However, the specificity of sport has been for a long time the cornerstone of the debate on European public authorities' role in the regulation of sport. It cannot be said either that sports governing bodies have produced thorough intellectual arguments about the specificity of sport (Weatherill, 2003; 2004), despite their repeated claims that EU institutions are failing to fully recognise the specific nature of sport.Specificity of sport was conceptualised when the UEFA's Executive Committee has approved a document in 2006 presented by the European team sport organisations to the French Presidency of the European Union. Here, the European Commission was asked to finally implement the most effectual means of recognising the specificity of sport within a clear lawful basis. It further states that it should be in accordance with the principles set out in the document, and in juxtaposition with team sport federations. During the meeting set in Vienna, the document was given a go signal by the committee. It holds that the European Council should confirm its steadfast obligation to implementing a concrete definition of the specificity of sport. The European Council, the Executive Committee agreed, declared its unanimous support for the principle of 'dual-career' training for young sportspersons and the concept of minimum numbers of home-grown (locally trained) players, or similar policies, in professional teams' squads (Arnaut, 2006).
Because of sport's specific nature, it should not be regarded less, thus, it should be set apart from the other fields of business activity. This is why the Nice Declaration was signed recognising the important role of sport in the social, educational and cultural functions. In the declaration, such features must be taken into account when European Community law is applied. Furthermore, it recognises that solidarity between amateur or professional levels is a fundamental aspect of sport.
With all of its significance, the independent nature of sports bodies should be supported and protected so that there would be autonomy to organise the sports for which they are responsible. The Declaration further confirms that it is the federation that should continue to be the key form of sporting organisation providing a guarantee of unity and participatory democracy. Self-regulation of the sports sector is an aspect of the principle of freedom of association, recognised and protected as a fundamental element of personal liberty in all EU member states' constitutions and in the European Convention on Human Rights (Miettinen, 2006).
The specificity of sport can be evaluated under three major headings. Firstly, sport has regularity and proper functioning of competitions. This would include: "rules of the game" or "field-of-play rules", structure of championships and calendars; rules concerning the composition of national teams; rules relating to the national organisation of sport in Europe; rules concerning organisation of sporting competition in the European sports pyramid structure; rules relating to transfer "deadlines"; rules concerning the transfer of players in general; rules to encourage the attendance of spectators at sporting events and the practice of amateur sport; rules concerning the release of players for national teams and rules concerning doping. Furthermore, this heading would include matters such as field-of-play rules and the structure of championships and sporting calendars. These are matters that should fall within the sole discretion of the governing body. Similarly, rules concerning the composition of national teams or relating to the national territorial organisation of sport should not be called into question by European Union law. As noted, the pyramid structure is an