CAS: overturnig a field of play decision

behdad salimi CAS olimpiadi rio

In a decision (CAS OG16/28) dated 21.08.2016, the ad hoc Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Rio de Janeiro dismissed request for arbitration filed by Behdad Salimi and NOCIRI against the IWF, identifying the Jury as interested party. In accordance with the CAS Jurisprudence, CAS Arbitrators reaffirmed that they “do not overturn the decision made on playing field by judges, referees, umpires or other officials charged with applying the rules of the game unless there is some evidence that the rule was applied in arbitrarily or in bad faith”. The reasons behind the “Field of play” doctrine are as follows: a) “CAS Arbitrators are not specifically trained in the rules of any or all sports” and are not present to observe the events; b) it is unfair to interfere with decision made by match officials; c) “prevention of constant interruptions of the game by appeals to a judge or an arbitrator”. Therefore, “for a CAS Panel to overturn a field of play decision, there must be evidence, which must be direct evidence, or bad faith”. (Behdad Salimi-NOCIRI/IWF)