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SPORTS JUSTICE – Local Arbitration Sports Tribunal needed says lawyer

By MICHAEL MIYOBA

THE Sports Council of Zambia should speed up the process of establishing the Arbitration Sports Tribunal to deal with sports disputes instead of them going to courts of law, Lusaka lawyer Dickson Jere has said

Jere said the tribunal should have jurisdiction over all disputes in Sports Federations.

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He was speaking during the National, Organisation for Women in Sport Physical Activity and Recreation (NOWSPAR) online seminar on sports arbitration and justice.

He said no athletes or administrators should take their disputes to courts of law when the Arbitration Sports Tribunal is established.

Jere said the tribunal should act as an appeal body from sports federations to have uniformity in how sports disputes are resolved in the country.

“Sports federations should also consider putting in place arbitration and mediation processes within their federations which will act as first instance bodies to deal with disputes before they are taken to the Sports Council Tribunal,” Jere said.

He noted that countries such as Kenya have the Sports Tribunal in place under their judicial system to deal with sports-related cases.

And NOWSPAR Executive Director Lombe Mwambwa said every organised society needs a system of how they resolve disputes and how they seek justice in any situation considered unfair.

Mwambwa observed that certain sports institutions discriminate against certain groups of people like women who are considered to have high testosterone levels based on very unreliable science that says that this gives them some advantage and they are marginalised from sports.

She said there is need for a process, a system or guidelines and standards that are known that can be followed by athletes marginalized from sports due to certain injustices.

Mwambwa said it is sad that some athletes who have been negatively affected by policies from international federations like athletics or through the Fifa channels have nowhere to go to seek justice.

She called on the new Minister of Sports to engage colleagues across the sports sector to strategies on what the next coming years should focus on for the development of sports in Zambia.

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