One year and five days after its approval by the Council of Ministers, the new one Sports Law its parliamentary process ended this Thursday upon receiving the support of the Plenary of Congress, which accepted all the amendments from the Senate.
The approval and forthcoming publication of the text in the BOE will renew the regulations that have been in force since October 1990 and it will fulfill the Government’s commitment to the European Commission to receive the European funds from the Recovery Plan, destined to the modernization of the Spanish model. In this last Session of the year, the deputies established the definitive position of their groups before the Law, which is the third of the democratic period.
While Antón Cacho, from the Socialist Group, defended that the Law “is a significant breakthrough in the rights of athletes, equality and inclusion” and that “updates the sports system and introduces new transparency and governance standards“, the opposition groups debated between the frontal opposition, such as the PP, considering that it is “waste paper”, and Vox, which defined it as “the worst law of democracy”, and the admission of a text ” minimum” (Basque Group), “improvable” (Plural) and that leaves them “partially happy” (Republican).
The new law recognizes the right to physical activity and sport and among its novelties it introduces measures in favor of equality and against any type of discrimination in sport based on gender, sexual orientation, race or disability. It defines the rights and duties of athletes and differentiates these between professionals, non-professionals, high level (qualified by the Higher Sports Council), high performance (qualified by the autonomous communities) and occasional (those who obtain a license for a specific activity ).
The rights of professionals include the reconciliation with your family, academic and professional life; special measures protection of your right to maternity y paternity and protection that allow their return to work at the end of their careers.
Also includes chapters on volunteering, college and school-age sports; recognizes the Sport Sectoral Conference as a body of dialogue between all administrations and an element of territorial cohesion, eliminates the obligation to be a sports limited company to participate in professional competitions and modifies the powers of the Administrative Court of Sports (TAD), which will no longer resolve about violations of the rules of the game.
Since its approval by the Executive as a bill on December 17, 2021 until today, the law spent its first eleven months of life in Congress, until it was approved by the Plenary, to which it had to return this Thursday for the incorporation back of more than twenty amendments in the senate.
The first key moment of its long parliamentary process was on March 17, when the plenary session of Congress rejected an amendment to the entire Republican group (304 votes against, 33 in favor and 5 abstentions), on the grounds that it presented invasions of jurisdiction. The second was on October 25, in a tough debate in the Culture and Sports Commission, where he lost support such as the Popular and Ciudadanos groups due to the incorporation of an amendment agreed between the Socialists and the PNV, which opens the door to participation. international regional teams.
This option, if the corresponding international federation contemplates it, is provided for sports modalities or specialties with historical and social roots in their respective community and also refers to the case that the autonomous federation had formed part of an international federation before the constitution of the Spanish federation and would affect Basque ball and surfing.
Again with much debate over this novelty, the plenary session of the Lower House approved it on November 3 without the consensus sought by the Government, with 166 votes in favor, 157 against and 18 abstentions.
As it passes through Congress, the law incorporated into the initial text some claims of LaLiga soccer, which hinted at a possible strike if they were not addressed through amendments. They were not all, but some were, such as the one that maintains the current jurisdictional framework for all commercial purposes -audiovisual rights- and the one that requires a binding report from professional leagues in the face of regulatory changes of the federations that affect them.
Also, in reference to the federations and the organization of state level competitions, the law prevents the establishment of a commercial relationship with an athlete who can participate in themin a modification approved after knowing the agreements between the Spanish Football Federation and the company of the Barcelona player Gerard Piqué, so that the Spanish Super Cup is played in Saudi Arabia.
At the beginning of December, the plenary session of the Senate approved the text with the incorporation of more than twenty amendments, after rejecting a Vox veto proposal. Among the amendments approved then and ratified today in Congress were five from the Socialist Group, one that involves creating the “Challenge of” tax benefits program, which will help sports entities of any kind to obtain private financing to develop events and actions.
The creation of this formula is intended to large companies materialize their commitment with the territory in which they carry out their activity, through important economic contributions for the celebration of sporting events, which in turn will contribute to the development of rural areas and the fixation of the population.
Also others that include the obligation for federations and professional leagues to draw up a specific conciliation and co-responsibility plan with specific protection measures in cases of maternity and lactation.