Margarita Echeverria

Costa Rica

Membership profile

Position: Attorney-at-law

Type of Occupation: CAS Arbitrator

Area of expertise: Football

Member of the month: January, 2022

We are delighted to announce our Member of the Month, Margarita Echeverría.

Margarita is a Costa Rican lawyer and local coordinator of the FIFA-CIES-UCR program in sports management in Costa Rica. Margarita is also a CAS Arbitrator.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Do you have any favourite sports?

I played football when I was very young, not anymore. But I like to watch football. As a discipline I walk every day at least one hour and I love my zumba and aerobics classes!

How did you get involved in sports law?

I started in 1992 in the Federacion Costarricense de Fútbol as coordinator of the Disciplinary Committee. By that time Sport Law was totally unknown, so I did my best to the best of my knowledge! I did not have as much information from FIFA or even Concacaf regarding legal issues. After the Bosman case, FIFA started to organize more and more workshops and seminars about different legal matters and I participated in as many as I could. At the same time, I started my networking with FIFA legal staff and got contacts that help me to better understand rules, statutes and all kind of legal affairs. After some years I became Director of legal matters in the federation, then Secretary General and Director of National Teams as well. All those positions, improve my knowledge and allowed me to do better management, governance and rules for the Federation and its affiliated leagues.

What was your most memorable achievement in the sector?

I have two important moments I would like to point out: the first one when I was appointed as Secretary General in the Costa Rica Federation. It was the first time that a woman had that position. An important appointment in a man’s world. The second one was when I was appointed as CAS Arbitrator, if I am not mistaken, I think I was the first woman appointed in the football list.

Any advice for someone trying to break in to the sector?

Nowadays there is the opportunity to study Sports Law, so do it!! I had to do it from my day-to-day experience, “haciendo camino al andar” (making way while walking). Be discipline, organize and always remember: “who has the knowledge has the power”.

Greatest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

To convince more women to be part of this incredible Sport Law world. At the same time, convince men to allow women to work shoulder to shoulder with them to create a better environment for Sport Law. Women have important ideas to share, let them talk. On the other side try to achieve more leadership positions for women in the different boards and committees of sports organizations. In this line have the right to vote and thus decide on crucial issues, would be an important advance for the participation of women in Sport Law.

How has WISLaw helped you in your career?

When I first started, WISLAW did not exist, I felt somehow alone, but with the creation of WISLAW I am surrounded by amazing women. It is an important forum for women who work in sport law and even for those who are not already immersed in the industry. WISLAW is the proof that women can achieve what they propose. It was a visionary idea to create WISLAW, THANK YOU!

Why did you decide to focus on your particular area of sports law?

You need to consider that I had to face with a complete different legal world than the current one. I did not know or even imagen that it existed; it was very attractive. I decided to focus on football law to challenge the space that was exclusive for men, it was a boost to continue improving and learning because you never stop learning.