Court of Arbitration for Sport

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Report: Manchester City’s UEFA ban appeal doubtful as CAS deals with coronavirus

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Manchester City’s appeal against their two-year UEFA ban for violating Financial Fair Play Regulations (FFP) may be in doubt as the Court of Arbitration for Sport deals with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The club was expecting to have their hearing heard by the start of the summer but that may not come to fruition, as the court in Lausanne, Switzerland has postponed three hearing and has 16 cases booked until May 16 amid the coronavirus outbreak. Manchester City’s case has yet to be listed.

CAS Secretary General Matthieu Reeb said this on the court making adjustments when contacted by Reuters:

“In-person hearings are still being conducted, where the participants agree to do so,” Reeb wrote in an email statement. “When participants are located in high-risk regions, we are offering the possibility of using video or phone links or postponing to a later date.”

Reeb added that parties involved in cases may request that legal decisions be made “solely on the basis of the written submissions, without a hearing being held”.

The club has denied any wrongdoing, with City CEO Ferran Soriano stating that the “best hope is that this will be finished before the beginning of the summer” following the submission of the appeal.

If the ban is upheld, City would not be able to compete in the 2020-21 Champions League, if they were to qualify. In addition, the defending champions would be banned from European competition in 2021-22.

“For the moment, there has been no significant impact on our operations but we will continue to be vigilant. Only three hearings have been postponed so far,” Reeb said.

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Silva loses CAS appeal after battling U.S. Soccer’s promotion/relegation rules

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Riccardo Silva has lost his appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as he battled to overturn U.S. Soccer’s rules blocking promotion and relegation.

Silva, a wealthy businessmen who owns second-tier side Miami FC, campaigned to overturn the closed system of Major League Soccer and wanted to bring an open pyramid to soccer in North America.

The ruling at the center of this battle was from FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, as Article 9 states “a club’s entitlement to take part in a domestic league championship shall depend principally on sporting merit.”

His legal battle against U.S. Soccer has lasted for over two-and-a-half years and his appeal over a FIFA ruling in favor of U.S. Soccer was rejected by CAS earlier this week.

CAS stated that FIFA’s rules only apply to competitions that already existed as a pyramid structure and added that “while the wording of Article 9 could be understood as rendering that provision to be universally applicable, FIFA didn’t intend for the rule to apply to U.S. Soccer.”

According to New York Times reporter Tariq Panja, Silva’s representatives are “proud of their fight” and still believe that “an open, merit-based system would bring major benefits to the quality of the game, and would create inclusive, competitive and non-discriminatory soccer in the USA.”

Currently MLS is a closed league where no teams can be relegated to a lower division or promoted into MLS due to finishing top of the second-tier. The only way teams can enter MLS is by being voted in by the expansion committee and by paying an expansion franchise fee.

Those hoping for promotion and relegation in North American soccer will keep fighting but this is a big blow for their hopes of making it a reality.

The United Soccer League (USL) have already discussed possible movement between their USL Championship, League One and League Two divisions in the coming years. However, given USL’s close alignment with MLS due to each top tier team either having to have a reserve squad playing in the USL or be affiliated with another USL team, there won’t be any concerted push from the current second-tier to make promotion and relegation to and from MLS a reality.

Chelsea verdict due mid-December in FIFA transfer ban case

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Chelsea can expect a verdict within three weeks in its appeal to overturn a FIFA transfer ban for breaking youth transfer rules.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said after a hearing Wednesday its ruling is expected in the first half of December.

The month-long trading window for English clubs opens Jan. 1. Chelsea already served half its one-year ban on registering new players during the offseason.

Chelsea is challenging verdicts by FIFA’s disciplinary and appeal committees that the club had 150 violations of rules protecting minors from trafficking. Those cases involved about 70 players.

Chelsea also broke rules prohibiting third-party influence on players. FIFA imposed a fine of 600,000 Swiss francs ($608,000).

The club has denied wrongdoing.

The timeline of this transfer of minors’ case is similar to Barcelona’s appeal in 2014 when CAS upheld a transfer ban on Dec. 30, almost four weeks after a hearing.

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.

[ MORE: 2 goals for Pulisic v. Salzburg ]

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.

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Chelsea appeal to CAS over FIFA transfer ban

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It has been confirmed that Chelsea have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in order to overturn their transfer ban from FIFA.

Chelsea were banned by FIFA for two transfer windows after being found guilty of breaching rules regarding the signing of foreign players under the age of 18.

The west London club appealed the ban but FIFA rejected that appeal in May. Currently Chelsea aren’t able to register a new player until July 1 2020.

CAS confirmed the appeal in a statement released on Friday.

“The appeal is directed against the FIFA Appeal Committee decision dated 11 April 2019 in which CFC was declared liable for violations of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players and banned from registering new players, nationally and internationally, for two entire and consecutive registration periods.”

What does this mean?

Chelsea can still buy new players but they will not be able to register them for another year. CAS haven’t set a timeline to review the case, and Chelsea could have ask for their transfer ban to be delayed while their case is being heard but they have chosen not to do that.

The likes of Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have appealed transfer bans in the past to CAS with varying degrees of success as Real had their ban reduced but Atleti and Barca failed.