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The Russian Premier League is arming itself with laws


Starting this year, football matches will have more continuations in courts. Another season begins in the Russian Premier League on March 8, and threatens with turmoil at the stands and a tide of a variety of lawsuits. There are two draft laws in the State Duma, which directly involve football and fans, while the clubs start selling tickets upon presentation of passports and sue their own stands. “Moscow News” have collected all planned changes in the football laws and contacted a lawyer.

“Fan Law”

The set of amendments to various laws governing the conduct of fans and police during football matches was nicknamed the “Fan Law” by the press. It increases fines for disorderly conduct, introduces a new punishment – prohibition to assist football matches, and introduces the term “controllers” – stewards, who will replace police at stadiums.

Mikhail Prokopets, Head of Sports Law Section of the Law Firm "YUST":

- There are talks that the so-called “Fan Law” will be adopted by summer. I would be more careful and say – by the end of the year. The most important thing is that it will make the idea of selling tickets upon presentation of passports more sensible, will introduce a new kind of administrative sanction – prohibition to assist football matches for a certain period, and the video surveillance systems will allow to discover the organizers of the disturbances at the stands. Besides, it is highly probable that the fines for misconduct would be severely raised. The latest edition of the law that was discussed in the press featured amounts of 3 to 5 thousand roubles. There is information that it will be increased manifold, up to 100 thousand roubles.

“Match-fixing Law”

The draft law, submitted to the State Duma by the President, may be divided in two parts. In the first part, the measures against match-fixing are stipulated, and the activity of bookmaker offices is regulated: they are obliged to collect passport details from their clients, pay income tax from the winnings and inform the national federations of suspicious disbalances in the betting.

Mikhail Prokopets, Head of Sports Law Section of the Law Firm "YUST":

- First of all, the law stipulates liability not only for bribery, as before, but for any collusion, when organizing those matches. The times, when cases full of money were delivered to the players as payment for giving the game away, are gone, and such things have long since been organized under more complex schemes. And this is reflected in the law. Besides, the crime under that article is now qualified as serious. This, for example, enables the law-enforcement authorities to use “eavesdropping” devices during operations.

As regards the bookmaker offices and creation of the alert system based on who bet on whom and how much, I doubt that it would function efficiently. UEFA has got such system for a long time, but I have never heard of any criminal cases initiated on the basis of that information.

For more details see here.

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