NF NEWS - UAE NF suspension Frequently Asked Questions


The FEI would like to draw your attention to the NF News issued last Monday (see below) informing of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that have been established and published on the FEI website to provide clarity and guidance to the community further to the suspension of the UAE NF.

Given the implications of the suspension for the discipline of Jumping (particularly in relation to UAE horse ownership issues and the Unsanctioned Events rules), it is important to know the NF News below to know where to find the relevant information for any question that you might have.

So following last week’s NF News (see below: UAE National Federation suspended for Rules violations) regarding the FEI Board decision to suspend the United Arab Emirates National Federation for breaches of FEI Rules, the FEI has now published Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) in order to provide clarity and guidance to the community.

The FAQs cover the many practical consequences, not only for the UAE NF, but for other NFs, their Athletes (human and equine), Owners, Trainers, Officials and Organisers as well as an explanation on the status of UAE NF events as Unsanctioned Events.

The list of questions is non-exhaustive, so if you have any further specific questions, please contact the relevant person at FEI Headquarters.

News from FEI:  UAE National Federation suspended for Rules violations

The FEI Board has suspended the National Federation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) following a detailed investigation into the circumstances around two National Endurance Events (CEN) in January and February 2020 - the Sheikh Mohammed Cup and The President's Cup – that should have been held as International Endurance Events (CEIs) as the number of foreign athletes far exceeded the quota permitted for National Events.

As you are aware, under Article 101 of the FEI General Regulations, National Events must be limited to no more than four National Federations (NF) and/or more than 15 foreign Athletes aside from “Athletes living outside their country of nationality” (Article 119.6 of the FEI General Regulations). However, the investigation led by Bird & Bird LLP, found that a total of 93 foreign Athletes from 24 different NFs participated in the 2020 Sheikh Mohammed Cup and total of 88 foreign Athletes from 21 different NFs participated in the 2020 President's Cup.

The FEI Board met via videoconference on 16 September to hear presentations from Bird & Bird and the UAE NF legal representatives. Legal counsel from both parties responded to questions from the FEI Board prior to the Board Members reaching their in-principle decision, which has been formally notified to the UAE NF on 24 September 2020. The UAE National Federation has 21 days to appeal the decision to the FEI Tribunal.

The Board concluded that the UAE NF had violated the FEI Rules, in particular, Articles 101, 109.2 and 100.7.2 of the FEI General Regulations and Article 2.8 of the FEI Statutes. In the case of the Sheikh Mohammed Cup, the violations were deemed intentional, and in the case of the President’s Cup, the violations were considered at the very least negligent. The Board also concluded that the reason for re-classifying the events as CENs was to avoid the application of the new FEI Endurance Rules that were scheduled to take effect as of 1 January 2020.

Given the serious nature of the rule violations, the FEI Board unanimously agreed that a significant sanction was required and in accordance with Article 8.3 of the FEI Statutes, the UAE NF will be suspended with effect from 24 September 2020 as follows:

o   A full suspension of the UAE NF (all activities across all FEI disciplines) until 31 December 2020

o   A suspension of the UAE NF’s activities in relation to the discipline of Endurance until 31 March 2021

The suspension also affects any events (including national Events) in the UAE, which become “Unsanctioned Events” during the suspension period and any FEI Athlete, Horse or Official – from any nation - participating will be liable to a period of ineligibility of up to six months in accordance with Articles 113.4 and 155.7 of the FEI General Regulations. This is extremely pertinent for all National Federations, and we urge you to share this information with your members to ensure they are fully informed of the repercussions regarding participation in “Unsanctioned Events”.  

The Board also imposed a financial sanction on the Organisers, requiring them to pay a percentage of the prize money – 50% for the Sheikh Mohammed Cup and 10% for The President’s Cup - as well as the organising dues that would have been payable to the FEI had the Events been held as CEIs. The Board also decided that the UAE NF must pay the FEI’s legal fees. The suspensions imposed on the UAE NF will remain in place until all financial sanctions have been paid in full to the FEI, as per Article 164.5 of the FEI General Regulations.

The FEI will be preparing and sending some relevant guidelines and information for National Federations in the coming days as to how this suspension may affect your Athletes, Officials and Events, but in the meantime, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact FEI Headquarters for more information.

Source: FEI