Muscat, OCT 28 – Oman achieved the distinction of being the first GCC nation to host the prestigious 48th International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Meeting and CAS President John Coates had high praise for the Sultanate.
Coates stated the meetings were an affirmation of the positive role Oman has played in the recognition of sports law and the establishment of its own court for sports arbitration.
“We are very pleased to come here. Oman has a very good reputation as a young country in sports and has emerged as the leader among GCC countries in sports law. This is because of the establishment of your own tribunal for redressal of sporting disputes, so we wanted to come here and recognise that and also learn a bit more about the development of sport and let me tell you we have not been disappointed,’’ he added.
Coates also spoke about the significance of the meeting from Oman’s perspective.
“The meeting is a recognition of the stage you have got to and the respect you (Oman) have for Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the initiative to establish your own court,’’ Coates elaborated.
Asked if this was the first time CAS was having a meeting here, Coates initially said they did have a seminar in Kuwait but this was the first ICAS meeting. “We have been to Kuwait before for a football seminar but CAS has not been to Dubai or other places in the Gulf, so first in the GCC region, yes,’’ he added.
Doping has been a worldwide menace in professional sport for quite some time now and CAS obviously plays a major role in disputes redressal. Coates threw some light on the
focus on anti-doping measures put in place.
“Obviously, we hear 600 cases a year now. 40 per cent of them are related to football, mostly transfer disputes and the rest 30-40 per cent are related to doping. Most of them are WADA related issues. What we do is we establish courts to hear cases during Olympic Games. We are going to have one at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games,’’ Coates said.
The CAS is based in Lausanne, Switzerland and has offices in New York and Sydney as well but Coates stressed on the usage of video-conferencing to address cases as well.
“We use video-conferencing greatly as it’s not possible for us to have offices everywhere and we need not have cases discussed only at our headquarters in Lausanne,’’ he added.
Talking about the role of CAS in modern-day sport, Coates indicated it is a dynamic environment.
“Sport has become more vigilant. Athletes and sporting bodies have the right of appeal and so we have a big responsibility when it comes to redressal of disputes,’’ he added.
Coates was also appreciative of Oman’s development as a sports destination.
“I know the ministry (sports) was set up a few years ago, but there is definitely growth and I know football is big here. But there is hockey and cricket as well and that is good to know,’’ Coates said.
The CAS President also suggested that sports be made available and accessible to children at schools.
Coates said he had good fruitful discussions with the other dignitaries including Oman Olympic Committee chairman Shaikh Khalid bin Mohammad al Zubair.
“Yesterday (Wednesday) we had meetings of the committees. I had good discussions with Shaikh Khalid about the National Olympic Committee,’’ he added.