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Sport

FACTBOX-Main points of EU white paper on sport

(Reuters) - The European Commission published a strategy document on Wednesday on how sport should be run across the 27-nation European Union.

The document covers issues such as soccer agents, security, club ownership, labour laws, financing of sport and drugs abuse.

Following is a summary of the main points:

YOUNG PLAYERS/ATHLETES

Quotas of locally trained players in teams could be compatible with EU rules on the free movement of people if they do not contradict its laws on discrimination.

But these rules could be allowed, even if they are found to indirectly contravene these laws, but are deemed to be proportionate to enhance and protect the training and development of talented young players.

An analysis will be made of home-grown players rules to assess whether they do not conform with EU law. UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, already imposes such a rule.

TV RIGHTS

The joint selling of media rights by sports organisations such as leagues or associations raises competition concerns but is acceptable under certain conditions.

Joint selling is important for the redistribution of income and can be a tool for achieving greater solidarity within sports, the paper says. Any alternative system of individual selling must linked to a “robust solidarity mechanism”.

PLAYERS RELEASED FOR INTERNATIONAL DUTY

The paper says national teams play an essential role and therefore deserve to be supported.

TRANSFERS

The Commission considers FIFA regulations on international football transfers an example of good practice that ensures a competitive equality between sport clubs while taking into account the requirements of EU law.

However, the transfer of players also gives rise to concerns about the legality of the financial flows involved.

The paper says the financial transactions involved in transfers of players should be conducted directly between the parties involved.

PLAYERS’ AGENTS

An impact assessment will be carried out by Brussels with a view to possible EU-wide rules for agents. FIFA is seeking a cap on agents fees.

SPORTS BETTING

The Commission will carry out an independent report into this area and will consider stricter legislation.

DOPING

The Commission wants better coordination in the fight against doping, by defining common positions with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), UNESCO of the United Nations and the Council of Europe, a human rights watchdog.

Partnerships must be developed between law-enforcement agencies, laboratories accredited by the WADA and Interpol to exchange information about new doping substances and practices.

The Commission recommends illicit doping substances be treated in the same manner illegal drugs in the EU.

VIOLENCE AND RACISM

The EU executive is to analyse the possibilities of banning those found guilty of violence at matches from stadiums and events across the whole of the 27-member bloc.

It also recommends sport federations should have stricter procedures for dealing with racist abuse during matches, such as strengthening provisions in licensing systems for clubs.

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