Spanish court forces RFEF to halt rigged VAR tender process

April 25 – A commercial court in Madrid has provisionally suspended the VAR tender for LaLiga that was being run by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

The decision was taken after Mediapro made a complaint that the RFEF had issued an anti-competitive tender that favoured one bidder, making it impossible for competitors to compete in an open environment and on a level playing field.

In a damning statement of the RFEF’s tender process, the judge ruled: “The RFEF has implemented anti-competitive bidding legal grounds to benefit one competitor and to prejudice MEDIAPRO, conditioning, in a narrow market with few agents, the awarding of certain services (VAR) to the possibility of providing other accessory services (SAOT), with the same purpose of predetermine the result of the tender.”

This is the fourth time Mediapro has taken the RFEF to court over abuse of dominant position and anti-competitive action. Mediapro has won each of the cases.

Mediapro said that “after the court order suspending the award, the Federation must issue another tender to include award criteria that would allow all suppliers to compete on equal terms and without targeting GRUP MEDIAPRO for exclusion”.

Mediapro is one of the world’s largest VAR service providers, approved by IFAB, and providing services to 13 leagues in Europe, America and Africa, as well as in international competitions for FIFA, and the five main confederations.

Mediapro sais that since 2022, “the conduct of the RFEF and its President aimed at harming GRUP MEDIAPRO has resulted in the RFEF being sentenced on four separate occasions. In the Federation’s 2021 financial statements, the organization had already provisioned €6.6 million for the payment of compensation for these future sentences.”

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