Morocco have 2017 and 2019 AFCON ban lifted after successful appeal
Posted: 2 April 2015 Time: 18:57
Morocco’s ban from competing in the next two African Nations Cup tournaments handed to them by CAF was on Thursday overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The hefty fine handed to them by the Confederation of African Football, for falling to host the 2015 edition, has also been reduced after a successful appeal with the Swiss-based body.
This means the country will be able to compete in the 2017 qualifiers, which will be drawn in Cairo next week.
Morocco withdrew from hosting the 2015 finals over fears of the spread of the Ebola virus last October, leading to a two tournament ban from CAF plus a fine of $1million (close to R12million).
But CAS said Morocco’s appeal against the sanctions had been upheld, although the fine stood but was being reduced to just $50 000 (close to R600 000).
It did not, however, rule on CAF’s claim for 8 million euros (R104million) in damages to itself and its partners for having to move the 2015 finals at late notice to Equatorial Guinea.
“The question related to the compensation of the possible damage caused by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation to the CAF may still be examined by another jurisdiction,” a statement from CAS said.
CAF's executive committee in January found the Moroccan federation to be financially liable for the costs after they were officially stripped of hosting rights by CAF in November and the tournament switched to Equatorial Guinea.
Moroccan authorities immediately rejected the punishment, appealing to CAS and accusing CAF of being against the development of the game on the continent by disqualifying them from the 2017 and 2019 editions.
CAS’ decision will come as a blow to the hardline stance CAF president Issa Hayatou took against Morocco’s request to initially postpone the 2015 finals for several months while the fight against the Ebola virus in West Africa was being tackled by health authorities.
Last week Tunisia withdrew its appeal to CAS against a similar sanction from CAF who threatened to ban the country from the 2017 qualifiers unless it apologised after accusing African football’s governing body of bias.
Tunisia made the allegations after a controversial defeat to hosts Equatorial Guinea in the Nations Cup quarter-final in Bata in January.