Representation of the Israel Football Association – Preference for Arbitration over the Labor Court
Our firm represented the Israel Football Association (the “IFA“) at the Regional Labor Court in Jerusalem on the issue of the status of the IFA’s internal judicial bodies.
In a nutshell, a dispute arose between the football players and between their clubs relating to the players’ employment rights. The players argued that the rights were protective labor laws and therefore the Labor Court had jurisdiction over the dispute and not the IFA’s arbitration body. IFA was added to the matter as a required party, and we enumerated the benefits of the internal judicial body, and we also underlined its exclusive jurisdiction pursuant to the Sports Law, 5748-1988.
The Labor Court (panel headed by the Honorable President of the Regional Court in Jerusalem) affirmed all of the IFA’s arguments. The Court stated that both the arbitration clause and the legislator’s clear intention – established in the Sports Law – must be upheld. Accordingly, the Court referred the parties to the IFA’s internal judicial bodies also for matters relating to mandatory protective labor laws (since these are impacted by football’s unique employment character which is not similar to other employment sectors in the economy).