New provisions in the Sports Code
Law n ° 2021-1109 of August 24, 2021 confirming respect for the principles of the Republic published in the Official Journal of the French Republic on August 25, 2021 (the “Law”) includes several provisions having the effect of amending the Sports Code (articles 63 to 67 of the Law). In particular, the Law substitutes a control regime for the State supervision regime on sports federations, and requires approved sports associations, approved sports federations and delegated sports federations to respect a republican contract of engagement, comprising measures related to the protection of the physical and moral integrity of minors and the promotion of the principles of the Republican employment contract.
1. Substitution of the State supervision system by the control system of sports federations
The State now exercises control over sports federations, in compliance with article L. 131-1 of the Sports Code (article 63 of the Law).
The control of approved sports federations is added to the missions of the general inspectorate (article 63, paragraph IV, of the Law).
2. Changes to the accreditation procedure for sports associations
The Law adds to the conditions allowing the approval of sports associations the subscription of a Republican engagement contract (article 63 of the Law). This republican engagement contract must include, for the association, a commitment to ensure the protection of the physical and moral integrity of people, in particular minors, vis-à-vis in particular gender and sexual violence.
We remind you that the Sports Code provides that "The affiliation of a sports association to a sports federation approved by the State (...) is equivalent to approval" (article L. 121-4, al. 3 of the Code of Sport). The Law adds to this provision the subscription of the contract of republican engagement (article 63). It is specified that the sports federation concerned must inform the representative of the State in the department of the seat of the sports association of this affiliation.
For sports associations not affiliated with a sports federation approved by the State, approval is granted by the representative of the State in the department (the Prefect). The Prefect can also pronounce the withdrawal of the approval granted to a sports association or resulting from its affiliation to an approved sports federation, if it employs people who do not meet the qualification and good repute obligations provided for by the Sports Code ( Articles L. 212-1, L. 212-2 and L. 212-9 of the Sports Code). The association is also liable to the withdrawal of its authorization by the representative of the State if it disregards the obligations of good repute of the operator of an APS establishment that it manages, or the guarantees of hygiene and security that this type of establishment must present (L. 322-1 and L. 322-2 of the Sports Code).
Finally, the Prefect can suspend or withdraw the association's approval if the activities or the modalities according to which the sports association pursues them disregard the republican contract of engagement that it has subscribed to. The Prefect must inform the federation to which the sports association is affiliated of his decision. He must also inform the mayor of the municipality where the head office of the association whose approval is suspended or withdrawn is located, as well as the president of the public establishment of inter-municipal cooperation.
3. New procedures for issuing licenses by sports federations
The Sports Code provides that the license, issued by a sports federation, “gives the right to participate in related sports activities and (…) to its operation” (article L. 131-6 of the Sports Code). Article 63 of the Law adds to this provision “that with a view to issuing the license, the sports associations collect the full identity of the persons who may be concerned by the provisions of article L. 212-9, in conditions defined by a decree taken after the opinion of the National Commission for Informatics and Freedoms ”.
4. New procedures for issuing licenses by sports federations
The first paragraph of Article L. 131-8 of the Sports Code, relating to ministerial approval is amended by making the approved federations responsible for a obligation of vigilance with regard to deviant behavior, and protection of their members, especially minors. They are responsible for organizing promotional, awareness-raising and training actions with a view to detecting and preventing such behavior. The participation of approved sports federations in the implementation of public service missions relating to the development and democratization of physical and sports activities is now exercised "in accordance with the republican contract of employment" (article L-131-9 of the Sports Code).
We draw your attention to the duration of ministerial accreditation which is now limited to eight years renewable, whereas previously the accreditation was granted without limitation in time.. In addition, it is indicated that any approval granted to a sports federation before the publication of the Law ceases to produce its effects on December 31, 2024.
5. Modification of the procedure for issuing the ministerial delegation
Let us recall that article L. 131-14 of the Sports Code provides that "In each sports discipline and for a fixed period, only one approved federation receives delegation from the Minister in charge of sports". This article is supplemented by the following provision: "The granting of the delegation is subject to the conclusion of a delegation contract between the State, represented by the Minister in charge of sports, and the federation concerned, the duration of which is fixed. by decree of the Council of State ”.
In addition, the Law (article 63) inserts in the Sports Code a new article L. 131-15-2 requiring the delegated federations, if necessary in coordination with the professional leagues they have created, to develop a strategy national policy aimed at promoting the principles of the Republican engagement contract in the exercise of their prerogatives and missions.
6. Relations of delegated federations with professional leagues
It is now specified that “the delegated federation can only entrust a professional league created in application of article L. 132-1 with prerogatives delegated by the State by virtue of a subdelegation organized by the agreement, which specifies relations between the federation and the professional league. This convention defines in particular the terms of the contribution of the professional league to the national strategy of the concerned federation aiming at promoting the principles of the republican contract of engagement ”. Professional leagues are now obliged to subscribe to the Republican engagement contract which includes the commitment to participate in the promotion and dissemination, among actors and audiences of their sporting discipline, of the principles of the republican contract of engagement, under conditions determined by a decree in Council of State taken after the opinion of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (new article L. 132-1-2 of the Sports Code).
7. Strengthening of the obligations of good repute weighing on sports supervisors
The Law (article 64) provides for new measures relating to the obligations of good repute to which persons who teach sport for remuneration or who supervise a sporting activity on a voluntary basis are subject. Thus, no one can teach, animate or supervise a physical or sporting activity if he has been definitively condemned by the criminal judge for felony or terrorist offense.
Concerning the reinforcement of awareness-raising and training actions, the Sports Code provides that "the approved federations ensure (...) the training and improvement of referees and judges in their disciplines". It should be added that their training "also includes awareness raising or preventive action on the principles of the Republic, secularism as well as the prevention and detection of radicalization" (article 65 of the Law supplementing article L. 211 -3 of the Sports Code).
In addition, the Law added to the Sports Code an article L. 211-8 drafted as follows: "The training programs for the professions of physical activities and sports include teaching on the principles of the Republic, secularism and prevention as well. than the detection of radicalization ”.
8. The obligation for certain institutions to adopt charters respecting the principles of the Republic
The National Sports Agency must adopt, no later than January 1, 2022, "a charter respecting the principles of the Republic in the implementation of its action" (article 66 of the Law, amending article L. 112 -16 of the Sports Code). In addition, it is specified that its missions must be carried out "in compliance with the principles of the republican contract of employment" (article 67 of the Law, supplementing article L.112-10 of the Sports Code). In addition, we note that the French National Olympic and Sports Committee and the French Paralympic and Sports Committee must also establish a charter respecting the principles of the Republic in the field of sport (article 66 of the Law, creating articles L. 141-3-1 and L 141-8 of the Sports Code).
Finally, we draw your attention to the fact that now all the subsidized associations will have to subscribe to a republican contract of engagement (new article 10-1 of law n ° 2000-321 of April 12, 2000 relating to the rights of citizens in their relations with the administrations).
Jean-Baptiste Guillot handles mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships, commercial law, company law and contract law matters, with a particular focus on international transactions for Canadian, British and French companies.
Virginie has acquired a solid expertise in sports law allowing her to support players in the sports industry in all types of legal issues in commercial law, company law, association law and social law applied to sport.