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Limits on foreign professional players competing in the Russian Federation: problems and prospects.

1. Introduction

The topic of limiting the number of foreign players1 in Russian sport gains ever greater popularity each sporting season. Unfortunately, this is to a large degree in response to scandals. Football lovers still have fresh memories of a situation, surrounding the scandal that flared up when Zenit FC violated the foreign-player limit in a 2009 Russian Football Championship match against FC Lokomotiv. Another hot debate, about the value of introducing a Russian Hockey Federation limit on foreign goal-minders, only recently died down.

Supporters and opponents of foreign-player limits are well represented, and both sides can list solid and well-founded arguments, both in favour of their own viewpoints and to counter the opposing views. The arguments of those in favour of a limit on foreign players appeal to the patriotism of football supporters, who want to see and empathize with a “a guy from the next street”, and not a foreigner, who “doesn’t even know any Russian”, even on condition of the latter’s outstanding sporting ability. Globalization has penetrated many sectors of the economies of the world, covering almost all fields of human endeavour, and the opponents of limits counter: why should sport—a mirror of life—be any exception?

We will refrain from judging who is right, or whose arguments are better grounded. However, considering the fact that the arguments of supporters of a limit are reflected in the regulations of the Russian Football Union (RFU), and in the regulations of the Continental Hockey League (CHL), it appears that this group can now celebrate victory.

The idea of a limit is not a Russian invention. As regards football, limits were in place in many European countries until they started to contravene European legislation. For example, after rulings on lawsuits by Bosman and Simutenkov, which will be discussed below, European sporting federations lost the right to independently establish limits. The reality is now such that migration, labour and social policy with respect to foreign citizens is the exclusive prerogative of the state, and not of social organizations—a category which includes sporting federations.

Nevertheless, despite the non-conformance with European legislation, the topic of limits is becoming ever more popular in European football, too. Senior football officials have recently made statements ever more frequently about the need to introduce a limit, thanks to the evident advantages for the sport.

In 2008, the FIFA congress approved of a proposal by its president, Sepp Blatter, to introduce a mandatory limit on foreign players in clubs, known as the “6+5” system. The following new rule is to be introduced from 2012: at least six players who have the right to play for the national team of the country where the given club is based must come on to the field. Thus, there can be a maximum of five foreign players on the field at any one time2.

The position of FIFA and its president was supported by Michel Platini, head of UEFA. “I support the idea of reducing the number of foreigners on the field. On the one hand, reducing the limit allows clubs to have more home-bred players, which encourages the development of football in the country, and on the other hand creates a barrier for those foreign players, whose level is fairly low,” noted the UEFA president3.

It is worth noting that confidence in the introduction of such a limit on the part of European football officials is very obviously out of tune with European labour legislation, which fact is confirmed by the rulings of courts on similar cases, including the court ruling on the Bosman affair. Frankly, it is not entirely clear what arguments the FIFA and UEFA leaderships can use to convince European bureaucrats of the need to create exceptions, specifically for sport.

The specific advantages and disadvantages of introducing a limit—economic, social and for the sport—were not taken into account during the writing of this article. We are primarily interested in the legal basis for restricting the rights of foreign citizens when they perform labour on Russian territory.

In addition, of all the criteria listed, it is the legal aspect that we consider to be the most important and of highest priority. It is precisely a failure to conform to legal criteria that could put the idea of such a limit in doubt. It is from this viewpoint that we will try to answer the question of the legal status of foreign sportsmen in Russia, on the legality of introducing a limit on participation by foreign citizens in sporting competitions in the Russian Federation, and on the legality of the limit, in the form that it currently exists. This analysis of the legality of the limit explores examples from two of the most popular sports in Russia: football and hockey, analysing the rules of the RFU and the CHL.

2. The status of foreign employees under current Russian Federation legislation

Any foreign, professional athlete, regardless of the sport in question, is above all an employee and, therefore, the rights and obligations established by Russian legislation for foreign employees pertain for such persons.

