FEI, Global Champions League End Legal Battle

Global Champions League FEI-Series

The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) and the Global Champions League (GCL) reach an accord after a hard-fought legal battle.

FEI, GCL and the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The FEI approved the GCL rules, which according to FEI, “are now in compliance with FEI rules”.

The Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) ordered a partial suspension of the FEI’s exclusivity clause in July 2015. The ruling came after GCL filed a complaint. It alleged FEI breached EU competition law by preventing equestrians from competing in non-FEI approved events.

The FEI appealed, but the decision was upheld by the Court of Appeals in Brussels.

“We are pleased to have reached consensus with the FEI and appreciate the genuine efforts that have been made to achieve this agreement and resolve outstanding issues,” said Jan Tops and Frank McCourt, GCL’s founders.

They add they are looking forward to working with the FEI to build a healthy, strong and sustainable future for equestrian sport.

GCL has withdrawn its complaint to the Belgian Competition Authority. It alleged the FEI’s Unsanctioned Events rule was in breach of EU anti-trust legislation. The FEI Officials sanctioned in 2016 have also withdrawn their complaints. FEI suspended them for 6-months after they officiated at GCL’s unsanctioned events.

FEI President Ingmar De Vos expressed his happiness that the “long-running saga is resolved”.