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Agbakoba calls for sports tribunal in Nigeria

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Beverly of Olisa Agbakoba Legal (OAL) Chambers

Sports and entertainment lawyer, Beverley Agbakoba-Oyejianya has called on the National Assembly to enact a law establishing a sports tribunal to help athletes and sports practitioners get a fast and professional judgment on sports-related issues.

Speaking at a one-day master class sports seminar tagged, ‘Law & business of Sports’ held at the weekend in OAL Chambers, Ikoyi, Lagos, Beverley Agbakoba, daughter of renowned human rights lawyer and ex Nigeria Bar Association president, Olisa Agbakoba, said providing a sports tribunal would also curb corrupt practices and other pertinent issues that have continued to dwindle the development of sports in the country.

While lecturing the audience on the key issues on the importance of a sports person getting a well documented legal representation when signing a sports contract, Beverley Agbakoba, who is also the Head, Sports, Entertainment & Tech, at Olisa Agbakoba Legal (OAL) Chambers, enjoined sports practitioners and athletes to be well-grounded and informed before signing a professional sports contract.

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She also urged Nigerian youths to engage in sports at all levels, saying that it had become a big business in the world today.

“I organised this one-day seminar to create a forum to educate people on the diverse opportunities in sports. Exploring and maximising opportunities in the sports industry need to be addressed.

“I said Nigeria need a sports tribunal because there is no clear professional legal process to channel any sports issue. The conventional court in the land cannot address sports related issues like a sports tribunal.

“Even the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) based in Switzerland cannot give a favorable judgment on any issue because they don’t understand the culture and peculiar way we do things in the country.

“There is also no equal representation in CAS. Nigeria should emulate Kenya, which has a tribunal for sports established under their domestic laws. This has been helping them develop their sports.

“If Nigeria got a sports tribunal, athletes and other sports practitioners would get easy assess to express their issues without delay.

“It must be handled by credible sports law practitioners when constituted,” she said.

Other dignitaries that spoke at the event were Ayodele Thomas, chairman, Football Intermediaries Association of Nigeria, Aderoju Ope-Ajayi, Board member, Lagos State Swimming Association, Koye Sowemimo, Head of Talent Management, Temple Sports and co-founder Polygon sports, Tega Onojaife, sports producer/presenter and founder of Ladies in Sports International and Emmanuel Oyelakan, president, Esports Nigeria.

The organisers disclosed that more seminars would be held as capacity building to improve the standard of sports in Nigeria.
Participants at the seminar were awarded certificates.

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