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Sports court annuls CAF decision on Champions League final

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The Court of Arbitration for Sport has annulled a decision by the African soccer body to order its Champions League final to be replayed after one of the teams walked off to protest a malfunctioning Video Assistant Referee system.

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CAS ruled Wednesday that the Confederation of African Football’s executive committee did not have the jurisdiction to order the second leg of the final to be played again. CAS sent the decision back to CAF for its disciplinary committee to decide what to do about the troublesome game.

Esperance of Tunisia was leading Wydad Casablanca of Morocco 2-1 on aggregate in the May 31 game when Wydad had an equalizing goal incorrectly ruled out for offside.

Wydad demanded a VAR review of the goal, and its players walked off after being told the system wasn’t working.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Former FIFA official to challenge life ban at sports court

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Former FIFA Council member Kwesi Nyantakyi will challenge his life ban from soccer for financial corruption at the Court of Arbitration for Sport next month.

The court says the hearing is on July 4. Verdicts typically follow within a few months.

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Nyantakyi was filmed by a Ghanaian television program accepting $65,000 in cash from undercover reporters posing as businessmen seeking favors.

He resigned days before the 2018 World Cup as the senior vice president of African soccer’s governing body and president of Ghana’s soccer federation.

Nyantakyi also left FIFA’s ruling committee, which paid an annual $250,000 stipend. He was one of Africa’s elected delegates since 2016.

FIFA’s ethics committee found him guilty last October on charges of bribery, corruption, and conflict of interest. Nyantakyi was also fined 500,000 Swiss francs ($504,000).

Chelsea turn to CAS after losing FIFA transfer ban appeal

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Chelsea have lost their appeal with FIFA after being handed a ban on signing first-team players.

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The Premier League side were banned from signing new players for the next two transfer windows by world soccer’s governing body, after a lengthy investigation saw FIFA charge them with breaking rules regarding the signing of foreign players under the age of 18.

That means Chelsea will not be able to sign any new players until the summer of 2020.  FIFA have agreed to allow Chelsea to continue to sign players under the age of 16 from the UK, which is a small victory for the Blues.

However, the west London club said they are “disappointed” and will now launch an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to try and get the ban overturned.

“The Club notes that the FIFA Appeal Committee has decided to partially uphold the appeal lodged by Chelsea FC against the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. However, the Club is very disappointed that the transfer ban of two consecutive registration periods was not overturned. Chelsea FC categorically refutes the findings of the FIFA Appeal Committee. It acted in accordance with the relevant regulations and will appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).”

So, Chelsea will take this case to CAS and that is their last chance of overturning this decision.

Maurizio Sarri‘s side have achieved their goal of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League for next season, but the Italian coach knows it will be tough to kick on and challenge Manchester City and Liverpool for the Premier League title without reinforcements over the summer, especially if Eden Hazard leaves as expected.

USMNT star Christian Pulisic will be the only new arrival this summer after his January move to Stamford Bridge which saw him loaned back to Borussia Dortmund for the remainder of the 2018-19 campaign.

But don’t get your violins out for Chelsea. They have a staggering number of players out on loan, and have stockpiled young talent for years. Next season is the perfect time to use the likes of Tammy Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Kurt Zouma, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Michy Batshuayi and Mason Mount to bolster their squad.

In the grand scheme of things, a two window transfer ban isn’t ideal for Chelsea, but even if Hazard leaves this summer they could cope and finish in the top four again in 2019-20.

CAS rules FIFA wrong to fine Mexico for fans’ gay slur chant

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The Court of Arbitration for Sport has ruled that FIFA was wrong to fine Mexico’s soccer federation for fans chanting gay slurs at opposition goalkeepers at World Cup qualifying games.

The court says although the chants are “insulting words,” FIFA had helped create a “wrong – but legitimate- understanding” that cases would not be punished.

At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, FIFA’s disciplinary committee did not pursue the chants by Mexico fans at games.

However, when the 2018 World Cup qualifying program began, FIFA prosecuted what it called “homophobic chants.”

Mexico appealed against fines totaling 35,000 Swiss francs ($35,250) for the chants at games against El Salvador in November 2015 and Canada in March 2016.

CAS says it cancels those fines while upholding warnings imposed by FIFA.

CAS cuts FIFA ban of World Cup bids inspector

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The Court of Arbitration for Sport has cleared former 2018-2022 World Cup bids inspector Harold Mayne-Nicholls to return to football duty.

CAS says its panel cut the Chilean official’s three-year ban by FIFA to two years on appeal for a conflict of interest in seeking unpaid intern work in Qatar for relatives.

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Mayne-Nicholls’s ban has expired because it started on July 3, 2015.

The court overturned a charge of unethically accepting benefits, saying two years is the “appropriate and proportionate penalty.”

In 2010, FIFA appointed Mayne-Nicholls, then president of Chile’s soccer federation, to lead a six-member team evaluating the nine World Cup bid candidates. Qatar won the 2022 contest.

Mayne-Nicholls was a potential FIFA presidential election contender when his ethics case was opened in 2014.