CAS dismiss Gambia’s appeal

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) against the Confederation of African Football (CAF) over the eligibility of Togo international James Adewale Olufade.

The Appeal Board of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in February, upheld the CAF Disciplinary Board’s decision to dismiss the GFF’s appeal who claim Olufade was ineligible to play for the Sparrowhawks when the two sides met in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in October.

The GFF, unhappy with the Appeals Board’s decision, decided to take up its only option of taking the issue to CAS, an international quasi-judicial body established to settle disputes related to sport through arbitration.

CAS sat over the matter last Friday and have today released a decision on the issue saying it’s dismissing the it’s appeal.

A CAS statement read: “The GFF’s protest was first dismissed by the CAF Disciplinary Board in January 2019. The CAF Appeal Board confirmed such decision in February 2019. The GFF then filed an appeal at CAS against the CAF Appeal Board’s decision seeking to have the two previous decisions overturned.”

“The CAS initiated an arbitration procedure and held a hearing from the CAS headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland on 14 June 2019 with participants either physically present or participating by videoconference. At this time, only the decision has been issued. The full award, with the grounds for the Sole Arbitrator’s decision, will be issued at a later date.”

The GFF reacted to the decision, saying it was unhappy with the decision from Lausanne and were positive of a favourable ruling but will now have to accept the court’s decision.

“We had high hopes that justice would finally prevail after presenting all the necessary documentation to prove our case beyond reasonable doubt but the sole judge who sat over the issue has decided otherwise.”

“Thus, while we affirm our commitment to defending the interest of Gambian football, we wish to further state that since this is the last legal remedy in sports available at our disposal, we are left with no choice but to accept the decision.”