Sports are mostly healthy activities, however, they are also subject to beating, insults, maim, and murder.
Most athletes believe that their offense and wrongdoings in sports will merely lead to disciplinary sanctions by their managers or confederations. This is due to the fact that coaches and athletes have very little knowledge of Sports Laws and they are not aware of the civil and criminal responsibilities that can result from their actions.
Sports laws consist of subjects which define the legal duties, powers and responsibilities of all the people who are somehow involved with sports. Actually, by learning Sports’ Laws, athletes, coaches and all those with responsibility, will learn how to act and behave while doing sports so that the incidents caused by those activities will not result in legal responsibilities’ liability eventually leading to punishments and penalties such as deprivation of social welfare and compensation.
Sports’ Laws’ Aims
- Learning Sports’ crimes and offenses
- Knowing restrictions and legal consequences of sports’ activities and violations caused by it
- Awareness of legal duties and powers in sports
- Understanding the necessary measures for sports’ events
- Creating a safe, healthy, and conflict-free for all those involved in sports
Status of Sports in the Constitution
The second principle of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Constitution states: free education and physical education for everyone on all levels, and facilitation of higher level education.
The following can be deduced from the above principle:
- This principle places physical education in the same rank as education.
- The mention of sports in the constitutions shows the importance that it has in the country.
- The Constitution has recognized sports as a cultural institution and insists on it being free in the country.
Sports accidents are not considered crimes:
- Both sides consent to be present and take part in the activities
- One of the aims of the Physical Education institution besides actual physical education is reinforcement of healthy spirits.
- Each field of sport has special rules and regulations which are established specifically for that field. This makes athletes aware of the rules and lowers rule-breakings and violations.
The question that comes to mind is:
Can the judge consider an athlete guilty or their act a crime if the athlete, following all the principles and rules, doing a correct sporting action, brings the opponent an injury, such as a fracture of the limb, or even a move with no previous intention of harm?
According to clause (e) of Article 158, sports activities and accidents resulting from it are not considered crimes, provided that the events do not violate the rules related to that sport, and these regulations are not in violation of the religious law. Meaning that if an athlete does a move according to this law, causing damage, injury or even death of another athlete, they are not subject to criminal penalties.
Meaning of incidents associated with sports:
- All disastrous incidents during sports, even minor
- Merely incidents involving athletes, not audiences, referees and coaches, such as in football or volleyball matches
- Occurrence of the incident during the match, not before or afterwards
In accordance with the general legal principles, if the adversary is injured by an athlete during sports because of non-compliance by the authorities, they are not culpable and the responsibility falls upon the managers and those responsible.
When it is said that sports should not be in violation of religious laws, it means that according to Islamic rules, sports causing self-harm or harming others are considered against the Shari’ah.
Therefore, what is important is that the person must be an athlete, performing the sports activities and follow the special rules of that sport. The act must be a sports’ action, meaning that the specific rules of that sport recognizes that move as a sports act. Therefore, all actions that an athlete does while doing sports is not necessarily considered a sports action, such as: insults, swearing, and inflicting injuries.
Furthermore, the moves and actions must be related to that sport and be recognized by the respective organization.
The important issue is that until today, in Iran’s law, there has not been a comprehensive sports law, and the rules are somewhat scattered. This can confuse the sports community and even people and requires the efforts of our legislators.
In case of any doubts or questions regarding sports’ laws, please contact our expert attorneys at Sarasa Law Office.