In July 2012, the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) and the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA) entered into agreement entitling CRCICA to host the first Alternative Hearing Centre (AHC) for the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Africa. CRCICA-hosted CAS AHC is the fourth all over the world. The other three AHCs are in Malaysia, China and United Arab Emirates.
“The presence of CAS in the region will simplify the procedures as the parties will no longer need to travel to the CAS headquarters in Switzerland to defend their cases,” said Mr. Mathew Reeb, CAS Secretary General. However, all AHCs all over the world are only seats for CAS Hearings without any liabilities to get involved in neither the procedural nor the substantive aspects of the dispute.
In implementation of the Agreement, CRCICA hosted the first CAS hearing session on 27 March 2013. The case in question involved the official agent of players of a popular sport, an African Federation of the same sport and a well known player. Over couples of hours, the hearing remained on live broadcasting to Lausanne of Switzerland through CRCICA’s video conferencing facility. Upon the completion of the hearing, CRCICA received formal thanks and acknowledgement from the CAS Secretariat for “the precious help in the organization of the hearing”.
The institutional cooperation between CRCICA and CAS is expected to ensure the status of CRCICA as an international arbitral organization administrating many trade and investment disputes in addition to a growing number of sports related disputes during the last years. It is also foreseen to have a future positive impact on the functioning and accessibility of sports arbitration procedures in a region having thriving sport practices both qualitatively and quantitatively. However, their resulting disputes lack the required paralleled development of alternative means for the settlement of sports disputes especially sports arbitration and mediation.