The Munich Regional court have today lifted FIBA Europe’s temporary injunction which suspends them taking disciplinary actions against national federations.
It was a ruling that delighted the staff of FIBA Europe..
FIBA Europe on Thursday welcomed a decision by a Regional Court of Munich to cancel a temporary injunction barring FIBA Europe from taking statutory disciplinary measures vis-à-vis national federations, national leagues and clubs in Europe in relation to ECA’s anticompetitive practices.
This ruling came after the court heard all legal arguments by FIBA Europe, which was invited to present its position before it for the first time only last Tuesday.
As to the merits, the court indicated that the applying leagues and clubs were bound by CAS arbitration clauses in the statutes of FIBA Europe, which blocks them from litigation in national courts.
In addition, the court decided that the motions of all applicants lacked urgency. This was due to the fact that the applicants had not clearly mentioned the decision of the board of FIBA Europe of 20 March 2016, even though they were fully aware thereof. Instead they had tried to persuade the court that only the later letters from FIBA Europe to the national federations of 15 April 2016 triggered the claims which they asserted. After having been made aware of these circumstances by FIBA Europe, the court decided that the applicants had waited for too long before taking legal action and that they were therefore barred from preliminary proceedings.
Thursday’s decision comes as no surprise to FIBA Europe. Even though founded on procedural aspects, the ruling vindicates the position of FIBA, FIBA Europe and their national member federations as the ultimate basketball authorities in European basketball.
The preliminary injunction was previously issued by a single judge on 2 June, upon the request of Euroleague Commercial Assets (ECA) along with 13 other applicants. As such, it is evident that the application for the injunction was only filed to coincide with the registration period for the Eurocup competition.
FIBA Europe then filed an objection against the injunction on 6 June, on the grounds that it did not contain all relevant facts which would have excluded such injunction if they had been presented to the court in the first place. The arguments of FIBA Europe led to the court lifting the injunction which it previously had issued.