By Paul Nicholson
July 17 – FIFA has written to Cameroon club Etoile Filante to emphasise that its Disciplinary Committee has not yet ruled on the complaint that a Court of Aribitration for Sport (CAS) decision that would immediately suspend Cameroon FA (Fecafoot) president Tombi A Roko Sidiki was not being followed.
The complaint to FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee against FIFA president Gianni Infantino and general secretary Fatma Samoura in May alleged that the CAS decision had deliberately not been implemented.
Etoile Filante president Abdouraman Hamadou Babba later followed up in response to FIFA disciplinary chief Jaime Cambrelang Contreras saying that FIFA is choosing to ignore its own statutes that stipulate FIFA has “the obligation to observe at all times the rules, directives and decisions of CAS.”
Cambrelang has swiftly replied to Babba saying that his letter of July 7 is currently being considered in-house and that “we also make it clear that our letter dated 26 June 2017 does not constitute a decision as such, within the meaning of Article 115 of the Disciplinary Code of FIFA.
“This correspondence is of a purely informative nature, without prejudice of any kind whatsoever and is based on the documentation at this moment at our disposal.”
In his ‘without prejudice’ communication sent June 26, Contreras argued: “FIFA is not a forum for the execution of decisions taken by the CAS in the course of an appeal procedure against a prima facie decision at national level, that is to say, without any organ of the FIFA is implied. Indeed, according to the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, is solely competent to hear cases of non-compliance with the decisions of a body, commission or body of FIFA, or by a subsequent decision of the CAS on appeal.”
The decision of FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee is important on a number of levels. If it rules that the CAS decision must be followed, it will mean the suspension of Fecafoot president Tombi. It could also have disciplinary consequences for Infantino and Samoura who the initial complaint was made against.
But there is also the wider question of the respect of sports law and whether CAS’s position as the ultimate legal authority is really just a proxy position or whether it has the full respect of the bodies it serves. Certainly many of those who have lost their cases at CAS to FIFA will be watching with more than a little interest.
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