May 22, 2022

The sports law is finally delayed

Senators and deputies failed to agree on the sports bill, validated by the National Assembly almost a year ago. At the heart of the disagreement of this joint joint commission, there is in particular the question of the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols in competition.

We will have to act quickly. A few weeks before the closure of Parliament due to the upcoming presidential elections, the main law concerning sport has not yet been validated. Passed however by the National Assembly in March 2021, then by the Senate a few days ago, this bill was refused after the study of the Joint Joint Commission, bringing together senators and deputies, this Monday, January 31. A new reading will take place before the Assembly on February 9, then on February 16 before the Senate.

Big debate around secularism

This bill made by La République En Marche has the main objective of democratizing sport in France. Many changes in regulations and institutions are therefore proposed. But the bulk of the debate which separated the Joint Joint Commission on Monday focused on the question of the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols in competition. Some senators had already voted for an amendment on January 19, prohibiting the wearing of “conspicuous religious symbols” during a sports competition, against the advice of the government. Just yesterday, the rapporteur for the text in the Senate, Michel Savin (LR), regretted that “the deputies refuse any discussion on secularism”. However, LREM representatives immediately responded: “the debate on secularism is widely addressed and updated thanks to the law aimed at reinforcing the principles of the Republic”. A debate on a Republican principle in the middle of an election campaign is therefore not the case for this bill, which will however have to be resolved if this proposal is to be accepted before the elections.

Other measures put on hold

There are also other provisions still under discussion. Among them, that on parity in sports federations. Measures had been proposed to allow parity by 2024, but the Senate decided to review the calendar by setting a system implementing this principle for 2028. The measure limiting the presidency of federations to three terms has also been removed. This disagreement also postpones the establishment of a new commercial company wanted by French football. This project of the LFP can only be allowed if the law passes since it must fix the part transferable to an investor within the framework of this new authority. A postponement which does not help the LFP since it had already started to select potential shareholders.

Jules Mermier