Press and Information Division


13 June 2002

Deutscher Handballbund e. V. / Maros Kolpak

Hearing in Case C-438/00

Reference for a preliminary ruling from the Oberlandesgericht Hamm (Germany)

The plaintiff in the national proceedings is the German Sports Association for Handball. Mr Kolpak is a Slovak national and is a professional handball player for the second division club TSV Östringen. It is known from the proceedings in “Bosman” (Case C-415/99; judgment of 15.12.1995) that clubs may use only a limited number of players from another State in teams playing in the Federal and regional leagues in championship and cup matches. As a result of the Bosman case, that no longer applies to EU nationals but still applies to nationals of non-Member States. Mr Kolpak wishes to acquire a player's licence without a mark identifying him as a foreign national. He submits that the rule infringes the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of nationality laid down in the Association Agreement between the EC and Slovakia.

The exact question referred is as follows: Is it contrary to Article 38(1) of the Europe Agreement establishing an Association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Slovak Republic, of the other part - Final Act - if a sports association applies to a professional sportsman of Slovak nationality a rule it has adopted under which clubs may play in championship and cup matches only a limited number of players who come from third countries not belonging to the European Communities?

The oral hearing in this case will take place on 20 June 2002 at 9.30 before the Fifth Chamber of the Court of Justice. The Report for the Hearing will be available in the language of the case (German).

A report for the hearing will be available in the language of the case (English).

If you would like to attend, please return the attached form by fax before Monday 17 June 2002, 12 midday, to the Press and Information Division of the Court of Justice - fax number: 00352-4303-2734

Additional information may be obtained by telephone from Isabelle Phalippou:
Tel. 00352-4303-3255


Please note the following;

* the use of mobile phones or other loud electronic devices is not permitted during the hearing;

* the public is requested to remain quiet and seated throughout the hearing or ceremony;

* photography and filming are authorised only at the very beginning of the hearing (seating of the President and parties only);

* the use of flash or supplementary lighting systems is not permitted;

* if numerous photographers and cameramen are interested, a .pool. may be arranged by the Press and Information Division;

* photographers and cameramen may not move around the hearing room in order to take photographs or to film;

* press are asked to use the Thomas More entrance, Boulevard Konrad Adenauer.




Accreditation to be sent by fax to: 00 352 4303 2734
Contact: Isabelle Phalippou
Tel: 00 352 4303 3255



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