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Hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022 - What does Qatar Law say?

  • Market Insight 2022年9月29日 2022年9月29日
  • 中东

  • Qatar 2022

With the world’s spotlight on Qatar in anticipation of the World Cup, our specialists outline the key takeaways for hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022.

What is the pertinent law? 

All of Qatar’s laws may apply to the FIFA World Cup 2022 (the Tournament), those participating and those attending amongst others. Law No. (10) of 2021 (Law 10/2021) specifically focusses on the Tournament itself however and the arrangements Qatar has put in place. 

What is the World Cup’s time period? 

The Tournament’s time period begins on 10 November 2022, 10 days prior to the opening match, and ends on 23 December 2022, five days after the last match.
 
With the exception of Article 13, the provisions of Law 10/2021 cease to have affect after the Tournament’s Time Period. Article 13, which relates to banking and foreign exchange, can be extended for an additional 90 days at the request of the Supreme Committee from Qatar Central Bank. 

What are the different zones referred to by Law No.10/2021?

Controlled Commercial Area

A Controlled Commercial Area (CCA) is the area adjacent to a Stadium or Activity Venue, as determined by FIFA. CCAs, include airspace, and will not exceed a 2 km diameter measured from the center of the Stadium or Activity Venue. In these CCAs, certain commercial and other activities are prohibited during the day of, and the day preceding, a match or event. 

Restricted Area

Restricted Areas outside CCAs will be determined by the Security Committee. Once deemed restricted, entry to an area will be limited to authorised persons.

What is the visa provision for the World Cup? 

Entry visas

Entry visas will be issued without restriction or discrimination to foreign nationals but may be rejected or revoked for security, health or public order concerns. Entry visas granted under this provision will expire at the end of the World Cup period (i.e. 23 December 2022). Entry visas requested by FIFA or FIFA associated companies will have a maximum of five days’ processing time.

Work permits

Foreign nationals who are FIFA or FIFA affiliated employees are not required to submit a copy of their work permit during the World Cup period. 

FIFA and the Supreme Committee can also take on Foreign National volunteers without obtaining a work permit. Foreign National volunteers may enter Qatar on visas which expire at the end of the World Cup period.

Work regulations

Law 10/2021 exempts FIFA and affiliated companies from Qatari Labour Laws. Instead, employment contracts alone will regulate relationships between employers and employees.

When will the regulations be issued?

The Regulations for the FIFA World Cup 2022 Preliminary Competition were issued in September 2020 and provided that further provisions would be adopted by the FIFA Council at a later stage in respect of the final competition. 

Is it permissible for others to use FIFA logos?

Without a licence from FIFA, it is not permissible to use, record, re/produce, imitate or modify any of FIFA’s intellectual property rights including:

  • FIFA’s name, logo and hymn;
  • Logos of World Cup events and matches and other activities accompanying the Tournament which are registered FIFA trademarks;
  • Mascots, logos, billboards, identification codes, designs, trophies and medals developed by FIFA for which FIFA has exclusive rights;
  • Artistic, musical and literary works and any marketing and advertising rights owned by FIFA.

What actions are prohibited by law?

Intellectual Property

As outlined above, unlicensed use of FIFA’s intellectual property rights is prohibited.

Domain names

Registration and use of domain names which involve FIFA or similar intellectual property rights is prohibited. Registration or licensing which FIFA objects to in writing will be suspended by the competent authority. 

Advertising

Only advertising approved by FIFA, or by its authorized representative, can take place in the Activity Venues and CCAs for the duration of the World Cup. Any unapproved advertising must be removed by the competent authority when notified by the Supreme Committee at FIFA’s request.  

Tickets

FIFA possesses the exclusive right to sell tickets. Tickets cannot be issued, sold or resold, redistributed or exchanged without a license from FIFA or its authorised representative.

Recording

Only FIFA accredited legal entities are permitted to broadcast the matches and events of the World Cup, pursuant to an agreement with FIFA or its authorized licensees or representatives.

Unfair competition

  • Any commercial activity and certain public activities for a commercial purpose which could lead to a false belief products or services are issued, approved or accepted by FIFA or the Supreme Committee are prohibited; 
  • Using tickets for advertising, including lotteries, competitions or including the cost of tickets in tourism, accommodation and other services, without the consent of FIFA is prohibited;
  • Showing a public event, without a FIFA licence, is prohibited. 

Approval or licenses must comply with the Regulations for the FIFA World Cup 2022.

What are the penalties for non-compliance with the law?

Intellectual property, unfair competition, advertising

Anyone in breach of the above provisions in relation to intellectual property rights, unfair competition, advertising and existing businesses to which FIFA objects will be subject to a year’s minimum prison sentence and/or a maximum fine of QAR 500,000.

Domain names

Persons or entities using domain names containing FIFA’s intellectual property will be subject to a six-month minimum prison sentence and/or a maximum fine of QAR 250,000.

Tickets

Illegal ticket vendors will be subject to a maximum fine of QAR 250,000. This penalty will be multiplied by the number of tickets sold.

For the above offences, all violating materials will be confiscated.

Corporate liability

If company management knew of an offence committed by a private legal person, or if a breach of their duties contributed to the offence, they can be sentenced to the same penalty.

If an employee is found to be in breach, yet their actions were taken in an employer’s name or on their behalf, the employer is jointly responsible for payment of fines and compensation.

Role of Secretary-General

Notwithstanding the above, the Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee retains the right to intervene before the institution of criminal proceedings, provide a final judgment and impose a fine. 

All Qatar laws and regulations (save those in the QFC which are for internal use only) are issued in Arabic with no official translations.  We have used our own internal translations and knowledge of the market in order to draft this article.

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