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The Belgian Competition Authority imposes interim measures on the Global Champions Tour, Global Champions League and the FEI

Friday, 22 December 2017
Sport

The Belgian Competition Authority (BCA)’s Competition College has imposed interim measures on the organisers of the Global Champions Tour (GCT), the Global Champions League (GCL) and on the FEI in order to ensure that 60% of the invitations for the GCT/GCL events are based on the riders’ world ranking, stating that invitations should not depend on whether riders are members of a paying GCL team. The interim measures are imposed on the GCT, GCL and the FEI until there is a closing on the actual merits of the case after an investigation in respect to a possible infringement.

“The FEI is based in Switzerland and the Jumping invitation rules are applicable worldwide, so we will need to study the decision of the Belgian Competition Authority carefully before we comment further,” says a FEI spokesperson to World of Showjumping about the BCA’s interim measures.

The GCT and GCL are also going to dive deep into the BCA decision, and a GCT spokesperson commented to World of Showjumping: "We received the decision of the Belgian Competition Authority imposing certain interim measures in relation to the GCT invitation rules approved by the FEI. As an organiser of an FEI approved series we work together with the international governing body to make sure the rules it approved are followed and implemented accordingly. We will study the BCA decision carefully and comment at a later stage.”

The press release from the BCA announcing the interim measures came out yesterday, and also stated that: “A rider and a horse stable filed a complaint and requested interim measures regarding a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concluded between the FEI, the GCT and the GCL which restricts the percentage of invitations to be sent for GCT events exclusively on the basis of their ranking from 60% to 30%. They consider that this decrease illegally harms riders who are not members of a paying team of the GCL. The College considered prima facie that it is not unreasonable to think that this decrease might constitute an infringement on competition law.”

As a FEI-approved series, the GCT and the GCL are under the FEI Jumping Rules for 2018 (Annex. V) given an exception from the CSI Invitation Rules that apply to other five-star event organizers. 

According to the CSI Invitation Rules, five-star shows that are not a part of a FEI approved series must invite 60% of the riders according to their descending order on the world ranking, while the remaining 40% is divided equally between the National Federations (home riders) and the organizing committee. Other rules apply for the GCT/GCL events, with 30% of the number of riders participating being taken in descending order from the world ranking. Another 10% of the invitations belong to the National Federations (home riders) while the remaining invitations go to riders that are part of a GCL team. This exception given the GCT/GCL events from the CSI Invitation Rules has caused plenty of debate throughout the last year, and has now ended up as an issue before the BCA.

 


Text © World of Showjumping // Picture © Stefano Grasso/GCL

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