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Antitrust Authority Fines Italian Soccer Federation €4.03 Million

 |  July 1, 2024

On Monday, the Antitrust Authority announced a fine of over €4.03 million imposed on the Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC) for the abuse of its dominant market position. This penalty was issued due to the federation’s exclusion of other organizations involved in the promotion of sports from organizing amateur youth football competitions.

In response to the antitrust ruling, the Italian Soccer Federation expressed its intention to appeal the decision to the Lazio Regional Administrative Court. The federation released a statement declaring the penalty as unjustified, unsupported by the facts of the case and the precedent of the law.

“The FIGC considers the penalty to be unjustified, based on erroneous documented arguments and legal reasoning,” the statement read. The federation further compared its situation to that of the equestrian sports federation, which faced similar sanctions in previous proceedings. Those sanctions were subsequently annulled by the Council of State, an administrative court.

This development highlights ongoing tensions between major sports federations such as the Italian Soccer Federation and regulatory authorities over market practices and antitrust laws.

For example, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from FIFA and the United States Soccer Federation, effectively allowing a lawsuit to proceed that challenges the organizations’ control over professional soccer matches in the United States. The lawsuit, initiated by Relevent Sports Group, a soccer promotion company owned by billionaire Stephen Ross, accuses the soccer governing bodies of violating antitrust laws by blocking foreign teams from playing official matches on U.S. soil.

Related: US Soccer’s Monopoly Challenged: Supreme Court Agrees

Source: ANSA