The role and extent of criminal sanctions in sport
The Swiss Federal Court recently upheld the criminal conviction of an amateur footballer following a tackle he made during a game of football, which resulted in injury to an opposing player. The fact that a player could receive a criminal sentence for making a tackle in a football game may well be surprising.
This article considers the relevant law in this area and when a tackle in football becomes criminal, from a UK perspective. Specifically, it looks at:
Facts of the Swiss case
The difference between on the ball offences and off the ball offences
Consent, UK criminal law and football cases
Principles from R v Brown and R v Bradshaw
The footballing case of R v Barnes
The approach post Barnes
Lord Woolf’s guidance on the concurrent role of sports disciplinary bodies and civil proceedings
Agreement on the handling of incidents falling under both criminal and football regulatory jurisdiction
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About the Author
Gavin is a Partner, Digby Brown, one of Scotland's largest specialist litigation firms. He undertook a commercial traineeship at Dentons in Glasgow and Edinburgh before moving to his current firm where he specialises in reparation litigation.
Gavin maintains an interest in sports related legal matters and holds a Masters in International Sports Law from Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economia (ISDE), in Madrid. Gavin is also a Disciplinary Panel Member of Scottish Athletics and England Boxing.
Gavin is a keen amateur footballer. During his time at Glasgow University, he played for the Glasgow University amateur football team that qualified for the professional Scottish Cup.