Victory Off-Field for Jordanian Football Club

The 2017 Arab Club Championship was held in Alexandria, Egypt in August of this year. With the final match between Esperance de Tunis, a Tunisian club, and Al-Faisaly Football Club from Jordan running into overtime, the excitement and suspense escalated quickly until a controversial call from one of the referees during overtime allowed Tunisia to take gold, leaving Jordan with silver.

The ensuing confrontation between several Al-Faisaly players and the referee who made the call resulted in the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) issuing disciplinary sanctions of one-year suspensions against five Al-Faisaly players and one club official, as well as financial penalties against both the sanctioned players and the Club itself. Given that the players who were sanctioned are key members of the team – four also play on the Jordanian National Team – the suspensions were likely to have a massive impact on both Al-Faisaly and the Jordanian National Team.

Later that month, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) was requested to extend the UAFA sanctions on an Asian-wide level, and AFC’s Disciplinary and Ethics Committee agreed. Working in tandem with the Jordan Football Association (JFA) and Al-Faisaly, and with the unwavering support of the His Royal Highness Prince Ali bin Hussein, Chairman of JFA, Khalifeh & Partners submitted 16 appeals to AFC’s Appeals Committee in an effort to dismiss the sanctions.

AFC’s Appeals Committee convened on November 13th, and the decision was made to uphold the appeals that were submitted by K&P and to set aside the motion of the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Committee to extend the sanctions. “This is a great achievement; the result has been awaited by practically everyone in Jordan”, says Managing Partner Ala’ Khalifeh, who led the K&P team that filed the appeals.

Khalifeh & Partners is quickly becoming a leader in the areas of sports and entertainment law, having worked with both the Jordan Olympic Committee and JFA, as well as numerous Jordanian athletes. Still, the odds were against Al-Faisaly – more often than not, AFC dismisses appeals and chooses instead to uphold disciplinary measures. Ala’ emphasized the efforts of his colleagues, saying, “I’m very proud of our team. The fact that our appeal was upheld speaks to the standard of work that our lawyers adhere to and produce.”

The success of the appeal also has positive implications for the future of Jordanian athletics. Jordan’s sports industry is continuing to develop and has recently garnered more visibility on a global scale, as evidenced by the ambitious plans of the Jordan Olympic Committee and Ahmad Abu Ghaush’s gold-medal taekwondo performance at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. But increased prominence and activity also increases the likelihood of encountering sanctions, suspensions, and other legal issues in the future, which requires niche legal knowledge of sports laws and regulations. The success of this endeavor indicates that Jordan is well-prepared to continue its progress and development in athletics both on and off the field.

 

Khalifeh & Partners is a full-service law firm that offers comprehensive expertise to our clients. Khalifeh & Partners would like to thank HRH Prince Ali bin Hussein, the Jordan Football Association, and Al-Faisaly Football Club for their confidence in Khalifeh & Partners and for their encouragement and support during the appeal process.

The Birth of Ritz-Carlton in Amman

On April 25th 2017, Al Eqbal Real Estate Development and Marriott International announced the expansion of the Ritz-Carlton brand to Amman with the signing of an agreement to establish the Ritz-Carlton hotel and residences at Fifth Circle in Amman.

Luxury development

Expected to be completed in 2020, the Ritz-Carlton Amman will bring new options to guests and residents in the form of luxury suites, restaurants, branded apartments, and a grand ballroom.

The groundbreaking ceremony took place on Thursday, May 18; Prime Minister Hani Mulki laid the foundation stone inaugurating the project.

The project represents a major element of Marriott International’s plans for expansion in the Middle East market. The company currently represents the broadest portfolio of brands in the Middle East and North Africa, and holds a lucrative position in the eyes of consumers in this region. In Jordan alone, Marriott already operates five hotels, and Marriott’s President and Managing Director for Middle East and North Africa, Alex Kyriakidis, estimates that the company is on track to double its portfolio in the region in the next four years. Already in the works are plans to open properties in Tunis, Tunisia; Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates; Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; and in the Moroccan cities of Tamuda Bay, Marrakech and Rabat.

Potential for continued economic growth

The Ritz Carlton Amman is anticipated to have a positive impact on the Jordanian economy. Notably, the project is an entirely Jordanian investment. Experts estimate that nearly 2,000 jobs will be created in the course of construction and operations, many of which will go to Jordanian youth.

Emad Al Kilani, CEO of Al Eqbal Real Estate Development, noted that the hotel and residences plan to work with both international and Jordanian architects to capture the “authenticity of Jordanian culture with a modern twist.”

K&P corporate partner Khaldoun Nazer led the team advising Al Eqbal Real Estate Development on all hotel management and residential agreements. He commends both parties for their tireless dedication to bringing the project to life saying, “The fact that Jordan is considered to be an integral part of the growth of the Ritz-Carlton brand in the Middle East, and that they established a close partnership with a prominent Jordanian firm, has exciting implications for future development and growth within the country.”

Khalifeh & Partners has an established track record for its lawyers’ work on large-scale real estate deals and other construction projects.