Let us review the status of foreign citizens in Russia, including foreign athletes, as well as the question of whether Russian legislation stipulates a restriction of the labour rights of foreign workers.

Foreign citizens in Russia have a special status. This status is regulated by the Federal Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation, of 2002. According to this law, a foreign citizen is a physical person, who is not a citizen of the Russian Federation, and who bears proof of citizenship (nationality) from a foreign state.

As regards the rights of foreign citizens to work on Russian territory, “foreign citizens exercise the right to freely deploy their abilities to work, select a field of endeavour and a profession, and exercise the right to freely deploy their capabilities and property for business and other economic activity not forbidden by law, with provision for the restrictions stipulated by Federal law4”. In essence, foreigners are extended rights and obligations with respect to labour, that are identical to the rights and obligations of citizens of Russia.

In order to conclude a labour contract between an employer and a foreign worker, lawmakers stipulate that the employer and the employee must obtain the following additional documents:

1. In order to conclude a labour contract with a foreign citizen an employer, who may also be a foreigner, must obtain permission to recruit and use foreign workers. A payment is exacted from employers for each recruited foreign worker, in the sum of one minimum monthly labour wage, in exchange for the issue of permission to recruit each foreign worker.

2. In turn, the foreigner himself must obtain a work permit. A work permit is a document that confirms the right of the given foreign worker to temporarily perform labour activities on the territory of the Russian Federation, or the right of a foreign citizen, registered in the Russian Federation as a private businessman, to perform business activity. The permit is issued free of charge.

Paragraph 4, article 13 of the Federal Law On the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens contains a list of persons who have the right to perform labour activities without obtaining a work permit. For example, no work permit is required for: foreigners who have the status of permanent residency on the territory of the Russian Federation, accredited journalists, diplomatic personnel, teachers, employees of foreign assembly and service companies, students of Russian colleges and universities employed during their vacation, and others.

The exceptions listed do not include footballers, hockey players, or any other athletes. This means that they exercise the same rights and bear the same obligations, in respect to labour relations, as the majority of foreigners. In part, this holds for the right to freely exercise one’s right to work and for the obligation to obtain a work permit to perform labour activities on the territory of the Russian Federation.

The legislation of the Russian Federation contains no specific restrictions on the labour rights of foreign athletes, but a mechanism is nevertheless provided, that could be utilized for this purpose.

After the adoption of the new Law on Physical Culture and Sport in the Russian Federation, dated 4 December 2007, No. 329-FZ, the legislation of the Russian Federation gained a basis for establishing limits on the numbers of foreign athletes participating in Russian competitions.

According to subparagraph 7, paragraph 1, article 16 of the Federal Law on Physical Culture and Sport in the Russian Federation, only pan-Russian social organizations have the right to establish restrictions on athletes’ participation in pan-Russian official sporting competitions in the corresponding sports, if they do not have the right to represent the national sporting teams of the Russian Federation in compliance with the norms of international sporting organizations, hosting the relevant international competitions.

In other words, any pan-Russian sporting federation may establish, in its internal documents (for example, the rules for holding competitions), a limit on participation in official sporting competitions by a special category of employees.

We will note that in this case we are not talking only of foreign citizens: the term used is: “an athlete, not possessing the right to represent the national sports teams of the Russian Federation in compliance with the norms of international sporting organizations hosting the relevant international competitions.” This term is far broader than the definitions of foreign players stipulated by the rules of the RFU or the CHL. According to these rules, a foreign player is always a citizen of a foreign state, and the language used in the Federal Law on Physical Culture and Sport does not exclude situations where a citizen of the Russian Federation may also become subject to such a limit. For example, citizens of the Russian Federation who have dual citizenship, and who have already played for the national team of another country, are subject to this limit.

