The International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS), the governing body for the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), has adopted Spanish as an official language for CAS arbitrations.
The world body is expected to hear the appeal filed by former Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia over his ban later this year.
The decision makes Spanish the third working language of CAS after French and English.
The decision to adopt Spanish comes from ICAS’ recognition of the importance of the language globally.
CAS conducts over 600 procedures each year, of which around 10 per cent involve Spanish-speaking parties.
Previously, parties could request that a CAS arbitration be conducted in Spanish, but the request was subject to the agreement of all parties involved, as well as the arbitrators in charge.
Since the creation of CAS in 1984, over 400 arbitrations have already been conducted in Spanish.
The adoption of the language is as part of the new version of the Code of Sports-related Arbitration that comes into force as of tomorrow.
Other amendments to the Code pertain to the use of electronic filing and video-conferencing which have increased in importance recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CAS director general Matthieu Reeb said: “In 2019, ICAS approved the holding of public hearings – this year, the adoption of Spanish as an official language for CAS arbitrations is another example of the regular and appropriate evolution of our regulations.
“On a personal note, I sincerely appreciate the trust placed in me by the ICAS members and their recognition of my activity in favour of the institution.”
Reeb’s position has changed his title from secretary general to director general as part of the changes made by ICAS to better clarify roles within CAS.
ICAS and CAS President John Coates added: “Matthieu Reeb has taken an active part in the significant growth of CAS year after year.
“He continues to provide a most valued service to CAS and the ICAS and it was appropriate we acknowledge this with the new designation.”
A recent Spanish-speaking CAS hearing was between Argentinian football clubs where Boca Juniors sought the disqualification of rivals River Plate from the 2018 Copa Libertadores due to riots during the second leg of the final between the two sides.
CAS ruled in favour of River Plate who retained its 2018 title.