COVID threatens Chiefs’ ban appeal

Premiership

Kaizer Chiefs’ hopes of replacing outgoing midfielder George Maluleka and strengthening their squad for next season may have taken a huge hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chiefs were last month handed a two-window transfer ban by FIFA over the illegal signing of Madagascan midfielder Andriamirado ‘Dax’ Andrianarimanana in 2018, and will be unable to make any new signings for the until July 2021.

READ: Facts that led to Chiefs' transfer ban 

The club has since lodged an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the sanction and are hoping to argue their case against Fosa Juniors, who claim the player had a running professional contract.

Amakhosi last week confirmed that the CAS had confirmed receipt of their appeal, and a 20-day window for response had been issued to both FIFA and Fosa.

However, due to the coronavirus outbreak that has taken the world and Europe in particular by storm, the Switzerland-based organisation has since postponed in-person hearings until May.

READ: Legal expert analyses Chiefs ban appeal

"CAS will not host any in-person hearings before 1 May 2020, at the earliest,” read a statement from the appeals body on Tuesday.

“Depending on the circumstances of each individual case, the arbitrators and parties are encouraged to conduct hearings by video-conference or to cancel them (final award on the basis of the written submissions). If such measures are not possible or appropriate, the hearings must be postponed until May 2020 or later.

"Depending on the evolution of the Covid-19 outbreak, the prohibition of in-person hearings may be extended."

READ: Maluleka's exit to hurt Chiefs until 2021?

The Soweto outfit may look to try and present their case through video conferencing, but this will also rest on whether Fosa Juniors agree thereto, or wait until May when a potential backlog of cases may push their hearing date back even further.

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