International Centre for
Sports Studies

Avenue DuPeyrou 1
2000 Neuchâtel
Tel +41 32 718 39 00

Research areas


  • Technical analysis of player performance in football (Roger Besson, Raffaele Poli, Loïc Ravenel)
  • Probabilities et transfer values in football (Roger Besson, Raffaele Poli, Loïc Ravenel)
  • Demographic analysis of labor market in football and basketball (Roger Besson, Raffaele Poli, Loïc Ravenel)



  • Sport association and the law (Oswald, Hafner)
  • Doping and the law (Oswald)
  • Supporters' violence - Juridical aspects (Busset, Dubey, Jaccoud, Malatesta, Poli)
  • Supporters' violence, extremism, and regulation policies - Sociological aspects (Busset, Dubey, Jaccoud, Malatesta, Poli)
  • Social inclusion via football (Besson, Busset, Poli)
  • Self-organised sport, city and public policy (Jaccoud, Malatesta)
  • Girls in sport (Jaccoud, Malatesta)

Sport association and the law

Sports has become one of the most important phenomena of our time. Increasingly large numbers of the population have developed an interest in sport in its different forms, both as spectators and as participants. Most practice sport as a member of a club organised as an "association". However, even the largest sport entities, such as the IOC and FIFA, are associations. In addition to this, the association is also the form of organisation most widely used in other areas, for example, in the fields of leisure, culture, science and politics.

Selected publications :

Oswald, Denis, in collaboration with Alexandra Veuthey and Yann Hafner. Associations, fondations, et autres formes de personnes morales au service du sport. Bern : Peter Lang, 2010. 371 p.

Oswald, Denis. Temps et droit du sport : la relativité du temps en relation avec l'art. 75 CC : leçon inaugurale, in Chroniques universitaires, Université de Neuchâtel, 2006-2007, p. 207-214 et Temps et in Zen-Ruffinen, Piermarco (Ed.), Le temps et le droit : recueil de travaux offerts à la Journée de la Société suisse des juristes, 2008, Bâle, Helbing Lichtenhahn, 2008, p. 239-253

Doping and the law

Doping and illegal gambling constitute one of the greatest threats to modern sport. For several years, CIES has made this phenomenon one of its main areas of research and study, both from a legal, sociological and economical perspective

Selected publications :

To be published at the end of 2012 by  the journal "Science et Motricité" : Veuthey, Alexandra, Jaccoud, Christophe, Malatesta, Dominique, Hafner, Yann. Lutter contre le dopage par une dépénalisation reconstructive du sportif coupable : les enjeux juridiques et les ambiguïtés sociales du projet Windop (sociological version)

Rigozzi, Antonio. Révision du Code mondial antidopage : la couleur est annoncée, Weblaw Jusletter [périodique électronique], 28. August 2006

Supporters' violence (Juridical aspects)

Switzerland, as with other countries, is touched by hooliganism. Violent behavior has multiplied in football and ice hockey matches in the last 20 years. The organizers in Switzerland of the Eurofoot 2008 competition and the ice hockey World Championship in 2009 both predicted the attendance of potential violent supporters and, as a consequence, an increased risk of confrontation. 

As a result, The Federal Counsel decided to create legislation accordingly. After proposing several solutions, it decided to introduce direct measures for the problem - “Loi fédérale du 21 mars 1997 instituant des mesures visant au maintien de la sûreté intérieure” (LMSI), ainsi que l’ « Ordonnance du 27 juin 2001 sur les mesures visant au maintien de la sûreté intérieure » (OMSI). 

These measures, applied on 1st January 2007, were specifically designed to improve the fight against violence, particularly during sporting events. 

Since 2010, many of these special measures, which were intended to be applied over a limited period of time, went as far as an inter-cantonal legal settlement, entitled “Concordat instituant des mesures contre la violence lors des manifestations sportives” (CVMS), as well as in the “Ordonnance sur les mesures de police administrative et les systems d’information de l’office federal de la police”. 

For the moment, we believe that the above measures have not helped to slow down the growing cases of violence, and the fight against hooliganism in Switzerland must continue, but with more efficiency.

This will continue to be a topical issue. 

