FIFA set to join CAF to defend Bility complaint at CAS

FIFA-headquarters

By Osasu Obayiuwana

August 15 – FIFA, world football’s governing body, has applied to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) to become a co-defendant with the Confederation of African Football (CAF), which is being sued by Liberia’s Musa Hassan Bility, who was recently banned for 10 years by FIFA’s Ethics Committee. 

Bility filed a case against CAF at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on July 23, to challenge the legality – and the decisions – of the CAF General Assembly that took place on July 18th, a day before the Africa Cup of Nations final between Algeria and Senegal was played.

A former Liberia FA President and CAF executive committee member, Bility was banned by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics committee 24 hours after he had filed a case at CAS, against CAF.

“FIFA applied to the Court of Arbitration of Sport, to become a party to the case that I have with CAF, concerning their violations of CAF statutes. I am happy that they join the case, as they are involved. I really welcome it,” Bility told Insideworldfootball.

It is expected that CAS will accept FIFA’s request to join this case in the coming days, as it is not predicted that there will be opposition from Bility to this application.

Bility is challenging the legality of all the decisions that took place on July 18, including the CAF executive committee elections that took place, because the statutory 120-day notice, for calling the CAF congress, was not followed.

FIFA declined to confirm their application to CAS when Insideworldfootball approached them for confirmation.

“Any query regarding ongoing arbitral procedures shall be addressed to CAS. Until a final decision is rendered by CAS, FIFA will not make any official comment about this matter,” said a spokesman to Insideworldfootball on Wednesday.

CAF adopted the same attitude when Insideworldfootball approached Achta Mohamed Saleh, the organisation’s legal counsel, for information on who would be representing CAF during the arbitral proceedings in Lausanne.

“I am sure you can understand that I am not allowed to discuss these matters with you… Kindly be informed that matters in front of CAS are confidential,” she said.

Meanwhile, Bility has told Insideworldfootball that he has received financial support from some FA presidents in Africa to prosecute his CAS case.

“I have received financial support from several FA presidents in Africa, to the tune of $25,000, to meet my CAS expenses.

“I will keep their names quiet, because I don’t want them to be victimised. Many believe in the cause I am fighting, for the dignity of African football,” he said.

Contact the writer of this story, Osasu Obayiuwana, at moc.l1580310815labto1580310815ofdlr1580310815owedi1580310815sni@o1580310815fni1580310815