Category Archives: Arbitration

COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (CAS) UPHOLDS THE APPEAL FILED BY PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the appeal arbitration procedure between the French football club Paris Saint-Germain Football SASP (Paris Saint-Germain) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

The appeal filed at the CAS on 3 October 2018 by Paris Saint-Germain against the decision issued on 19 September 2018 by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) (the Challenged
Decision) is upheld and the Challenged decision is set aside.

The decision issued on 13 June 2018 by the Investigatory Chamber of the UEFA CFCB in which the
investigation into Paris Saint-Germain’s compliance with the UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations
was closed is thus final and binding.

On 22 Junend 2018, the Chairman of the UEFA CFCB, on the basis of Article 16 (1) of the UEFA CFCB
Procedural Rules (the Applicable Rules), ordered that the Adjudicatory Chamber review the decision
taken by the Investigatory Chamber on 13 June 2018.

The Adjudicatory Chamber ruled on 19 September 2018 that the case should be referred back to the Investigatory Chamber for further investigation. On 3 October 2018, Paris Saint-Germain filed an appeal at the CAS seeking to have such decision annulled on the basis that Article 16 (1) provided for a 10-day review period during which any review should be instigated and completed and that the Challenged Decision was manifestly late.

The CAS Panel in charge of the matter issued its decision on the basis of the parties’ written submissions. The CAS Panel concurred that the 10-day time limit which starts to run from the date of communication of the decision of the Chief Investigator to the CFCB Chairman, as set out in Article 16 (1) of the Applicable Rules, did indeed mean that the review conducted by the Adjudicatory Chamber should have taken place within ten days and that since the Challenged Decision was issued beyond the 10-day time limit, the Challenged Decision was untimely and must be annulled.

IRFAN ANSARI BANNED FROM ALL CRICKET FOR 10 YEARS

Irfan Ansari has been banned from all cricket for 10 years after the ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal found him guilty of breaching three counts of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.

During the hearing, the Tribunal heard evidence that Mr Ansari approached Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed during the Pakistan series with Sri Lanka in the UAE in October 2017 with a view to engaging him in corrupt conduct by soliciting information from him. Mr Ahmed reported the approach immediately and an ICC ACU investigation ensued which resulted in these charges and decision.

Mr Ansari is bound by the code as a result of his affiliation to the Pakistan cricket team and also as a result of being a coach to two teams that participate in domestic matches in the UAE.

Irfan Ansari

He was found guilty of the following three offences under the Code:

Article 2.3.3 – directly soliciting, inducing, enticing or encouraging a participant to breach the Code Article 2.3.2 by disclosing inside information.

Article 2.4.6 – failure or refusal to cooperate with the ACU’s investigation by failing to provide accurately and completely the information and / or documentation requested by the ACU in October 2017. This included a request by the ICC ACU to take possession of and/or copy or download information from his mobile devices.

Article 2.4.6 – failure or refusal to cooperate with the ACU’s investigation by failing to provide accurately and completely the information and / or documentation requested by the ACU in February 2018. Again this included a request by the ICC ACU to take possession of and/or copy or download information from his mobile devices.

Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager – ACU said: “I’d like to place on record my thanks to Sarfaraz Ahmed who showed true leadership and professionalism from the moment he reported this approach. He recognised it for what it was, rejected it and reported it. He then supported our investigation and subsequent tribunal.

“This is the first time we have prosecuted for failure to cooperate with an investigation since the new rules enabling us to demand the participants hand over their phone for examination and the sanction reflects the seriousness of the offence. It is an important tool to aid our investigations and continue in our efforts to rid the sport of these corrupters.

CAS DISMISSES IBRAHIM APPEAL

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed Karim Ibrahim’s appeal against the IAAF decision last year to remove him from the IAAF Council.

In a decision last August, the IAAF Vetting Panel found Ibrahim was not eligible (within the meaning of the IAAF Constitution and IAAF Vetting Rules) to hold office as a Council Member.

