Sports Arbitration in India: Evolution and All You Need to Know

Sports Arbitration in India: Evolution and All You Need to Know

This article on ‘Sports Arbitration in India: Evolution and All You Need to Know’ was published by Legal Upanishad.


This article talks about the evolution of Sports Arbitration in India. The history of sports/games is as old as the beginning of civilization, so a simple online search reveals that history can be traced back to ancient times when it had ancestors in military ceremonies and combat. Even the modern Olympics are the most organized and prestigious sporting events of our time, obscuring their history in legends and myths, and some claim to have been revived by the Greek god Zeus and his son Heracles with such an enviable past and respected athletes around the world as being as good as God, most countries still have codified legislation to protect athletes (Jhunjhunwala, 2021). So why are the rights and protections of these athletes overlooked and not taken into account in our legal system?

Sports, be it of any kind of recognized domain, is now a huge business, accounting for more than 3 percent of world trade. The great development of the sports rating industry is mainly due to the increased broadcast volume of sporting events and the increased costs paid by supporters for reconciliation rights. British courts have long recognized that sports-related disputes are generally settled “in-house” and preferably by using a more or less independent arbitration disciplinary mechanism.

In fact, sports are a good example of the benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) over litigation proceedings. The essence of rapid dispute resolution in sports requires considerable centrality given the fact that the athlete’s profession in the game is small and the basic risk of scratches and form hit is very high. It is a direct result of these variables that the subject of wise and quick resolution of problems in sports is given a great opportunity.

Evolution of Sports Dispute and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Now that all the money and fortune is flowing into the sport, winning is everything, and the benefits and fulfilment of participating are archaic. The Olympic motto has recently lost its relevance. In this sense, it’s not surprising that the pursuit of sport is still increasing according to the old adage that problems arise where there is money to fight. Game issues can be absolutely business or contract issues, a few administrative issues, and other issues can be semi-criminal. Of course, there is no fixed progressive system or strategy for game dispute resolution.

The world of sports is small and everyone seems to know who they are. The lack of court enthusiasm to consider disciplinary decisions made by sports organizations saves a serious breach of the principles of impartiality and proportionality. Alternative dispute resolution of various issues through ADR arises against the background of almost unpredictable outcomes in court and proceedings. In addition, judges are not largely in line with institutions on certain types of economic issues, especially those involving specific issues.

The current dispute resolution process generally includes some or all of the “sports dispute resolution routines as a traditional due process strategy. The benefits of using ADR for Sports disputes are:

Unified regulations on dispute resolution, speed, cost, expertise, data protection, goodwill and maintaining enforceability (Bharadwaj).

Current Scenario of Sports Arbitration in India

  • Sports law is a very niche area of ​​law, and many Indian lawyers and practitioners do not have the technical expertise or experience in this area. In addition, India does not have an alternative dispute resolution mechanism or sports, so athletes have no choice but to follow the decisions of the Sports Federation Committee or go to the Supreme Court or the Supreme Court. As explained above, these two options have no effect. But is CAS arbitration a viable option for Indian sports? This part of the article critically analyzes the feasibility of CAS for resolving sports disputes in India. CAS may take over the arbitration if Congress passes a law that provides for the inclusion of the arbitration clause in all contracts or only in the laws of the Sports Association. Currently, the two major complex issues associated with using CAS as a dispute resolution mechanism are: Not all athletes are able to pay attorneys’ fees and other costs associated with resolving disputes through CAS. Section 34 and 48 of the Arbitration Mediation Act will leave issues regarding the enforceability of Sports Arbitration in India.
  • In India, many talents come from small towns and cities, often from families with low financial resources (Gupta, 2020). We cannot afford to pay legal and other administrative costs related to arbitration. The TAS fee is calculated according to a fixed timetable, and in the case of disciplinary action, only a certain amount of management fee will be paid, but the athlete will be cautiously challenged due to lack of funds and support.
  • Second, is the issue of the enforceability of the arbitral award by CAS. In accordance with Article 48 of the Arbitration Mediation Act 1996, enforcement of foreign arbitral awards may be challenged in court (Paperwala, 2021). Previously, courts investigated the facts and benefits of the case to assess the validity of the arbitral award, which caused unnecessary delays in the matter and invalidated the entire purpose of the arbitration. Therefore, the legislature has amended Article 48 of the Arbitration Act. This limits judicial intervention to enforce an arbitral award only if it violates India’s public order and morals.


  • Whether the referee evaluates overall control or is deprived of all abilities and strengths by overseeing most of the decisions and thus exposing them to trivial habits, the fibre of the game is under great circumstances. It will weaken.
  •  In coordinating research methods and innovations that need to be balanced, associations find that such strategies do not facilitate decision-making, assist in conflict resolution, and completely replace the long-standing manual framework needed to confirm.
  • The hybrid dispute resolution process generally combines two or all elements of separate procedures into one. The most well-known mixing procedure is mediation and half of the mediation, Mediation Arbitration or “Medarb”. According to this, there is no set principle on how the procedure should be performed. The parties to the dispute submit the issue to mediation, and after an agreed time or an unstoppable suspension, the issue is switched to arbitration and the arbitrator selects the issue.
  • Post-arbitration mediation is a way to provide an aggregated dispute resolution framework. This completely avoids the costs and delays of the legal framework.


A right arbitration discussion board is an utmost requirement for the enhancement of the sports activities fraternity. The Government must install a Sports Commission to modify the functioning of sports activities in India. The Sports Commission will act as an apex body, governing different sports activities companies and suggest the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs in issuing notifications and pointers for the sports activities companies.

Additionally, the Sports Commission must be empowered to settle disputes among the events and penalize the offenders for violation of the code of behaviour and take suitable disciplinary movements as well. Further, the establishment of the Sports Commission might bring about the abolishment of the self-reliant person of sports activities companies like BCCI, SAI, etc. Thereafter, the Commission must be entitled to maintain investigations concerning the misappropriation of finances in those companies thereby growing their accountability.