The quality of football at the 2014 World Cup has been so high as to overcome less positive issues around the competition. Concerns around the impact of stadium building and other infrastructure facilities on social divisions in Brazil have, sadly, some suggest, taken a back seat, as just about every match has been a thriller. Indeed, even the darker side of on-pitch behaviour – for example, the tendency of many highly paid, fit international footballers to hit the deck and writhe in pain the moment an opponent casts a glance in their direction – has been overlooked. But, as our reporter on the touchline (or at least in front of her telly) notes, it was impossible for the FIFA authorities to turn a blind eye to Luis Suarez’s teeth. The correspondent from law firm Gateley points out that the Uruguayan’s ban for his now famous dental assault on Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini could give him a lot of grief in his day job at Liverpool FC. Under UK law, employers can fairly sack employees for conduct outside of work if it is likely to damage a boss’s reputation. Says our reporter in the sheepskin coat (albeit a bit warm for this time of year): ‘In Suarez’s case, this means that although he was not playing for Liverpool FC at the time, the club could still take disciplinary action against him…’ Click here for more information.
It is almost impossible to mention the current World Cup without reheating the debate over the decision to hold the 2022 finals in the Gulf monarchal dynasty of Qatar. Recent discussion has focused on allegations of bribery. How does a country with a total population of about a quarter of London’s, whose national team has never qualified for the finals and whose current squad consists of about a third of players born abroad, bag the world’s greatest footballing event? Those questions have overtaken the core problem of staging a summer tournament in a climate where average July temperatures run to 42°C (that’s nearly 108 in old money). The issue is highlighted by our correspondents from law firm DLA Piper, who report on summer working hours rules in Gulf Co-operation Council countries. Qatar is a member, and its regulations stipulate that employers must not force their employees to carry out any sort of work under direct sunlight between 11.30am and 3pm in the summer months. For some reason, the Qatari authorities have exempted the poor blighters in oil and gas production, but nonetheless if the Qatar World Cup does go ahead – which is looking increasingly less likely – don’t bank on any lunchtime kick-offs. Click here for more information.
The words ‘endive’ and ‘monster global international cartel’ do not initially seem to fit that well. But lettuce-watchers around the world are all a-flutter over a recent Paris Appeal Court decision to overturn €3.9m of fines imposed on endive producers and their professional organisations by French competition authorities in 2012. Law firm Dentons says the ruling has significant implications for salad-munchers and beyond. Click here for more information.
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