Another example: in football a practice is very common, whereby a footballer holds two passports, one Russian and one of another country, that was previously part of the USSR and is now a member of the CIS—such as Ukraine or Moldova. There is no dual citizenship treaty between Russia and these countries, and on receipt of Russian citizenship the above footballers, nevertheless, retain their passport from the other country, which allows them to play in the national team of that country. In this situation, as they are citizens of Russian, such footballers also find themselves subject to the limit.

It appears strange that sporting federations have been awarded the right to establish, in their internal documents, restrictions on participation by foreign athletes in competitions, and effectively thus restrict the labour rights of these athletes. No criteria for such documents are stipulated in the Federal Law and, effectively, according to the given norm, the sporting federation may restrict the rights of foreign athletes in any form, even including a complete ban on participation by foreigners in Russian competitions (as, for example, already occurred in the second-division of the Professional Football League, PFL).

Moreover, according to paragraph 5, article 18.1 of the Federal Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation, the government of the RF retains the right, annually and making provisions for regional labour market factors, as well as the need for priority placement of RF citizens in jobs, to establish the legal proportion of foreign workers, deployed in various sectors of the economy by commercial entities, which perform activities both on the territory of one or several constituent members of the Russian Federation, and on the entire territory of the Russian Federation. In other words, this federal law specifically awards the government of the Russian Federation the right to set quotas and restrict the use of foreign workers in various sectors of the economy, including activities related to sport.

It was as a part of the implementation of these provisions of the federal law, that on 31 December 2008 the RF government adopted the order ‘On Establishing for 2009 the Legal Proportion of Foreign Workers Employed in Commercial Entities Active in the Retail Industry and Sport on the Territory of the RF’. This document establishes the legal proportion of foreign workers employed in activities related to sport, as 25% of the total number of employees used by the above commercial entities.

In this way, the government also established a, somewhat idiosyncratic, form of limiting the number of competing foreign athletes. However, this was done in an extremely ineffective fashion: the unit of measurement was taken as the total number of employees in a sporting organization, and not the actual athletes, and so in order to dodge this limit, a sport club has merely to increase the number of full-time cleaners, formally boosting the total number of employees, and in so doing thus also increasing the number of foreign employees that can be hired by the club. In addition, as far as is known, nothing is actually done to verify and ensure conformance with this governmental order.

Nevertheless, it is clear that in the question of limiting the number of foreigners in sport, there is a clear dualism: according to the Federal Law On Physical Culture and Sport in the Russian Federation, a limit may be established by a pan-Russian social organization, while the Federal Law On the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens delegates these authorities to the RF government.

In our opinion such important issues must be resolved at the state level, or at least remain under governmental control, although the legal formalization, presentation and execution of these authorities must be afforded a far higher level of legal detail than is evident in the government order mentioned above.

3. International treaties regulating the labour rights of foreign workers on the territory of the Russian Federation.

According to the provisions of article 15 of the RF constitution, universally-recognized principles and norms of international law and international treaties of the RF are an integral part of the RF law system. If international treaties of the RF establish other rules than are stipulated by law, then the rules of the international treaty are applied.

At the time of writing this article, the RF has a ratified agreement with the European Union and a treaty with the Republic of Belarus, regulating the labour rights of citizens of the party countries.

For example, according to article 23 of the Agreement on partnership and cooperation establishing a partnership between the European communities and their Member States, of one part and the Russian Federation, or the other part, of 24 June 1994 (hereafter the RF-EU agreement) “Subject to the laws, conditions and procedures applicable in each Member State, the Community and its Member States shall ensure that the treatment accorded to Russian nationals, legally employed in the territory of a Member State shall be free from any discrimination based on nationality, as regards working conditions, remuneration or dismissal, as compared to its own nationals.”

Moreover, the above rule is valid for both parties to the agreement, and therefore Russia, by observing the terms and rules current in Russia, provides the regime discussed above to citizens of any EU member state, who is legally hired to work on Russian territory.

