FIBA: The first BAT case involving COVID-19 as “force majeure” will become the standard for everyone

2020-03-26T20:38:34+00:00 2020-03-26T20:38:34+00:00.

Aris Barkas

26/Mar/20 20:38

With the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal expected to be overwhelmed by contract disputes due to the coronavirus epidemic, FIBA will use the first verdict on this matter as a pilot of all similar cases.

By Lefteris Moutis/

On a letter sent on the 23rd of March to its member federations, FIBA addressed among others the issue of the contractual disputes that may arise due to COVID-19.

While FIBA “wishes to encourage all registered players, coaches, agents and clubs to acknowledge the unique circumstances we are all going through and reach agreements with mutual concessions to the extent possible”, it’s expected that a lot of issues will emerge.

That’s why the first case on this matter will be used as the standard for every COVID-19 related contractual dispute that may follow.

According to the letter, which is signed by FIBA secretary general Andreas Zagklis: “FIBA has been informed by the BAT that the first case(s) involving COVID-19 as ‘force majeure’ will be treated in an expedited manner and will be published with their reasoning on the FIBA website, so as to provide as early as possible relevant guidance to the actors in professional basketball.”

While there are many legal opinions on the matter, it’s obvious that BAT wants to set a strong precedent that will be used in any subsequent case.