FAM says it is considering joining Comoros FA’s appeal to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to prevent Cameroon from taking part in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) having been stripped of the tournament’s hosting rights by CAF due to ill-preparedness.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu yesterday said they are engaging their lawyers on the issue.
Nyamilandu said they have interests in the case because should Cameroon be disqualified, the Flames can sneak in having finished third in Group B.
“We are weighing the cost of joining the case because the fees are in the excess of $40 000 [about K29.6 million] ,” he said.
Comoros are seeking the Indomitable Lions’ expulsion from the Afcon tournament citing Article 92 of CAF regulations.
The article reads: “If a country having been entrusted with the organisation of the final tournament of the Africa Cup of Nations is desisting or the tournament is being withdrawn from it, it shall be subject, in addition to further disciplinary sanctions, to a fine fixed according to the following scale:
“92.3. Withdrawal notified within one year before the date of the final tournament: a fine of five hundred thousand [$500 000] and a suspension of the next edition of Afcon of it’s national team, without considering the concerned edition.”
Nyamilandu, who is also a Fifa Council and CAF executive committee member, said: “We are following the developments very closely because Malawi stands a chance of going to Afcon by virtue of being number three in the group.”
He cited the 2015 case in which CAF withdrew the rights from Morocco and awarded to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in which Morocco was subsequently not allowed to participate in the 2015 Afcon.
However, CAF president Ahmad Ahmad says the case filed by Comoros has no merit.
“They [Comoros] are fourth in their group. Even if they believe that Cameroon does not deserve to be at the Afcon, Cameroon has just shown on the pitch that they deserve qualification. Everything must first be played on the pitch,” he was quoted as saying by Radio France International.
“As for the victory on paper, it really takes some irregularities for this to be taken into account. Our rules are clear. Clause 92 talks about is not the case. So section 92 does not apply. It was CAF who decided to postpone the Afcon of Cameroon, and make this shift [now in 2021, edition,” he was quoted as having said.withdrawal. And legally this
But Nyamilandu countered his boss, saying:: “There is ambiguity on the last section of article 92. There are different interpretations. In my view, a country cannot be disqualified on the concerned edition. The framers of the statutes assumed that it was automatic.
“Nevertheless, in 2015 CAF set a precedent when it withdrew the rights from Morocco and awarded the same to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea for failing to host the tournament due to Ebola outbreak in Africa. Morocco was subsequently now allowed to participate in 2015, but it participated in 2017 when sanctions were uplifted by the new administration of CAF.”