In addition to the agreement with the EU, Russia has also ratified a treaty with the Republic of Belarus, on Equal Rights of Citizens, dated 25 December, 1998. According to article 7 of this treaty, “the Parties will provide to citizens of Russia and Belarus equal rights to employment, remuneration and the extension of other social and legal guarantees on the territories of Russia and Belarus. Citizens of Russia and Belarus have equal rights with respect to remuneration for labour, work and rest schedules, labour protection and the terms of employment, and other labour relations issues.”

Thus, if a citizen of an EU country is legally hired in Russia, i.e. in observation of all the necessary procedures in section two of this article—if the employer obtains permission to recruit a foreign worker and the employee himself procures a work permit—then discrimination against that employee, on grounds of citizenship and with respect to the terms of employment, remuneration or termination, is banned.

The same is true for citizens of Belarus, working in Russian legally, with the sole difference that according to Resolution No. 4 of the Supreme Council of the Belarus-Russia Community, dated 22 June 1996, the procedure for regulating the recruitment and use of foreign workers with respect to citizens of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation and citizens of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Belarus, which is based on national legislation, is not applicable. That is, a citizen of Belarus, in case of employment on Russian territory, need not obtain a work permit, and his employer need not obtain permission to recruit him as a foreign worker.

Thus, it is clear that for sporting federations, according to the Federal Law On Physical Culture and Sport in the Russian Federation, establishing restrictions on participation by foreigners in Russian sporting competitions is a violation of the above international treaties, ratified by Russia, as such restrictions clearly discriminate against citizens of EU member states and Belarus. There are no such restrictions with respect to citizens of the Russian Federation. Therefore the limits, current in Russian sporting competitions, cannot be applied to the citizens of EU member states, or citizens of the Republic of Belarus.

These conclusions are indirectly confirmed by the records of a court case, won by the Russian footballer Igor Simutenkov, against the Spanish Royal Football Federation (RFEF) in the Spanish Supreme Court.

4. The Simutenkov Case5

In 2001 Russian footballer Igor Simutenkov, playing for the Spanish club Tenerife, submitted to RFEF a request for a cessation of discrimination with respect to his labour rights, based on article 23 of the RF-EU agreement.

The discriminatory rules, in his opinion, were the result of the text of an agreement between the RFEF, the National Professional Football League and the Association of Spanish Footballers, dated 28 May 1999, which introduced a limit on foreign players, and according to which no more than three footballers, who are not citizens of EU states, can play at any one time in any one first-division match in the 2000/2001-2004/2005 seasons; in the second division the rule is no more than three footballers simultaneously in matches in the 2000/2001-2001/2002 seasons, and no more than two footballers at any one time in matches of subsequent seasons. Simutenkov’s request was rejected by a decision of the RFEF6.

Then Simutenkov filed a lawsuit with Central Court No. 3 for administrative disputes, against the decision of RFEF, challenging the rejection of his appeal against discrimination. The lawsuit was denied in a legal ruling on 22 October 2002, and Simutenkov filed an appeal against this court ruling, with the National Appeals Assembly, which ruled in favour of a suspension of hearings on the case, pending resolution of the following question:

“Is article 23 of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, establishing a partnership between the European Communities and their Member States for the first part, and the Russian Federation for the second part (the Agreement), concluded in Corfu on 24 June 1994, violated by the application of a rule by a sporting federation with respect to a professional sportsman possessing Russian citizenship, who was legally employed by a Spanish Football Club, as the main source of income, where this rule stipulates that clubs may use in national competitions only a limited number of players from countries falling outside the European Economic Space?”

This question is similar to the one that arose in connection with case C-438/00, of the German Handball Club (Kolpak7). In this case, the court ruled that a professional handball player (of Slovak nationality), working legally in a German club, could refer to the terms of a Euro-Slovak Agreement, in order to avoid any form of discrimination of his labour rights, compared to German handball players. In this case, the national handball federation had a rule, similar to the disputed RFEF rule, which disallows clubs from deploying in matches more players with non-EU citizenship, than stipulated.

