18 February 2010
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has today rejected an appeal by Togo to have their ban from the next two African Nations Cup tournament lifted. Against a background of much derision, Togo were banned by the African federation, CAF, from the next two tournaments, after the Togo government pulled the team out of this year’s event Angola after a terrorist attack on the team bus left three people dead and others seriously wounded.
CAS’s decision did allow for a change of mind at a later date, however, when a ruling on the legality of CAF’s decision is made. For now, Togo will not be in the weekend draw for qualifying for the 2012 event, but that draw can be remade if Togo are subsequently allowed back into the event. Matches do not begin in qualifying until September.
CAS’s statement today said: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed today the urgent request for provisional measures filed by the Football Federation of Togo (FTF) in the arbitration procedure opposing this federation to the African Football Confederation (CAF).
“The FTF lodged an appeal at the CAS following the decision of the CAF to suspend the national team of Togo for the next two editions of the African Cup of Nations (CAN). In its appeal, the FTF requested provisional measures in order to be able to participate in the draw of the qualifying round for the next CAN which will take place on 20 February 2010.
“The CAS has rejected such request for provisional measures after having considered that the non-participation of Togo in the draw of 20 February 2010 would not call in question the participation of the team in the first qualifying matches for the CAN 2012 which will start in September 2010.
“The CAF has indeed admitted that there would be no material obstacle to the organisation of a new draw in the event that the appeal of the FTF is upheld. In view of such guarantee, the CAS has considered that, at this stage, there was no risk of irreparable harm for the FTF.
“The arbitration procedure continues in accordance with the regular CAS procedure. A panel of three arbitrators will be constituted within the next days and a hearing should take place in Spring 2010.”