Romina Fernández Rodríguez


Membership profile

Position: In-house Football Federation Peru

Type of Occupation: Private Practice Lawyer, Sports Administrator

Area of expertise: Contractual / Commercial matters, Dispute Resolution, Governance / Regulatory work, Human Rights, Players’ Unions / Clubs’ Unions

Member of the month: July, 2022

Tell us about your role for the 2023 Santiago Pan Am Games

My role for the Pan Am Games is to provide expert advice to the Legal Department on strategic legal issues, as well as to bring my experience in the sports industry and in the organization of sporting events to the Pan Am Games. I believe it is a privilege to be part of the most important international event ever held in my country.

How did you get involved in sports law?

Sport has always been a part of my life as I have been playing basketball since I was very young. While at the Faculty of Law of the University of Chile I was part of its basketball team and I was able to appreciate the difficulties for athletes to reconcile studies and the demands of fulfilling their responsibilities as athletes. That was when, together with other athletes, we worked to achieve institutional changes that would make it compatible to be a student and an athlete, for which we strengthened the role of the Faculty’s Sports Centre. From there, I realised that I wanted to dedicate myself to this as until then I had been focusing on tax law. I sought an opportunity in the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security as an advisor on issues of violence in professional football events, but I also started an LLM in International Sports Law. My perseverance allowed me to advise clubs, federations and athletes, becoming General Manager of a football club in my country, Licensing Manager of professional football clubs in Peru and professor of this discipline at my university.

Any advice for someone trying to break into the sector?

It is very important to be perseverant and to try to identify what the needs of the industry are. I would also recommend to specialize through the different educational courses that exist for different professionals.

What has been your most memorable achievement in the industry?

I am very proud to have prepared the bid for the men’s U-17 World Cup, which was won by Peru. I also participated in the drafting of the legislative amendment to the regulation that introduces rights and duties for spectators at professional football events in my country, as well as having worked actively in the negotiations for female football players in Chile to gain access to medical insurance and improve the conditions in which they operate. I have had the opportunity to work in the development of women’s football in South America in different areas, the progress of which I find very gratifying.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

In some circumstances being a woman or a foreigner can become an obstacle, overcoming those prejudices, and dealing with situations where my work was not the focus of the discussion but my gender or nationality, has definitely been the most difficult.

What benefits / How has WISLaw helped you in your career?

I am very grateful to WISLaw because it has allowed me to meet excellent professionals around the world. This experience allows us to realise that we are many professionals united by the same purpose, and that we share many of the issues we face on a daily basis. In that sense, I have definitely broadened my perspectives, but without a doubt the most valuable thing has been the great friends I have found in the association.

What do you do in your spare time?

I like to play basketball, football, cycling, skating and hiking. But I also love dancing and spending time with my loved ones. I also enjoy reading books, going to the theatre and of course watching my football club or my national team at the stadium.

If you weren’t a sports lawyer, what do you think you would be and why? 

Somehow sport would be part of my life in any scenario, so if I were a lawyer specializing in another area, I think I would still be connected to sport in some way. I strongly believe that one should pursue experiences that are sources of personal inspiration, and for me sport has been a source of inspiration throughout my life.