In dismissing Ibrahim’s appeal, the CAS Sole Arbitrator Murray Rosen QC found that: “The Vetting Panel was fully entitled to find that Mr Ibrahim was not Eligible and there was nothing unfair about the process and result of its investigation to that effect.”

He further determined: “The Appellant failed to satisfy the Integrity Check and also failed to meet his disclosure obligations”.

The CAS ruled that Ibrahim should pay the costs of the appeal process and further ordered him to pay CHF 4000 (four thousand Swiss Francs) to the IAAF as a contribution toward its legal and other costs incurred in connection with the case. The full CAS decision can be found here.

Vetting Panel update
New Zealander Don Mackinnon was appointed as chairman of the Vetting Panel at the IAAF Council in December, after serving as acting chairman from November 2018.

Mackinnon is managing partner of a boutique law practice in New Zealand and has extensive experience working in the governance of different sports, including rugby union, rugby league, cricket and netball. He currently chairs a number of appointment panels in sport and was recently appointed Chair of the professional rugby union club, The Blues.

Namibia’s Esi Schimming-Chase has recently been appointed to the panel, joining original members Mackinnon and Professor Mark Pieth, founder and Chair of the Basel Institute on Governance.

Schimming-Chase is a Senior Counsel of the High Court of Namibia who specialises in constitutional litigation, arbitration and mediation. The first female Advocate in her country to be appointed as Acting Judge of the High Court, Schimming-Chase is the Chair of the Council of the Namibian University of Science and Technology and has been a Council Member of the Law Society of Namibia since 2005.

Founded in 2017, the Vetting Panel is an independent group of experts appointed to oversee and assess the eligibility of new and existing officials being put forward for IAAF roles.

The Vetting Panel’s next order of business will be the review of candidates nominated to serve on the Nominations Panel.

IAAF

SRI LANKA COACH CHARGED UNDER ICC ANTI-CORRUPTION CODE

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has charged Sri Lankan bowling coach Nuwan Zoysa with three counts of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code. Mr Zoysa has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect. The charges are as follows:

1. Article 2.1.1 – being party to an effort to fix or contrive or to otherwise influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or other aspect of an International match.

2. Article 2.1.4 – directly soliciting, inducing, enticing or encouraging a player to breach Code Article 2.1.1.

3. Article 2.4.4 – failing to disclose to the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit full details of any approaches or invitations he received to engage in corrupt conduct under the Code.

Mr Zoysa has 14 days from 1 November 2018 to respond to the charges. The ICC will not make any further comment in respect of these charges at this stage.

Lagos SWAN Suspends Three Members Indefinitely

The Executive Committee of the Lagos State Sports Writers Association (Lagos SWAN) has suspended three members for bringing the association’s name to disrepute.

The suspended members are; Mr Ayo Ojedokun, Mr. Ifeanyi Eduzor and Mr. Francis Ajumona.

The suspension is in line with the findings of the disciplinary committee report on Anti Association’ Activities leveled against the trio by the Congress of Lagos SWAN at its last meeting.

According to allegations against the trio who tagged themselves as “Concerned Members of Lagos SWAN”, they have continuously painted Lagos SWAN as a disunited body and brought the office of its Chairman to disrepute.

The committee headed by seasoned sports journalist, Mr. Femi Solaja was set up by Lagos SWAN Congress on Friday 31st August, 2018 to investigate the allegations and make recommendations.

After review of available evidence and cross examination of the accused persons, the trio were found guilty of Anti Association activities.

The committee recommended that they should tender a public apology to the office of the Chairman, Lagos SWAN for defamation of character.

They were also mandated to apologize to the Lagos SWAN Body (Congress) for dragging internal matters to the public domain without recourse to the elders of the Association especially former Chairmen of the chapters like Comrades Tony Ubani, Niyi Oyeleke and Fred Edoreh.

The committee said failure to comply with their recommendations will be taken as a direct assault on the Congress which is the highest law making body of the chapter.

