A562 - Italian Competition Authority: investigation launched against the Italian Football Federation (Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio, FIGC) for an alleged abuse of a dominant position
According to the Authority, the Italian Football Federation tried to restrict the organisation of amateur tournaments by youth Sports Promotion Bodies.
The Italian Competition Authority has opened an investigation against the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) for allegedly abusing its dominant position in the organisation of recreational-amateur competitions in the youth sector. It should be noted that the FIGC is the main operator in the sector thanks to the special and exclusive powers of regulation and coordination, granted by CONI (the Italian National Olympic Committee), in the activity of football.
Firstly, the Authority challenges the FIGC’s action of 3 March, by which a significant number of Amateur Sports Associations (Associazioni Sportive Dilettantistiche, ASD) and their managers, affiliated to the Federation, were referred to the Interregional Federal Prosecutor’s Office for failing to request prior authorisation to participate in tournaments organised in Campania in the 2021-2022 season by some Sports Promotion Bodies (Enti di Promozione Sportiva, EPS).
Secondly, according to the Italian Competition Authority, the FIGC would have added - in the official notices for the Youth and Scholastic Sector - a number of provisions requiring EPS-FIGC affiliation (2021-2022 season) and prior authorisation in order to organise youth recreational-amateur tournaments (2022-23 season), which would not seem to have any basis in the EPS Regulations approved by CONI. Specifically, these provisions appear to restrict, illegitimately, the organisational freedom of EPSs, which, therefore, would have fewer opportunities to plan youth events of a recreational-amateur nature.
Today, the Authority’s officials carried out inspections at the national and Campania offices of the FIGC and the FIGC-Youth and School Sector with the help of the Guardia di Finanza’s Special Antitrust Unit.
Rome, 24 May 2023