Liberia FA's appeal over Caf vote rules premature - Cas

Issa Hayatou

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has ruled that the Liberia Football Association's appeal against the Confederation of African Football's presidential election rule changes is not currently in their jurisdiction.

Cas was looking into appeals from the Liberia FA against changes to the Caf statutes, which take effect on Monday 3 December.

Liberian officials had asked for interim verdicts to block the amendments until a full hearing is held.

But Cas said in a statement on Friday that it was unable to be involved at present because it recognised Caf's assertions that the body has its own internal appeals procedure, which must be followed first, and also that the amendments had not yet come into effect.

In September, Caf adopted controversial new rules that bar anyone outside the executive committee from contesting the organisation's presidency.

The amendments state that anyone seeking the presidency must be a voting member of the executive committee.

It means the likes of Jacques Anouma, one of Africa's representatives on the executive committee of world governing body Fifa, and South Africa's 2010 World Cup chief Danny Jordaan are ineligible to run for the continent's top football job.

Current incumbent Issa Hayatou, who has been in the role since 1987, is the sole candidate so far ahead of the elections, which will take place in March in Morocco.

An appeal document to Cas, the Liberia FA raised a number of technical violations that it believes make Caf's new rules invalid. These include:

  • A failure to provide the minimum 90 days notice that an amendment proposal of Caf statutes would be included as an item at the 3 September meeting of the extraordinary general assembly
  • The Liberian FA having no awareness of the rules being ratified by Fifa, as is required by the world governing body

The Liberia FA wanted the amendment suspended "in order to avoid any legal risk on the validity of the election" and also wants a return to the Caf statutes as they were before the amendment.

Liberia FA president Hassan Musa Bility told BBC Sport: "We have put in two petitions to Cas to immediately halt the registration process of the Caf elections and also to annul the new rules passed at the extraordinary general assembly. "

Although 44 of 51 nations voted for the amendment to the rules, which was proposed by Algeria, Bitily believes the result was driven by fear.

"Because of the way African football is run it is is very difficult for African football association presidents to openly disagree with the system," he said. "But we believe that they understand that this decision is not good for progress

"We cannot be living in the 21st century and trying to administrate football as though we were in the 18th century.

"We believe we have strong support but the organisation is run on fear tactics. It is brave for anyone to stand up and question the way African football is being run.

"What we are saying is: 'If you want to be the leader of the people than you must get their approval through an open and transparent system'.

"I believe I have the full support of the entire continent."

Top Stories