In view of their failure to comply, the Lagos SWAN exco deemed it expedient to suspend them indefinitely to serve as a deterrent to others.

Here are the committee’s findings:

A) The trio, during interrogation expressed remorse for some of their actions towards the State Chapter despite the fact that all their actions painted Lagos SWAN as a disunited body with their ‘Concerned Members of Lagos SWAN’ tag.

B) It was also established that the trio’s petitions may have been the handy work of a ‘Third Party’ working against the Lagos Chapter as presently constituted. Although they denied this posture.

C) It was also established that their latest memo to the National body painted Comrade Osundun with uncomplimentary remarks as an unproductive leader.

VERDICT

I) The trio are to officially apologize to the Chairman Lagos SWAN for defamation of character as stated in the memos sent on digital media.

II) The trio are to apologize to the Lagos SWAN Body (Congress) for dragging internal matters to the public domain without bringing it first to the notice of the elders especially former Chairmen of the chapters like Comrades Tony Ubani, Niyi Oyeleke and Fred Edoreh.

NFF Ethics Committee bans, fines Salisu Yusuf

The NFF Committee on Ethics and Fair Play has placed a one –year ban from all football–related activities on Super Eagles’ Chief Coach, Mr. Salisu Yusuf, following its consideration of a complaint by the NFF as well as the Coach’s defence of a video documentary in which he was seen to accept the sum of $1,000 from an undercover reporter posing as a player’s agent. The coach must also pay a fine in the sum of $5,000 to the Federation within three months.

In its report submitted to the NFF Secretariat on Tuesday, days after inviting the coach to state his own side of matters, the Committee, chaired by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, said it:

1) Established from the admission of Coach Salisu Yusuf and also found as a fact from the documentary and video evidence before it, that he accepted the cash gift of $1,000 offered by Tigers Player’s Agency, an undercover reporter, purportedly interested in acting on behalf of Players Osas Okoro and Rabiu Ali, for their inclusion in the list of players for 2018 CHAN Competition in Morocco.

2) The Committee found as a fact that it was not an error of judgment on the part of Coach Salisu Yusuf but a conscious and deliberate decision to have accepted the cash gift of $1,000 from the decoy player agent/undercover reporter, purportedly interested in acting on behalf of Players Osas Okoro and Rabiu Ali, even though the evidence before the Committee did not establish that his conduct influenced the choice of the two players.

3) That the two Players could have made the team to 2018 CHAN Competition in Morocco on the basis of their talent and performance.

4) That Coach Salisu Yusuf did not accept the offer of 15% of the anticipated transfer fees of the said players, as there was no follow –up action on the promise.

5) That the act of the Coach, which was widely published on the British Broadcasting Corporation, has a damaging effect on the reputation and integrity of Nigerian Football, as he ought to have conducted himself more professionally in line with the Code of Conduct signed alongside his Contract with the Nigeria Football Federation, as his conduct in public and in secret should be exemplary, since coaches are role models.

6) That the FIFA Code of Ethics, NFF Code of Ethics and FIFA Disciplinary Code, did not contemplate negligence or error of judgment as a defence to violation of any of the provisions as contained therein, as punitive measures must be adopted to serve as deterrent to other intending offenders, even though, that he is a first time offender.

Committee’s decision: “In accordance with Art. 22, FIFA Disciplinary Code, he is hereby banned for the period of one year, from partaking or involvement or participation in any football related activity, effective from the date of this decision. He is also fined in the sum of $5,000 to be paid within three (3) months of the date of this decision…” The Committee also ruled that an appeal against the decision can be made to the NFF Appeals Committee.

With Alhaji Mainasara Illo (Member), Reverend Justin Chidi Okoroji (Member) and Barr. Joshua Onoja (Secretary) also present, the Committee said it passed its verdict of guilt on the defendant based on Art. 20, as well as Art. 21 (1) and 21 (3) of the NFF Code of Ethics. It also made reference to Art. 10 and 11 of the FIFA Code of Ethics.

