1 December 2012

Liberia: Appeal of the Liberia Football Federation Against CAF Rejected By Cas

The Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) received on November 27th a letter addressed by the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) advising about an appeal lodged and registered by CAS, initiated by the Liberia Football Federation against CAF, requesting the cancellation of a resolution following the decision of the Extraordinary General Assembly of CAF held on September 03rd in Seychelles (statutes amendment proposed by the Algerian Football Federation regarding the CAF Presidency), but also relative to the approval of this amendment to the proposed statutes by the CAF Executive Committee, and finally to the cancellation of a particular procedure in CAF circular dated November 08th regarding the validation of candidates by the Executive Committee for available seats at an election.

CAS requested CAF to reply by November 29th to provide an urgent decision by November 30th. CAF has been surprised by the extreme rapidity for which this procedure has been engaged, not allowing CAF to dispose of a reasonable delay, damaging the chances of a fair trial.

Moreover, CAF estimated that the Federation of Liberia, which voted against this amendment, wished to challenge the legitimacy of the Extraordinary General Assembly of CAF which validated the amendment by a strong majority (44 votes for, 6 against, one abstention), which is contrary to the democratic and sovereign principle of the General Assembly of CAF.

However, CAF communicated to CAS within the prescribed delay, informing them that CAS is not competent to deal with such a matter, being an appeal against the validity of a resolution made by the deliberation of an Extraordinary General Assembly of CAF and of a circular, relevant to the internal functioning of a Confederation, the circular carrying only an information about an applicable procedure for validation of candidates to an election.

Moreover, the appellant himself recognized that the contested deliberation of September 03rd 2012 was not produced. It appeared hence impossible for CAS to take a decision on the appeal of an act that did not exist, in a regular form, at the moment where CAS took the decision.

On the other hand, the Liberia Federation did not use all options for internal appeal, in conformity with the terms of articles R 37 of CAS Statutes. CAF remarked that its statutes provide a possibility to contest a decision taken by a General Assembly as highlighted in article 20 of current CAF Statutes.

Consequently, CAS, in its decision rendered on November 30th, admitted that it was incompetent to treat this case, and that the appeal of the Liberia Football Federation is rejected.

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