The new sports system: 7 years in prison…and half a million fines for stadium rioters

The new sports law granted the minister authority to determine the share of the foreign partner or shareholder in the establishment of sports companies owned by Saudi clubs, and the Ministry of Sports obligated Saudi clubs to obtain a license before establishing sports companies.

It also obligated the founders of the sports company to register it in the register after acquiring a legal personality within the period specified by the regulations. The company carries out its business to the extent necessary to achieve its objectives, and the capital of the sports company must not be less than the amount determined by the Minister, not less than the capital specified in the Companies Law, and the share of the foreign partner or shareholder must not exceed the percentage determined by the Minister.

Article 78 of the system stipulates that whoever, among the audience attending a sports competition or sporting event, commits an act of violence, rioting, or one of these two penalties, shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not exceeding 7 years or a fine not exceeding 500,000 riyals. Disorder, and anyone who commits an act that threatens the safety of any of the audience, players, coaches, referees, or other attendees, and whoever intends to cause any damage to a facility, and anyone who uses a name that misleads others that he is a sports entity before obtaining a license.

A fine of not more than 100,000 riyals shall be imposed on anyone who commits – publicly and through any means – an act or statement that incites hatred, racial discrimination, or sports intolerance, and anyone from the public present in a sports competition or sporting event who performs a disgraceful or obscene act or statement. Public morals, and anyone from the public present at a sports competition or sporting event who did an illegal act that led to its disruption, and everyone who prevented or obstructed the Ministry’s inspectors from performing their inspection-related work, or provided them with false or misleading information or statements.

Anyone who incites, agrees with, or assists others – in any form of incitement, agreement, or assistance – to commit any of the crimes shall be punished, and in addition to the prescribed penalties or instead of them, one or more of the following penalties will be imposed: Suspension from work in sports entities in any capacity specified by it. The competent court, permanently or temporarily, and banning entry to sports facilities and places where sports competitions or sporting events are held for a period not exceeding 5 years, and confiscating funds obtained from committing crimes and seizures subject of crime, without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties and the obligation to apologize through the means that The crime was published in it.

And the fifteenth article revealed that the board of directors of the sports entity elects members of the board of directors from the general assembly, including the president, and the number of its members must not be less than 3 with experience and competence, unless the regulations specify a larger number, and without prejudice to the terms of reference of the general assembly, the sports entity is managed by a council Management, and has all the powers necessary for the sports entity to exercise its competencies.

The General Assembly is the supreme authority concerned with all affairs of the sports entity, and all members of the sports entity are represented in it in a fair manner. The General Assembly is concerned with electing and dismissing members of the Board of Directors, appointing one or more auditors, determining his fees, approving his reports, viewing, discussing and approving the financial statements, and filing a liability suit against the members of the Board of Directors. And approval of the amendment of the basic system and any other competence determined by the regulations and the basic system, and the General Assembly convenes once – at least – during one fiscal year, and exercises its competencies according to the basic system of the sports entity.

And Article Sixteen affirmed the responsibility of the members of the Board of Directors and the CEO, and the member of the Board of Directors and the CEO is responsible for compensating the sports entity for the damage that arises due to its violation of the provisions of the system, regulations, or by-laws of the sports entity, or due to any transgression or negligence in the performance of its work, and the members of the Board of Directors are The management and CEO who are proven to have committed any of the violations are jointly responsible for compensating the sports entity, and the liability claim is not heard after the lapse of 5 years from the end of the member’s membership in the board or from the end of the capacity of the CEO.

The sports entity shall file a liability claim arising from the reasons of this article against a member of the board of directors or the chief executive officer according to a decision of the general assembly.

General Assembly and liability suit

Any of the members of the General Assembly who constitute at least (5%) of the voting rights may request the convening of the General Assembly to take a decision regarding filing a liability claim against a member of the Board of Directors or the CEO. If the sports entity does not file a liability claim from this Article, any of the members may The General Assembly who constitute at least (5%) of the voting rights or the Board of Directors, file a liability suit against the member of the Board of Directors or the CEO. In order to file a lawsuit, it is required to inform the Ministry of the intention to file it, at least 14 days before the date of filing it, and the competent judicial authority – at the request of a member of the sports entity – charges the sports entity with the expenses it incurred.

Monitor government support for clubs and protect whistleblowers

The system imposed on the Ministry of Sports to set the controls and conditions for sports clubs to receive financial support from the state and the authority to monitor these entities to verify their commitment to the aspects of their disbursement.​

The system called on the ministry to report violations and determine the encouraging financial rewards that the ministry may offer to whistleblowers other than its employees, and the provisions for their entitlement, determination and disbursement.

The draft system, which will be approved in the coming days, revealed that the ministry will establish the National Sports Register, in which clubs, sports entities, sports groups, sports facilities, centers, institutes, academies and sports schools will be registered, and that the ministry will coordinate with the competent authorities regarding the classification and approval of academic sports programs offered by educational institutions. And equivalence of academic sports qualifications issued by academic bodies abroad, and the government agencies concerned with urban planning and development must coordinate with the ministry to ensure the allocation of sites and spaces for the establishment of sports facilities for various sports activities, and the provision of paths and sites for practicing outdoor sports.​

The Ministry may allow the use of its sports facilities, free of charge, for sports entities and groups and others, in order to conduct sports activities in accordance with the conditions and controls specified by the regulations.

And that government agencies – including the security services and military sectors cooperate according to their discretion – to allow the use of their sports facilities by the Ministry and sports entities.

Anyone who damages a sports facility affiliated with the Ministry must bear the costs of repairing the damage, according to what the Ministry estimates.

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