Last updated 25 October 2021

Sportspeople at all levels of sport, like every individual, have a right to privacy in certain areas of life (e.g. personal medical information). Unless the player gives authorisation to publish details of injuries, treatments and recovery, such publication could be unlawful.

However, it will not prevent clubs, via their doctors or spokespersons, to detail the availability of any player, much the same way as a medical certificate does not fully disclose an illness to an employer, but details how long an employee might be away from work.

Another issue for player privacy is unauthorised photography or broadcasting. Provided a photographer is not breaking any other law (e.g. trespass), the law cannot prevent a person from taking another person’s photograph. Once that photograph is taken, copyright in the image belongs to the photographer or their employer. However, if photographs of sportspeople are taken, and those photographs incorrectly imply a certain behaviour, attitude, morality or social standing of the player that is defamatory, the player can sue (see the Defamation chapter).