LAUSANNE: Musa Bility, head of the Liberia football federation, has failed with 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.”

Bility appealed to CAS and a hearing was held shortly before Christmas – but without the outcome of a happy new FIFA year for Bility.

A statement from CAS announcing the rejection of the appeal gave no reason, saying only that the reasoning would be issued “in early 2016.”

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).

CAS statement:

LAUSANNE: The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the appeal filed by Musa Hassan Bility against the FIFA Ad hoc Electoral Committee’s decision of 12 November 2015 (the FIFA AEC Decision) in which his candidacy for the upcoming FIFA presidential election was refused.

The CAS has dismissed the appeal and upheld the FIFA AEC Decision.

The FIFA Ad hoc Electoral Committee noted that Mr Bility had failed to pass the integrity checks carried out by the Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee, and for this reason, could not be admitted as a candidate for the election for the office of FIFA President to be held on 26 February 2016.

In appealing to the CAS, Mr Bility sought to overturn the FIFA AEC decision in order to be able to run for the FIFA presidential election in February. At the request of Mr Bility, and with the agreement of FIFA, an expedited procedure was put in place to enable a final decision on the merits to be issued before the end of 2015.

The Panel of CAS arbitrators in charge of the procedure, Mr Hendrik Willem Kesler (Netherlands), Mr Muchadeyi Ashton Masunda (Zimbabwe) and Mr Bernhard Heusler (Switzerland) held a hearing with the parties on 23 December 2015 and has today issued his decision in which the appeal of Mr Bility is dismissed.

The full award, with the grounds for the decision, will be issued in early 2016.

# # # #