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QSAF to accept CAS jurisprudence, sign MoU

Sheikh Joaan says agreement reflects Qatar’s commitment to bring in good governance.
All The Signatories To Various Mous Seen With Qatar Olympic Committee President He Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani In Doha
All the signatories to various MoUs seen with Qatar Olympic Committee President HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha on Wednesday. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

The rapid development of sports in Qatar is not limited to the progress of its national teams or the rising number of new stadiums built to host mega events. It is also reflected in the country’s commitment to bring in good governance and adopt best practices from around the world, including settlement of disputes through arbitration based on international law.

The Qatar Sports Arbitration Foundation (QSAF), which was set up earlier this year as an independent judicial body to resolve all sports-related disputes within the country, set the ball rolling by signing four different Memorandums of Understanding – with the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), Josoor Institute, Qatar Olympic Academy and Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre (QICDRC) – in order to raise the level of its operations to international standards.

QOC President HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani witnessed the MoU signing at the QOC headquarters on Wednesday.

CAS President John D Coates and QSAF President Ibrahim Khalil Al Muhannadi signed the MoU. Al Muhannadi was a common signatory to the other three MoUs too, signed by Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi (for Josoor Institute), Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) Secretary General Jassim Rashid Al Buenain (for Qatar Olympic Academy) and Faisal Rashid Al Sahouti (for QICDRC).

According to the MoU, the QSAF will accommodate an ad hoc panel of CAS during the 2022 FIFA Qatar World Cup while Josoor Institute and Qatar Olympic Academy will train Qataris to become international sports arbitrators. The QICDRC, on its part, will provide the necessary logistical and legal support to QSAF to operate until its own offices are built.

Supreme Committee For Delivery And Legacy Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi, Left And Qsaf President Ibrahim Khalil Al Muhannadi Shake Hands After Signing The Mou
Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi, left, and QSAF President Ibrahim Khalil Al Muhannadi, shake hands after signing the MoU. QOC President HE Sheikh Joaan and Qatar Football Association President Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani look on. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

Sheikh Joaan said after the ceremony that the State of Qatar had taken many steps to regulate the sports sector in order to be more transparent.

“We’re keen to achieve complete transparency in the sports sector and one of the most important steps we’ve taken towards this is the establishment of QSAF as an independent organisation to resolve all sports-related disputes in accordance with the best international standards,” said Sheikh Joaan.

“The environment created for the sports sector is based on the principles of transparency, integrity and combating all kinds of corruption and to achieve this, we’ve created an independent judicial body that guarantees the application of laws in accordance with best practices,” he added.

“The cooperation we’re witnessing today between the different sports organisations in our country will ensure optimal use of resources – each of them working independently and with utmost competence, but without any waste or duplication of resources.

“We’re proud of QSAF’s cooperation with these institutions, most notably CAS. This is first of its kind and it reflects the confidence of international organisations in the State of Qatar and its sports sector,” Sheikh Joaan concluded.

Coates also stressed said that the MoU was first of its kind for CAS.

“This is first of its kind and it aims to make QSAF a perfect location for the tribunal and the CAS arbitrators during the FIFA Qatar World Cup 2022,” said Coates.

Cas President John D Coates And Qsaf President Ibrahim Khalil Al Muhannadi
CAS President John D Coates and QSAF President Ibrahim Khalil Al Muhannadi after signing the MoU. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

“The cooperation that we’ve seen today between the various judicial and academic institutions is very encouraging. I wish the Foundation every success in its missions.”

Al Thawadi said he was happy to sign the MoU with QSAF and was confident that Josoor Institute, which is one of the SC’s legacy initiatives, would play a key role in building local and regional capabilities in the field of sports arbitration.

“We’re pleased to sign an MoU between Josoor Institute and QSAF, which aims to build local and regional capabilities in sports arbitration, a field that is considered a key element in growing the sporting industry in the region, making it one of the main boosters for Qatar and the Middle East’s economy after 2022”, said Al Thawadi.

Al Bueinin said the QOC was pleased with the agreement and such joint efforts would build an integrated sports environment in the country.
“This MoU shows to what extent sports institutions can cooperate in their respective fields in order to build an integrated sports environment,” said Al Buenain. “This agreement will ensure that the Qatar Olympic Academy graduates get access to practical training to become arbitrators at QSAF and the CAS in future.”

Al Sahouti, CEO, QICDRC, said the MoU would further promote the environment of arbitration in Qatar.

“Arbitration has proven to be an effective and efficient route to resolve disputes and I’m confident that this partnership will support the development of dispute resolution in Qatar,” said Al Sahouti.

Al Muhannadi said such agreements would guarantee the exchange of experiences and ensure that the QSAF operated in accordance with the best international standards and practices.