LAUSANNE: Issa Hayatou’s defence of African football administrative competence suffered a setback in Lausanne when the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled against both CAF and the Algerian federation.
Back in August 2014 JS Kabyle were banned from the African Champions League by the African confederation because of a crowd incident which led to the death of JSK’s Albert Ebosse.
CAF banished Kabyle from the competition but the Algeria club appealed to CAS because they had not been informed of the disciplinary hearing and were not represented. CAS duly upheld Kabyle’s appeal.
Last weekend Hayatou complained that the western media in particular misrepresented African football for the sake of maintaining ‘colonialist’ attitudes.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rendered its final decision in the arbitration between the football club Jeunesse Sportive de Kabylie (JSK / Algeria) and the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The Algerian club, sanctioned by its own federation following incidents at the match between JSK and USM Alger on 23 August 2014 (after which the player JSK Ebossé Albert died), was banned from participating in CAF club competitions during the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
This decision was taken by the Executive Committee of CAF on 9 October 2014 and was immediately appealed by JSK to the CAS.
The CAS found that the disciplinary proceedings conducted by the CAF authorities did not comply with the rules of the CAF; the challenged decision was taken without the representatives of the club JSK having been heard or even informed of the procedure in progress. The appeal of JSK is therefore upheld and the decision of the Executive Committee of CAF is annulled with immediate effect.
Since JSK did not specifically request to be reinstated in the CAF Champions League, the CAS has not been able to make a decision on this point, a decision that would also be likely to affect other clubs. The CAS award covers only formal questions and does not prejudge in any way the merits of the case.
This award does not prevent the competent authorities of the CAF from opening new disciplinary proceedings against JSK, respecting the fundamental principles of procedure, including, notably, the right to be heard.
The final award with reasons will be communicated to the parties and published on the CAS website in a few weeks.