Art. 20: “Persons bound by this Code may only offer or accept gifts or other benefits to and from persons within or outside NFF, or in conjunction with intermediaries or related parties as defined in this Code, which i) have symbolic or trivial value ii) exclude any influence for the execution or omission of an act that is related to their official activities or falls within their discretion iii) are not contrary to their duties iv) did not create any undue pecuniary or other advantage and v) did not create a conflict of interest.

Art 21 (1): “Persons bound by this Code must not offer, promise, give or accept any personal or undue pecuniary advantage or other advantage in order to obtain or retain business or any other improper advantage to or from anyone within or outside NFF. Such acts are prohibited; regardless of whether carried out directly or indirectly through, or in conjunction with, intermediaries or related parties as defined in this Code. In particular, persons bound by this Code must not offer, promise, give or accept any undue pecuniary or other advance for the execution or omission of an act that is related to their official activities and is contrary to their duties or falls within their discretion. Any such offer must be reported to the Ethics Committee and any failure to do so shall be sanctionable in accordance with this Code.”

Technical Adviser of the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL All-Stars
Salisu Yusuf
photo credit: LMC

Art. 21 (3): “Persons bound by this Code must refrain from any activity or behaviour that might give rise to the appearance or suspicion of improper conduct as described in the foregoing sections, or any attempt thereof.”

Before the Committee’s sitting, the NFF Integrity Unit headed by Dr. Christian Emeruwa, which commenced preliminary investigation when the documentary was first made public, had already submitted a report to the NFF General Secretary based on its work.

NEW MEMBERS APPOINTED INTO COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (CAS) GOVERNING BODY

The International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) acknowledges the appointment of
the first eleven council members for its next four-year term which will begin on 1 January 2019.
ICAS is the governing body of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and manages its administration and finances.

It is composed of twenty international judges or lawyers active in the judiciary, international arbitration and sports administration.

Four members are appointed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), four by the Association of National
Olympic Committee (ANOC), three by the Association of the Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and one by the Association of International Olympic Winter Federations (AIOWF). These 12 members will then appoint the remaining 8 ICAS members in November 2018. The elections for the positions of ICAS President, Vice-Presidents, and Division Presidents and their deputies will be held in May/June 2019.

The 11 ICAS members who have been now appointed or re-appointed for the 2019-2022 term are:

By the IOC (all chosen from outside the IOC membership):

Justice Yvonne Mokgoro (South Africa), former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa
Judge Patrick Robinson (Jamaica), new, judge at the International Court of Justice in The Hague
Dr Elisabeth Steiner (Austria), new, attorney at law, former judge at the European Court of Human Rights
Judge Hanqin Xue (China), judge at the International Court of Justice in The Hague

By ANOC:
Dr Abdullah Al Hayyan (Kuwait), professor of law (chosen from outside the ANOC membership)
Mr Scott Blackmun (USA), lawyer, former CEO United States Olympic Committee (chosen from outside the ANOC
membership)
Mr John Coates (Australia), lawyer, President Australian Olympic Committee (chosen from within the ANOC
membership)
Prof. Giulio Napolitano (Italy), new, attorney at law (chosen from outside the ANOC membership)

By ASOIF:

Mr Antonio Arimany (Spain), new, lawyer, Secretary General International Triathlon Union (chosen from within
the ASOIF membership)
Mr Mikael Rentsch (Switzerland/Sweden), new, legal director Fédération Equestre Internationale (chosen from
within the ASOIF membership)
A third member will be appointed in the next weeks.

By AIOWF:
Ms Corinne Schmidhauser (Switzerland), lawyer, former World Cup winner and Olympian in alpine skiing (chosen
from outside the AIOWF membership)

The CAS is an independent institution, based in Lausanne, involved in resolving legal disputes in the field of sport through arbitration and mediation. The CAS jurisdiction is recognized by all Olympic sports federations and many nonOlympic
federations. The CAS registers around 600 cases each year.