Joe Bonilla Gálvez, sports lawyer at Muñoz Tamayo & Asociados and director of the areas of sports and labor law, was invited by Blu Radio alongside colleague Daniel Cardona Aranda, to discuss matters of sports law in Colombia and about client Junior Football Club of Barranquilla.
Amongst other matters, the interview focused on the sanction that was imposed by the Disciplinary Committee of the Dimayor on Junior , which ordered for the partial closure of the Metropolitain Stadium of Barranquilla because supposed fans of Junior lit flares in the Independence Stadium of Tunja, where away game of the semifinal of the Águila Cup was being played.
Junior presented an appeal for reversal before the Dimayor’s disciplinary committee and an appellate procedure ebfore the Dimayor’s Appeals Committee. They were able to demonstrate that the match was never suspended for the use of flares, but instead because the ball had gone out of bounds and afterwards because of the player substitutions made by both teams. The team’s legal counsel also argued that Junior could not and did not have control over entry to the Tunja stadium and, as such, any violation of security norms in the stadium was the sole responsibility of the local team and of its controlling organs,
The Disciplinary Committee ultimately decided to revoke the sanction. This judgement, as highlighted by the attorneys during the interview, was important because they faced one of the most difficult challenges in the disciplinary proceedings of the Dimayor, which was to undermine the veracity of the reports fo the Arbitrator and the Field Commissioner.
Joe and Daniel also spoke of other matters of sports law in Colombia and abroad, such as the claim filed by a Chilean attorney against Colombia and peru for an alleged rigging of a game, and the order of the TAS to repeat the match between the Senegal and Southafrican selection.
Joe provides counsel to national and foreign companies and national and international football clubs in matters of labor and sports law. Some of his clients in the area of sports law include Millonarios, Junior, the UK’s Chelsea Football Club and the major league baseball team the Atlanta Braves. He is a member of the Board fo Directos of América de Cali, Founding Member and Director of Colombia of the South American Football Lawyers Association – ASAF and an active member of the Colombian Association of Sports Law Acodepor.