
instance, the Helios programme created to promote the importance of the role of sports for
helping disabled persons to live independently and to integrate into society.


Furthermore, the European Commission declared the year 2003 as the ‘European Year for
People with Disabilities’. More recently, in its White Paper on Sports, the European Commission
encouraged Member States and sports organisations to adapt sports infrastructures to take into
account the needs of people with disabilities44.


However, to practice sports at high-level competition level is quite complicated for disabled
persons, especially as it is expensive and does not generate the same profits as regular sports
competitions. Furthermore, sports are often used as a medical way of curing or helping disabled
persons, rather than high level competitions.




44
     Commission of the European Communities, White Paper on Sport, Brussels, 11 July 2007, COM (2007) 391, page 7.




120 © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
A       Existence of specific regulation relating to sports training of
        disabled persons


This study shows that many Member States have passed regulations on sports for disabled
persons. In fact, no Member State seems to be deprived of such rules. The Member States that
are deprived of rules concerning sports for disabled persons do at least have regulations
concerning their integration within the society.




1) Member States with regulations relating to sports training of disabled persons


Our study showed that the existing rules are of different nature. There are rules of legal nature,
issued by the State, as well as rules set forth by the relevant sports associations, often directly
entitled by the State to generate such regulation.



            a) Legal rules

In this field, some distinctions need to be made. The study showed that, in a few cases,
regulations are dedicated to sports for disabled persons. Most of the time, such regulations
relate to the creation of a sports related organisation dedicated to sports for disabled persons. It
is, among others, for example, the case in France (Fédération Handisport, Fédération Française
de Sport Adapté…) and in the Czech Republic.


Some regulations may concern the funding of associations, for instance the Act n° 115/2001
Coll. on support of sports for disabled by the State and local communities in the Czech
Republic. It may also concern the accessibility of disabled persons to sport facilities (Law dated
03/08/2005 in Luxembourg).


However, in the majority of the cases, there are no specific laws concerning this matter. Indeed,
general provisions concerning sports for disabled persons could be integrated into regular
sports laws. These regulations generally concern subject matters such as:


        Funding of disabled athletes’ sports associations (competent authority, amount of
        funding…);




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                       121
         Specific qualifications to be attained in order to graduate as a trainer, for instance
         articles L.211-7 and L.111-1 of the French Sports Code;
         Accessibility of disabled persons to sports facilities (article L 121-3 of the French Sports
         Code);
         Finally, it may also concern matters like the creation of associations aimed at the
         practice of sports for disabled persons (Decree of 26 April 1999 for the French
         Community in Belgium; Order of the Flemish Government dated 13/01/2006 for the
         Flemish Community).




         b) Sport related organisation rules


Where Member States either did not draft any such regulation or drafted insufficient regulation,
they sometimes rely on sports related associations. Their powers and influence depend on the
State. In the Czech Republic and France, for instance, sports associations benefit from a
delegation from the State in order to establish rules. Rules may also be drawn up by
Paralympics Committees like in Greece (Hellenic Paralympics Committee), Hungary and
Slovakia (Slovakian Paralympics Committee).


These associations mainly regulate matters such as:


         Their own structure;
         Organisation of sports related activities;
         Customisation of sports facilities;
         Promotion of sports events and financial support.




2 – Member States that have no regulations regarding sports training of
         disabled persons


In some Member States, there is an absence of both specific law and specific sports related
organisation for disabled persons. This does however not mean that the State is completely
deprived of any provision concerning sports for disabled persons.




122 © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
General regulations on disabled persons sometimes cover sports. Sports have been recognised
as playing an important role in the integration of disabled persons into society. The improvement
of life conditions of disabled persons is considered as a priority in many Member States. In
Latvia, for instance, the national guidelines (2004-2009) set out the aid to the training of
disabled persons as a general aim.


Furthermore, some Member States can be parties to international conventions active in the field
of sports for disabled persons.


Several Member States sports associations for valid athletes also deal with issues concerning
disabled persons. In such a case, each sport regulates on its own the practice of sports by
disabled persons. (this is especially the case of the NGBs in the UK and in Ireland and in the
respective sports associations in Denmark, Finland and Spain).


                                                  *
                                              *       *


At least 16 Member States benefit from rules set forth by the State or by non governmental
associations, aiming at promoting sports for disabled persons.
It is also encouraging to see that many Member States have not set out such regulations as
their sports associations are directly dealing with such matters. However, in such a case, it
should be noted that the means provided by each sports association may be extremely different.
As a consequence, some sports will finally not be fully accessible to disabled persons because
there is no obligation to allocate funding.




B       Promotion of the practice of sports by disabled persons ensured by
        the Government or other organisations


As a general principle, the promotion of the practice of sports by disabled persons is well
established within the European Union. There are two exceptions to this principle: Cyprus,
which was unable to provide information concerning sports for disabled persons, and Austria,
where the Government seemingly does not to specifically promote the practice of sports by
disabled persons. However, it is to be specified that Austria has a national fund whose aim is to




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                    123
ensure the financing the sports for disabled persons (the FFBS, notably financed through the
funds given by the national lottery).


Apart from these exceptions, the 25 other Member States promote the practice of sports for
disabled persons. The promotion may vary significantly depending on the countries involved.


