The European Court of Human Rights and FIFA

There is hardly any part of modern society that has not been influenced by the European Court of Human Rights since its establishment in 1959. More recently, Strasbourg has even entered into what had long been considered a purely ‘private’ matter, the organisation of sport. Sport’s ever growing importance within society, as well as FIFA’s own rather recent acknowledgment of football-related human rights issues and problems, suggest that the role and relevance of the ECtHR in this domain will continue to increase. After setting out the theoretical framework, the article addresses the areas in which the ECtHR has already decided cases on these issues, and elaborates on the areas in which the ECtHR potentially has a role to play. The article will also explain how the echr and ECtHR can contribute to FIFA’s Human Rights Policy, as well as the various avenues through which this can be achieved, and how the Court’s jurisdiction can be triggered in football-related cases.

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