After the sentence announced by the CAS, only a definitive transactional protocol will arbitrate the match which will oppose the apparent legitimacy (embodied by Samuel Eto’o) to the implacable legality (of Abdouraman Hamadou).
By Hon. Cabral LIBI
In the coming days, the Court of Arbitration for Sport will render an award on the FECAFOOT case or cases which are still pending there. This sentence will not bring anything new in substance, but its induced confirmatory effects will legally seal the nullity of the electoral process which gave birth to the executive committee elected on December 11, 2021. As a result, FECAFOOT will enter again despite itself, in turbulence.
To fully understand this, we must make a few reminders. Let us remember that the electoral process which was completed by the election of December 11, 2021 was marred by many disputes and upheavals. Indeed, some football players have obtained from the Chamber of Conciliation and Arbitration (CCA) of the National Olympic Committee of Cameroon (CNOSC), a cancellation of the electoral process in the departmental leagues. As a result, everything had to start over. But the FECAFOOT at the time under the presidency of Seidou MBOMBO NJOYA, will calmly continue the process by contenting itself with appealing this decision of cancellation of the CCA with the CAS in Lausanne. Candidate Samuel ETO’O will also vehemently denounce irregularities in the process. Among other things, he will lodge a complaint with the Investigation Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee against the outgoing President for conflicts of interest and abuse of power; he will address a letter of denunciation to Mrs. Fatma Samoura, Secretary General of FIFA; on November 30, 2021 after the publication of the list of candidacies by FECAFOOT (on November 25, 2021), he will submit to the CCA a request for cancellation of the candidacies of Seidou MBOMBO NJOYA and Boubakar ALIM KONATE. Motion that will be subsequently dismissed for foreclosure. At the end of this disputed electoral process, the new team that arrives will inherit the appeal lodged by the same FECAFOOT (Sous Seidou MBOMBO NJOYA) to the CAS, but this appeal procedure which has been initiated is still unfinished. Because, in accordance with Article R64.1 of the Rules of Procedure of the CAS, when filing the request, the plaintiff or appealing party must pay a court fee of 1000 Swiss francs. If this sum is not paid, the CAS does not proceed. And if after reminding the appellant the sum is still not paid, the CAS simply renders an award on costs.
In the case that concerns us, this sum had not been paid by the outgoing FECAFOOT team. When the new team arrives on December 11, 2021, they too do not pay it right away.
On January 20, 2022, the CAS will give FECAFOOT 3 days from January 24 to pay this amount. At the end of this period, the sum will still not be paid.
On January 31, 2022, the CAS will send a final letter to FECAFOOT to tell it that it considers the appeal to be deemed withdrawn.
On February 2, 2022 and February 28, 2022, the Secretary General of FECAFOOT will unsuccessfully request the granting of additional time from the CAS to pay the said sum. He will justify the delay by the CAN organization and the unstable handover period. In particular, he will explain to the CAS that the new team “only learned of the deadline” on the day of its expiry which was January 4, 2022. But the requests from the SG of FECAFOOT remained a dead letter. Suddenly the CAS will soon render an award on costs, to say that the appeal of FECAFOOT against the cancellation of the electoral process by the CCA has been withdrawn.
The immediate consequence of this sentence is that the cancellation remains in force and entails the nullity of all the rest. What seems unimaginable to the general public will make legal sense. The question is what to do? It is undeniable that Cameroonian football is recovering. Notwithstanding a few hiccups, the championship has started and once again seduces sponsors and spectators. We have a Cameroonian coach again, we are soon going to the World Cup, behind there is the CAN etc.
How to arbitrate the match which will oppose the apparent legitimacy to the implacable legality?
The ideal for us, is that there is finally a transactional agreement between the actors in opposition, before the decision or decisions of the CCA is (are) t coated with the authority of res judicata that it or possibly provide them with an exequatur. The actors have changed. It is useless that those who at one time fought together and courageously to offer a renewed and attractive face to football start to tear themselves apart again legally. We politicians from all strata could work on mediation as much as we can, especially since at the point where we are there are more complaints to withdraw. Religious dignitaries could also get involved. Let’s bring the Olympic values to life.
Certainly, some of those who embody the authority of the state have taken the regrettable habit of despising the law. On this one, they could still do it. But the savviest among us know that it will catch up with us sooner or later… A historic opportunity for RECONCILIATION presents itself for our football. Let us seize it in the name of GREEN-RED-YELLOW.