In the Kolpak case it was found that such restrictions are a part of the terms of employment, as they directly influence participation in league and cup matches. In the Kolpak case, the court paid particular attention to the fact that the limit covered the official team matches: specifically those matches, in which participation is the core labour function of the athlete, and this means that the limit definitively discriminates against the athlete as regards the terms of employment, compared to other players, who are members of EU countries. The limit disputed by Simutenkov also refers to official matches, and for this reason it also impacts the main endeavours of professional athletes.

Upon review of the Simutenkov case, the court needed a significant period of time—about four years, to finally recognize, in April of 2005, that “paragraph 1, article 23 of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Russia and the EU must be interpreted as excluding the application to professional athletes of Russian ethnicity, who legally work in football clubs, located on the territory of EU member states, of the rule, stipulated by a sporting federation of the given state, which determines that clubs may only deploy in competitions, organized at the national level, only a restricted number of players from countries that are not party to the European Economic Community Space.”

Thus, the court unambiguously stated that any restrictions on grounds of nationality, discriminating against Russian citizens with respect to the terms of employment, are unacceptable. Moreover, the limit on the number of foreign players was unambiguously declared to be a restriction of the terms of employment.

It is noteworthy that prior to Simutenkov other footballers, with citizenship of non-EU member states, also filed lawsuits with Spanish courts. Cases are known, of complaints lodged with courts by Russian Federation citizens, such as the current FC Spartak trainer, Valery Karpin, Viktor Onopko, and the Ukrainian, Andrei Shevchenko8.

In the context of the Simutenkov case, another infamous case that comes to mind is the “Bosman affair9” as a result of which the foreign-player limit was declared illegal in the EU, if it restricts the participation of footballers in a championship match, if such players are from a different country which is also a member of the EU. The result of this case was that footballers were recognized as regular migrant workers, and for this reason the limit on the number of foreign players was recognized as violating the principle of free movement of workers within the framework of the common European labour market. Following the Bosman affair, foreign-player limits for players from EU member states and countries of the European Economic Space were discontinued. And if the consequence of the Bosman affair was an abrogation of limits on footballers with citizenship of EU member states, the Simutenkov case cancelled such limits for all citizens, whose countries had concluded agreements and treaties with the EU on cooperation, which include the principle of equality and non-discrimination against citizens of the party states in labour relations.

In addition, another important consequence of this case was that, because the agreement between the EU and the RF is bilateral, footballers who are the subjects of one of these EU member states will have the right to refer to these same provisions on the unacceptability of discrimination and the establishment of limits, if they are to work in Russia and become subject to such discrimination.

It is important here to remember that such a ruling, as was issued on the Simutenkov case, does not form a precedent for Russia, and in the case of such discrimination against an EU member state citizen, the case will be reviewed once again, this time in a Russian court. Nevertheless, the Simutenkov case presents us with a set of arguments that could also be sufficient to convince a Russian court of the inadmissibility of a limit.

5. Limits on participation by foreign citizens in hockey and football championships, established by the RFU and the CHL

In this section, we will examine the limits, current at the time of writing this article, in football and hockey championships, from the viewpoint of their conformance with legislation and the international treaties of the Russian Federation.

5.1. Football competitions held under the aegis of the RFU

At the time of writing this article the limit on participation by foreign citizens in the Russian football championship has been established by the rules for holding competitions in 2009 (hereafter, the RFU rules), approved jointly by the RFU and the RFPL (Russian Football Premier League).

According to these rules, a foreign player is a footballer (player), who does not hold a passport and citizenship of the Russian Federation, and who does hold a complete transfer certificate and a valid labour contract with a Club.

The essence of the limit is that during a match played by the club, there can be no more than six foreign players on the field. Meanwhile, the number of foreign players entered into the match record is not limited.

Also, according to the regulatory documents passed jointly by the RFU and the PFL (Professional Football League), governing first- and second-division championships, no more than three foreign players can simultaneously represent the team on the field during a first-division match. The participation of foreign footballers in second-division matches is forbidden.

