Libertà religiosa ai ‘fischietti’. Il ruolo dell’arbitro nel contrasto tra regolamenti sportivi e precetti religiosi

Sports are subject to the principle of regulatory autonomy. It allows sports institutions to introduce rules independently of state law, as long as their fundamental principles are not violated. These rules, inspired by the principle of neutrality of the playing field, may conflict with religious precepts that guide faithful-athletes in behavior and practices (religious symbols, rituals, lifestyles). There are two profiles of protection: respect for religiosity, that is, the religious sentiment of athletes and spectators, and respect for the religious freedom of athletes and spectators. In light of this, the question is: What decisions can a referee make when faced with behavior adopted in accordance with a religious rule and contrary to sports rules?
Regulatory autonomy is paralleled by the autonomy of sports justice. However, an athlete can turn to the sports courts to challenge a decision of the referee. Article 1, co. 2 of Law No. 280/2003 exempts from this judicial regime. Article 1, co. 2 of Law No. 280/2003 exempts from this judicial regime “cases of subjective legal situations related to the sports system that are endowed with relevance to the legal system of the Republic.” Therefore, the principle of normative autonomy of sports is subject to an exception in order to protect rights qualified as fundamental by the Italian legal system. The protection of athletes’ religious freedom may be among these situations. The essay aims to ascertain what protections are viable for an athlete who believes he or she has suffered a violation of his or her religious freedom on the playground.

Comments are closed.