China Sports Arbitration Council advised to establish branch in HK, promoting nation’s position in West-dominated international sports arbitration: Kenneth Fok
Published: Mar 07, 2023 05:51 PM
Hong Kong millionaire Kenneth Fok Kai-kong, Henry Fok Ying-tung's grandson and a deputy to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), attends a press conference on Sunday in Beijing about how CPPCC members perfom their duties in the new era.
Photo: VCG

Hong Kong millionaire Kenneth Fok Kai-kong. Photo: VCG

The China Sports Arbitration Council has been advised to establish a Hong Kong branch in order to maximize Hong Kong's unique advantages and promote the country's position in international sports arbitration, Kenneth Fok Kai-kong, a deputy to the 14th National People's Congress (NPC), said in an interview with the Global Times on Monday. 

Fok, who is also a member of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said that if China's official arbitration body does not set up a branch in Hong Kong, other dispute resolution centers influenced by Western forces may take the lead in doing so. 

Sports events, whether held on the Chinese mainland, in Hong Kong or in Asia, all need a fair and transparent sports-related dispute resolution body, Fok said. However, international sports arbitration is now dominated by Western countries, and there are more arbitrators from Europe and the US than from Asia.

The NPC deputy pointed out that Hong Kong has many advantages under "one country, two systems" and is expected to become a platform for East-West exchanges, financing and licensing of sports events.

According to reports, the China Sports Arbitration Council is the only arbitration body in China established by the State General Administration of Sports in Beijing on February 11, 2023 to deal with disputes in professional sports. Its duties include the formulation and amendment of statutes, appointment and dismissal of arbitrators and the resolution of sports disputes through arbitration in accordance with the rules of sports arbitration. Currently, the council does not have a branch in Hong Kong. 

According to the report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, becoming a leading country in sport is one of the overall goals for China's development in 2035. "So making good use of Hong Kong's unique advantages to promote our position in international sports arbitration is the next important task. In addition, the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) also clearly supports Hong Kong as a center for legal services and dispute resolution," Fok said.

The time is ripe for the establishment of a sports industry-related dispute resolution institution in Hong Kong. "If we don't set up the Hong Kong branch of the China Sports Arbitration Commission soon, other dispute resolution centers influenced by Western forces may do the same," Fok said.

He hopes that the authorities will actively consider establishing a Hong Kong branch of the China Sports Arbitration Council, so that Hong Kong can play the role of a dispute resolution center and promote sports arbitration, so that the sports arbitration business can grow and prosper in China.