Thus, in the premier league up to six foreign footballers can be on the field at one time, up to three in the first division, and no foreign footballers are allowed in the second division.

According to article 46 of the 2008 RFU Disciplinary Regulations, in case of violation of the above-mentioned limit on foreign players in a team, the offender is recorded as losing the game with a score of 3-0, and a fine is levied of 500,000 roubles.

5.2. The open hockey championship (CHL)

According to the Rules, which are current at the time of writing, for the open Russian hockey championship, the 2008/2009 CHL championship, (hereafter, the CHL Rules), a foreign hockey player is considered to be a hockey player who does not hold Russian Federation citizenship and who is a citizen (subject) of a foreign state.

The CHL limit is of two types: a limit on entering the list of team players for the season and a limit for a specific team match.

According to article 91 of the CHL Rules, when compiling a season list, a club cannot enter more than five foreign hockey players in forward positions, or no more than one foreign goal-minder and three foreigners in the field. In this way, the authors of the rules have essentially declared one foreign goal-minder equal to two foreign players in the field.

Article 95 of the CHL Rules governs the team list at the match itself. According to this article, the list may not include more than four foreign hockey players, regardless of the positions they play. Moreover, the team list for a Russian club for any given championship match can not contain more than one foreign goal-minder.

The CHL Rules also establish an interesting restriction with respect to the play time of foreign goal-minders. Thus, in the first stage of the championship foreign goal-minders cannot spend more than 65% of the team’s play time during official match time.

Given violation of the above provisions, the CHL Disciplinary Committee may apply sanctions in the form of a fine, or disqualification. The regulatory documents of the CHL do not stipulate any specific sizes for sanctions punishing violation of the foreign-player limit.

We note that the CHL Rules establishing the limit were adopted by a commercial entity, OOO CHL, while the right to establish such restrictions is only possessed, according to law, by pan-Russian social organizations.

Meanwhile, Russian sports lawyers currently offer two main opinions on the problem of limits.

Lawyers supporting the first viewpoint consider that the limit existing in RFU football competitions does not allow for discrimination against foreign athletes, because the limit does not restrict clubs in terms of the number of foreign footballers hired, but only restricts the number on the field at any one time. Therefore, all foreigners hired by the club can theoretically appear on the field sooner or later, and can even get to stay on the field permanently, given sufficient effort. Similar arguments were put forward by the RFEF when reviewing the Simutenkov case.

Those in favour of this approach should consult the definition of discrimination itself, as listed in both Russian legislation10, and in international treaties and agreements ratified by the RF11. According to the above documents, any discrimination whatsoever on national grounds is banned in the field of labour.

Thus, according to ILO Convention, No. 111, the term “discrimination” includes:

any difference, exclusion or preference, executed on the grounds of race, skin colour, gender, religion, political convictions, foreign origin or social provenance, which leads to the abrogation or violation of equal opportunities or treatment in the field of labour and endeavours; any other difference, exclusion or preference, leading to the abrogation or violation of equal opportunities or treatment in the field of labour and endeavours.

Therefore, absolutely no inequality and discrimination on grounds of nationality is allowed. The fact that the limit, current in both football and hockey, establishes an inequality between citizens of Russian and foreign citizens, flows from the language of the limit itself. For example, there is discrimination impacting the rights of the seventh foreign player in football premier league matches or hockey goal-minders, who have the right to spend just 65% of matches on the ice in the first round of hockey competitions. Moreover, discrimination by nationality is most obvious in football matches of the second division, as foreigners have no right to play whatsoever.

The second viewpoint is that sport should be recognized as a special field of social relations, and establish for this field special rules, which differ from the rules in other spheres of life. This is the concept of the so-called “specificity of sport”.

The benefits for the sport of a foreign-player limit are obvious to all. I consider that all countries will eventually come to this point of view, as is confirmed by the latest statements by leading FIFA and UEFA officials. In this connection, it is necessary to adopt laws and enter into agreements, including international treaties, which take into account this special nature of sport, making provision for targeted policies on sport.

