Cancellation of Sporting Events

In what cases can sporting events be moved or postponed?

The final decision on the venue and host for a sporting event will be taken by the body which operates the event which in most cases will be the Worldwide Governing Body for that particular sport. For example:

  • The Olympics – the final decision will be made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)

  • The Football World Cup – the final decision will be made by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)

  • The Cricket World Cup – the final decision will be made by the International Cricket Council (ICC)

Agreement signed with the Worldwide Governing Body

Once a county or city has been successful in the bidding process and has been awarded the right to host the event they will be required to sign an agreement outlining all aspects of the operation of the event.

Contained within this agreement will be a provision relating to the cancellation of the event in that country. In this respect it is usual that the International Governing Body will have an alternative host which will be able to undertake the hosting on short notice if required.

For what reasons can an event be cancelled or postponed?

A major sporting event could be cancelled or postponed for the following reasons:

  • Force majeure

  • Failure to hit all the requirements of hosting

  • Safety concerns

Force Majeure

What is meant by force majeure?

Force majeure is defined as an act of god or an act which is beyond the control of the event organisers.

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For more information on:

  • Requirements of hosting
  • Safety Concerns
  • Is there a possibility for a legal challenge in relation to this?