Senate votes today on bill that attacks corruption and prejudice in sport – 06/08/2022

The Federal Senate can vote this Wednesday (8) the PLS 68/2017, a project that creates a New General Law of Sport. The deliberative session is scheduled to start at 16:00 (Brasília time). The text institutes a program to modernize the management of sport and seeks to increase governance and transparency in Brazilian sports entities. The replacement for former athlete and senator Leila Barros (PDT-DF) was approved on the 26th by the Education, Culture and Sport Commission. experts heard by Law in the Field regard the proposal as essential and look forward to its progress.

“It is past time to have a new General Sports Law, as the Pelé Law (Law No. 9,615) is ‘patched’ and does not match reality. Expectations are the best possible, as we now have current issues that only vital for sport”, says Maurício Corrêa da Veiga, a lawyer specializing in sports law and columnist for the Law in the Field.

“I am happy to see that the contribution we made through the Senate Jurists Committee to the adoption of a new General Sports Law has taken this important step today in the Senate. It is a huge advance in the modernization of the sector, with focus on the effectiveness of the right of access to sports practices for all Brazilians, on the construction of a true National Sports System based on a Constitutional Fund intended for this purpose, as well as on guaranteeing sports autonomy supported by the greater responsibility of leaders and institutions of the I remain confident that the Senate will approve the project and that soon we can see it also being analyzed in the Chamber of Deputies”, says Wladymir Camargos, one of the lawyers who was part of the Commission of Jurists of the text.

Prepared by a commission of jurists, PLS 68/2017 brings innovations to sport, including changes in current legislation (Lei Pelé). In all, the project approved this Wednesday has 210 articles and no longer the 270 of the original proposal, covering topics such as: public and private financing; management of sports entities; work regime of athletes and coaches; and infrastructure of sports arenas.

One of the points that draws attention in the text is the creation of a kind of “Clean Record Law” for sports entities, preventing people removed by reckless or fraudulent management from running clubs and federations.

On the ‘Agência Senado’ website, Senator Roberto Rocha cites examples from outside Brazil to defend the typification of the crime of private corruption in sports, something unprecedented in the Brazilian legal system.

“In the United States and in the vast majority of European countries, those accused of embezzling money from sports entities are prosecuted for the crime of private corruption. In Brazil, faced with the legal gap, those accused of this type of practice ask for acquittal, on the grounds that there is no of any criminal offense in the case. In many cases, the Public Ministry tries to convict for other crimes considered more generic, such as embezzlement or embezzlement”, quotes the rapporteur.

Other topics covered by PLS 68/2017 that are linked to sport are: access to public resources, combating prejudice/discrimination, control of fans, athlete rights, the Bolsa-Atleta program and the National Sports System.

Access to public resources

The text provides that the receipt of funds from lotteries and eventual tax exemptions, and the conclusion of agreements with the federal public administration by private organizations will depend on proof of compliance with requirements. Some of them are: the regular situation regarding their tax and labor obligations; participation of athletes in bodies and technical councils responsible for approving competition regulations; and at least 30% of management positions are filled by women.

Combating prejudice/discrimination

In the substitute presented at the CCJ, the rapporteur accepted part of the 62 amendments. One of them, suggested by Senator Fabiano Contarato (PT-ES), provides that organized supporters who practice discriminatory, racist, xenophobic, homophobic or transphobic behaviors will be prevented from attending sporting events for up to five years. The punishment also applies to the members and associates of these groups.

Such discriminatory conduct includes “carrying or displaying posters, flags, symbols or other signs with offensive messages, or singing songs that violate the dignity of the human person, especially those of a racist, homophobic, sexist or xenophobic nature”.

Control of fans in sports arenas

One of the amendments accepted by the rapporteur in the substitute determines the control and inspection of public access to sports arenas with capacity for more than 20 thousand people, which must have a means of image monitoring and biometric identification of those present.

Athletes’ rights

Another novelty of the text, suggested by Senator Carlos Portinho (PL-RJ), is the determination that rewards for results, popularly known as “bichos”, for being unpredictable and occasional, are not considered as part of a salary nature. The same applies to the “gloves” (additional paid when signing the contract) and the “image rights” (use of the player’s figure for advertising purposes).

PLS 68/2017 also emphasizes the obligations and duties of the sports association in relation to athletes, such as “providing the necessary conditions for participation in competitions, training and other activities”, in addition to reinforcing the provision of a special sports employment contract, written and with a fixed term. According to the text of the project, the term of this contracting model will never be less than three months or more than five years.

Athlete Scholarship

The substitute approved by the CCJ converts the Bolsa-Atleta (provided for in Law 10,891, of 2004) into a permanent policy and details that the program is primarily intended for high-performance athletes in Olympic and Paralympic modalities.

The value of the benefit varies according to which category the athlete is in: Basic Athlete; student; National Athlete; International Athlete; Olympic or Paralympic athlete; and Athlete Podium.

Senator Roberto Rocha presented some changes to the program, such as the non-obligation of the beneficiary to join the INSS (National Social Security Institute) and to establish that the benefit will be paid in up to 12 monthly installments, and not necessarily in 12 installments, as provided for in the original project.

National Sports System

The text aims to give more attention to the National Sports System (Sinesp), providing for the institution and regulation of the system for the management and promotion of public policies for sports. It is foreseen the division of competences between the federative entities in the molds of what already happens in health and education, however, the adhesion to Sinesp will not be mandatory.

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