6. General conclusions

Thus, after performing a legal analysis of the foreign-player limits current in football and hockey championships of the RFU and the CHL, as well as reviewing Russian national legislation regulating relations in the field of labour and in the field of physical culture and sport, as well as international treaties and agreements ratified by Russia and related to the above legal relations, the following general conclusions can be drawn.

1. The foreign-player limit current in Russian football competitions is established by the regulatory norms of a pan-Russian social organization, the RFU, which means that this restriction largely complies with the provisions of article 16 of the Federal Law On Culture and Sport.

However, the limit is universal and covers absolutely all types of foreign footballers, including citizens of Belarus and citizens of EU member states which, as we ascertained earlier, violates international agreements and treaties ratified by the Russian Federation.

Unlike the EU, where, as a result of the Simutenkov case, norms reinforced in the agreement between Russia and the EU, as well as the entire set of partnership agreements between the EU and third countries, received the status of norms of direct effect12, in Russia the fact of discrimination of rights of foreign athletes by means of foreign-player limits remains to be demonstrated in new court proceedings.

Thus, although the foreign-player limit currently in place in Russian football is formally lawful, we consider that if a footballer who is a citizen of an EU member state files a lawsuit, the court reviewing the case will have sufficient grounds to issue a ruling similar to that issued on the case of Simutenkov, recognizing the limit in Russian football competitions to be discriminatory on grounds of nationality, with respect to the terms of employment.

2. We consider that the risk that a foreign-player limit established by the rules of the CHL will be successfully appealed in court is far higher than for the rules adopted by the RFU. As was stated above, OOO CHL is a commercial entity, while the Federal Law on Physical Culture and Sport extends the right to restrict participation by foreign athletes in competitions only to pan-Russian social organizations. The points discussed above, regarding the risk of an appeal against the limit due to its contradiction of international treaties and agreements ratified by the Russian Federation, are also valid for hockey competitions.

Mikhail Prokopets
Senior Lawyer
Law Firm “YUST”

Source: The International Sports Law Journal 2009\1-2 .

1 The established [Russian] sporting term is legioner, meaning a foreign athlete or player.
4 Para. 1, art. 13 of the Federal Law On the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the RF / П.1 ст.13 ФЗ «О правовом положении иностранных граждан в РФ».
5 Case C-265/03 Igor Simutenkov v. Ministerio de Educación y Cultura, Real Federación Española de Fútbol [2005] ECR I-5961
6 Zakon, No. 1, January 2008, P. A. Kalinichenko. The ruling on the Simutenkov case and its consequences. / "Закон", N 1, январь 2008 г. П.А. Калиниченко. «Решение по делу Симутенкова и его последствия».
7(5) Case 438/00 Deutscher Handballbund eV v Maros Kolpak [2003] ECR I-4135.
8 Zakon, No. 1, January 2008, P. A. Kalinichenko. The ruling on the Simutenkov case and its consequences. / "Закон", N 1, январь 2008 г. П.А. Калиниченко. «Решение по делу Симутенкова и его последствия».
9 Case 61/89 Union royale belge des sociétés de football association ASBL v. Jean-Marc Bosman, Royal club liégeois SA v. Jean-Marc Bosman and others, Union des associations europeénnes de football (UEFA) v. Jean-Marc Bosman (Bosman) [1990] ECR I-3551.
10 Part 2, article 19 of the RF Constitution, part 2, article 3 of the Labour Code / ч. 2 ст. 19 Конституции РФ, ч. 2 ст. 3 ТК
11 ILO Convention No. 111, On Discrimination in the Field of Labour and Endeavours / Конвенция МОТ N 111 «Относительно дискриминации в области труда и занятий»
12 Zakon, No. 1, January 2008, P. A. Kalinichenko. The ruling on the Simutenkov case and its consequences. / "Закон", N 1, январь 2008 г. П.А. Калиниченко. «Решение по делу Симутенкова и его последствия».

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