However, we have identified the three following main means of promotion:


         The most current way is the promotion through specialised associations. Such
         associations can be found in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France,
         Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal,
         Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. Such a system has several advantages. The
         most important one is that these associations certainly possess a better knowledge of
         disabled persons than regular sports associations. Furthermore, since their object is
         aimed at promoting and ensuring the sports activities for disabled persons, they can
         concentrate on this particular aim. Depending on the Member State where they are
         located, they can benefit from a delegation of powers from the State (such as in
         Hungary, Poland, Romania or France) or from memberships with local authorities (such
         as in Germany and Lithuania) and therefore have more or less extended powers in
         order to fulfil their mission.


         Through regular sports associations: Another means in order to ensure the promotion of
         sports for disabled persons (which is not exclusive of the above mentioned means) is to
         empower the relevant sports associations to deal with such matters. The Belgian
         BLOSO, the Bulgarian SYSA, the Portuguese IDP and the British Rugby Association
         (RFU) all ensure the promotion of their sport for disabled persons. The British RFU
         actively encouraged and funded the creation of the wheelchair rugby union and the deaf
         rugby union, which both have become associate members of the rugby union.


         Through Paralympics Committees: Paralympics Committees promote actively high level
         sports for disabled persons in several Member States.


         Through State authorities (local as well as national): It is obvious that since sports for
         disabled persons may not be as lucrative as certain sports for valid people, there is a
         real need that the States get involved in this particular matter. It is reported that at least
         18 Member States are involved in the promotion or at least the financing of the




124 © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
        promotion of sports for disabled persons, at national as well as at local level. The aim of
        the allocation of funds or implication into the organisation of such activities varies
        according to each Member State. They may act because the promotion of sports for
        disabled persons is considered as a factor of integration in the society or for medical
        reasons but also in order to promote high level competition, and therefore help to
        associate a positive image to the situation of disabled persons. In Finland, it is
        interesting to see that the national organisation for disabled sports has equal rights to
        get State subsidies than any other national sports association for valid persons.




C       Existence of specific programmes aiming at promoting sports
        training and competitions with mixed teams (composed of disabled
        and valid athletes)


Mixed teams are teams composed of valid and disabled persons. They are in the course of
development within the European Union. Their principal aim is to integrate disabled persons but
also to promote mutual comprehension among the athletes.


This study shows that several Member States in the European Union seem to have such teams,
but that it is not yet a common phenomenon.


We have noted the following points:


        Member States which do not have mixed teams: 9 Member States are currently
        deprived of mixed teams: Austria, Belgium, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal,
        Slovakia, Spain (where we must point out that the creation of mixed teams is currently
        envisaged), Sweden and the United Kingdom.


        Member States having mixed teams:


    We identified the two following categories of Member States:


             o    Member States where there are official programmes:




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                      125
                      •    Finland;
                      •    In France, there is currently a “Rugby à XIII” team which is related to
                           the disabled sports association (Fédération Handisport); however, it
                           seems that there is no other team of this type;
                      •    In Germany, there is a basketball team gathering both valid and
                           mentally disabled athletes;
                      •    In Greece, even if there is currently no programme at competition level,
                           mixed teams can be found at the local level (municipalities) and in
                           schools;
                      •    In Hungary, there are currently summer camps where valid and
                           disabled persons are mixed. The FONESZ (Association for Sports for
                           Disabled) however would like to create a permanent programme;
                      •    In Italy, the CIP (Italian Paralympic Committee) tries to organise
                           activities gathering both valid and disabled athletes. Furthermore, in
                           certain sports, it is already possible for disabled and valid athletes to
                           train together (archery, canoeing, weight lifting);
                      •    In the Netherlands, the KNAU (Athletics Association) would like to
                           create a mixed association;
                      •    Romania.


             o    Member States where there are no official programmes or competitions but
                  where mixed teams develop anyway:


                      •    In the Czech Republic, competitions are only non professional.
                      •    In Denmark, some very talented disabled athletes have been
                           competing against valid athletes.
                      •    In Poland, the existence of such team is ascertained; however, it
                           seems that there is no specific programme.




                                                   *
                                               *         *


Constituting mixed teams is an extremely interesting means allowing to a better integration of
disabled athletes in a sports team. However, such kind of teams need to be strongly developed




126 © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj
since this study shows that there are currently only a few sports that have teams or competitions
with both disabled and valid athletes.




D       Existence of specific schools combining sports training and
        education for disabled persons


The existence of specific sports schools aiming at welcoming disabled pupils is a quite delicate
point. Indeed, there are currently a few specialised schools within the European Union. Only
three Member States, Germany, Latvia and Sweden have specialised sports schools for
disabled persons. It seems that the reason why there are no such schools in other Member
States is that there are not enough applicants. Recently, there was a project for such a school in
France, however it was abandoned since nowadays, young disabled persons are not that
numerous.


Most of the time, disabled persons may practice sports in specialised centres where they can
train. However, it is often for medical reasons, and not in the optic of high level sport
competition. Several specialised Spanish centres aim to train disabled athletes in the optic of
high level sports competitions.


In Denmark and Belgium, disabled young athletes are considered as valid athletes and benefit
from the same advantages. They either integrate sports schools or benefit from the top athlete
or promising athlete status.


                                                *
                                            *       *


Forgetting the difference between valid and disabled athletes could be the answer to this issue:
Indeed, since there are few athletes and that therefore no funding is allocated, a solution could
be to integrate disabled persons into regular programmes.


Sports organisations and sports clubs could also organise more events involving both valid and
disabled athletes and mixed teams whenever it is possible.




    © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj                                                                     127
128 © 2007 INEUMconsulting / Taj

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:0
posted:5/23/2012
language:
pages:128
Description: all about sport