Selected publications :

OSWALD, Denis. Les mesures juridiques de lutte contre le hooliganisme en Suisse : [LMSI et CVMS]. .  . in : L’activité et l’espace : droit du sport et aménagement du territoire / éd. P. Mahon et M. S. Nguyen. - Bâle : Helbing Lichtenhahn, 2011. - p. 85 - 10

Raging supporterism, extremism, and regulation policies (Sociological aspects)

In many countries, a realisation has occurred that football arouses overflows in the expression of ideologies that threaten democracy. These phenomena generate a return of law, state and sports institutions. The reconfiguration of protections in sports show at least two results which draw specific sociological questions: a requalification of tortious behaviour long considered outside of a public issue, the commitment to legal measures focused mainly on violence against property and ambiguous as to the penalty attitudes and behaviours associated with right-wing extremism.

Selected publications :

C. Jaccoud, D. Malatesta, « La régulation de la violence des supporters en Suisse. Sens et limites d’une action publique sociologisée », in Bachir Zoudji (éd.), Science et football. Recherches et connaissances actuelles, Valenciennes, Presses Universitaires de Valenciennes, 2009, pp. 45-59.

D. Malatesta, C. Jaccoud, J.-Ph. Dubey, « Violent Football Fans and Right-Wing Extremism : An Analysis of The Socio-Juridical Aspects », Marcel Alexander Niggli (ed.), Right-Wing Extremism in Switzerland, Baden-Baden, Nomos, 2009, pp. 222-229.

Social inclusion via football

A first empirical project has been carried out by Raffaele Poli and Roger Besson. Two surveys have allowed for measuring the presence of people with migratory backgrounds among the fans of the Swiss top division club of Neuchâtel Xamax. The main results have been published in the book “Le virage des tribunes”. This project is currently pursued by Roger Besson within the framework of his PhD thesis in human geography.

A second project, has been carried out by Raffaele Poli and Thomas Busset, in collaboration with Jérôme Berthoud and Bülent Kaya. Via a qualitative approach consisting in semi-structured interviews and fieldwork observations, we have analysed the contribution of amateur football clubs created by migrants from Portugal and Kosovo to link people from different origins both in the German and French-speaking part of Switzerland. A book will be published by the end of 2011.

For more information, contact Raffaele Poli , Roger Besson , Thomas Busset

Sports auto-organisation, town and public action

Sociology has shown the increasing mobilisations through which urban youth living in precarious socio-economic situation, intend to use sport by involving personal projects and collective commitments. These projects are characterised by the fact that they often not institutionalised sports (skateboarding, inline skating, snowboarding ...). These projects are usually a challenge for local authorities who must implement methods of public policy capable of integrating such phenomena of emancipation, the fragmentation of identities and the sociological thrust of multiculturalism.

Selected publications :

C. Jaccoud, D. Malatesta, "Petite production sportive et gestion des identités multiculturelles", in Société de sociologie du sport de langue française (éd.), Dispositions et pratiques sportives, Paris, L'Harmattan 2004, pp. 259-275.

C. Jaccoud, D. Malatesta, « Politiques d’intégration et diversité sportive en Suisse », in Gilles Ferréol et Gilles Vieille Marchiset (dir.), Loisirs, sports et sociétés, Besançon, Presses Universitaires de Franche-Comté, 2008, pp. 121-135.

Girls sport

Many studies have documented inequalities between boys and girls in physical activities and sports. In detail, the gap between girls and boys is particularly important when the sex variable is crossed with the variables of social class and cultural background. These observations raise questions about the causes of these inequalities, the role and function of sport and physical activity in life and the socialisation of girls, but also on factors able to direct girls and especially popular girls, to a sustainable investment in the sport.

Selected publications :

D. Golay, D. Malatesta, C. Perrin, C. Jaccoud, « Faire du sport pour acquérir une image positive de soi ? L’analyse de l’engagement des filles dans le twirling bâton suivant la théorie de l’objectification », in M. Aceti, C. Jaccoud (éd.), Permanences et variations des constructions genrées dans les engagements corporels et sportifs, Bern, Peter Lang, 2012, pp. 53-69

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