CAS decision

 

The Executive Board of the International Padel Federation (“IPF”) hereby provides you with the following information relating to the 3 appeals that the Portuguese Padel Federation (“PPF”) with its President Ricardo Da Silva Oliveira filed against the IPF.

 

In all 3 proceedings, the highest body of sports justice has ruled in favor of the IPF.

 

Further details follow.

 

On 4 February 2021, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has issued the arbitral awards in the 3 appeal proceedings filed by the PPF against the IPF with respect to:

 

  1. the provisional suspension of the PPF and its President Ricardo Da Silva Oliveira decided by the Disciplinary Committee of the IPF on 17 September 2019 in relation to the organization of a parallel European Padel Championships in Portugal in November 2019;
  2. the resolutions passed by the IPF during the General Assembly of 18 October 2019;
  3. the disciplinary sanctions imposed on the PPF and its President Ricardo Da Silva Oliveira by the Appeal Committee of the IPF on 20 January 2020.

The ruling of the Court of Arbitration for Sport has been the following:

 

  1. the appeal of the PPF has been rejected, because PPF had no standing to appeal in relation to the provisional suspension imposed by the Disciplinary Committee on 17 September 2019, given that such decision was superseded by the final decision issued by the Appeals Committee of the IPF on 20 January 2020. The PPF has been condemned to reimburse legal expenses to the IPF;

 

  1. the full legitimacy of all resolutions of the IPF General Assembly of 18 October 2019 has been affirmed and the PPF has been condemned to reimburse legal expenses to the IPF. In particular, the CAS has denied all claims and allegations of the PPF, finding that:
  • during the Assembly meeting there was no need to vote on maintaining the PPF’s provisional suspension, given that such suspension had been imposed by the disciplinary bodies of the IPF;
  • the Lawn Tennis Association, the Federacion Nacional Padel Chile, the Federazione Italiana Tennis and the Monaco Padel Federation all had the right to participate in the Assembly meeting in their capacity of affiliate members;
  • no reasons existed to vote in relation to the affiliation to the IPF of Femexpadel;
  • the allocation of voting rights within the IPF – with affiliate members having different numbers of votes – is fully compliant with Swiss Law;
  • no IPF rules or regulations provide for means to remove the President of IPF prior to the expiration of the statutory 4-year term; consequently, any request to this aim from an affiliate member must be dismissed;
  • the audit of the 2018 IPF’s account had been made in compliance with the IPF’s rules and regulations;
  • no violation of the rights of non-English-speaking affiliate members had been committed during the Assembly meeting;
  • no violations of the rules governing the secret ballot – asked for by the Spanish Federation in relation to many deliberations – occurred;

 

  1. the full legitimacy of the 7-month suspension imposed on the PPF and its President Ricardo Da Silva Oliveira and the pecuniary sanction imposed on the PPF has been confirmed, the CAS finding that the organization of any international competition by an IPF affiliate member without the authorization of the IPF represents a serious violation of the IPF Disciplinary Regulations;

 

  • the pecuniary sanctions imposed on the PPF for renouncing to the organization of the Minor Championships 2019 and for applying for the registration of trademarks referring to padel international competitions have been canceled for the following reasons:
    • no contract had been signed between IPF and PPF for the organization of the Minor Championships;
    • all trademark applications of the PPF had been rejected by the EUIPO;

 

  • the PPF has been condemned to reimburse legal expenses to the IPF.

 

The decisions of the Court of Arbitration for Sport have been received by the IPF Board as a high-profile confirmation of the key role of the IPF in the international padel arena and the good management of the current administration of the IPF, as well as an incentive to defend the interest of our affiliate members who keep working hard, day after day, for the development of padel in their territories and in the whole world.

 

The IPF, far from celebrating this result, deems it essential to draw the attention of all affiliate members, all of them having the same rights and obligations, to the key value of mutual respect, which must prevail over any difference, endorsing the solidity of sports institutions and their leaders around the world who make great efforts to improve day by day.

 

Once again, we invite all members to cooperate alongside the IPF for the success of our projects, that are beneficial for all national federations and will be even more successful if we all work together.