LAUSANNE: Musa Bility, head of the Liberia football federation, has submitted an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against FIFA’s decision to bar him from running for president writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The 48-year-old was a surprise contender in the first place but pressed on despite being snubbed by the executive committee of the African confederation when he sought its support.

However, the FIFA ethics and electoral committees decided Bility had ‘baggage’ after a long-running tax evasion case as well as a suspension by CAF for six months in 2013 for what was described as “improper handling of confidential documents.”

A statement from CAS said: “In appealing to the CAS, Mr Bility seeks a final decision declaring that his integrity is not challenged and that he can run for the FIFA presidential election in February.

“He also filed a request to suspend the execution of the challenged decision to allow him to continue with his election campaign pending a final decision on the merits of the case.

“Finally, Mr Bility has requested that an expedited procedure be put in place to enable the final decision on the merits to be issued before the end of the year.”

The election for a new FIFA president to succeed Sepp Blatter is scheduled for Zurich on February 26. Confirmed candidates are Prince Ali Al Hussein (Jordan), Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa (Bahrain), Jerome Champagne (France), Gianni Infantino (Switzerland) and Tokyo Sexwale (South Africa).