SAUDI ARABIA

7 years in prison and SR500,000 fine for sports hooliganism

New Sports Law allows clubs to establish companies and own real estate

May 16, 2023
The regulations stipulate a maximum jail term of seven years or SR500,000 in fine or both be slapped on those who resort to rioting and other forms of violence during sporting events.
The regulations stipulate a maximum jail term of seven years or SR500,000 in fine or both be slapped on those who resort to rioting and other forms of violence during sporting events.

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The executive regulations of the new Sports Law grant Saudi sports clubs and the Saudi Olympic Committee the authority to establish companies. According to the terms and conditions specified in the regulations, they also can contribute to and participate in the establishment of such companies, in addition to owning real estate and investing in them.

The new regulations stipulate a maximum jail term of seven years or a fine of SR500,00 or both be slapped on those who resort to rioting and other forms of violence during sporting events. These include all acts of violence, fighting, creating chaos, raising threats to the safety of others at the venue, damaging facilities, or using names and signs to mislead others to believe an unlicensed facility is a sporting entity, Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper reported.

A maximum fine not exceeding SR100,000 shall be imposed on a spectator or anyone present at the venue who commits an act or makes a statement that incites hatred, racial discrimination, or sports fanaticism publicly or by any other means. These also include acts or statements that are disgraceful and contrary to public morals, disrupting competition and effectiveness, preventing and obstructing the Sports Ministry’s inspectors from performing their duties or giving out false and misleading information or statements.

According to the regulations, sports clubs must obtain a license from the Ministry of Sports before establishing a sports company. The terms and conditions to apply for a license oblige the company’s founders to invest not less than an amount specified by the Minister of Sports and no less than the capital specified in the Companies Law. The share of a foreign partner or shareholder must not exceed the percentage determined by the minister.

The Minister of Sports, in agreement with the Minister of Commerce, will issue the rules and regulations governing commercial companies and the restrictions that are subject to them. The sports company shall be an organized entity according to the Bankruptcy Law.

The new Sports Law stipulates that the sports entities will be exempted from customs duty on their imports. The Ministry of Sports has offered the draft Sports Law seeking feedback from the public and those interested through the “Istitla” platform of the National Competitiveness Center.

The ministry stated that the draft regulations aim to achieve six main goals, which are organizing the sports sector, people and entities related to the sector; governing their activities; expanding the base of sports practitioners; establishing government principles and rules, in addition to providing an attractive environment for investment in the sports sector.

The regulations grant the Ministry of Sports powers to monitor, supervise, and follow up compliance with the relevant laws and regulations. The ministry also sets the controls and conditions for sports entities to receive financial support from the state and is vested with the power to monitor these entities and verify their commitment to expenditures.

The new law is expected to come into force after 180 days from the date of its publication in the official gazette and the minister will issue the executive regulations by then. This law replaces the Basic Law of Sports Federations and the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee and nullifies everything that contradicts the provisions of the new law.


May 16, 2023
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