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Date: 24 July 2017

  African - Soccer

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News Headlines

CAF's delayed release of NFA appeal results smacks of unfair play-Muinjo

[Posted 24 Nov 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
CAF"s delayed release of  NFA appeal results smacks of unfair play-Muinjo

The Confederation of African Football heard on last week Tuesday Namibia's appeal against the dismissal of the Southern Africa nation's challenge of the eligibility of Burkina Faso's Herve Zengue during the 2012 AFCON qualifiers . More than a week later, CAF has not communicated the outcome of the hearing. Namibia feels that the delay flies in the face of fair play.

Namibia is understood to be seeking the ejection of Burkina Faso from the Afcon 2012 finals for the reasons that they made use of Zengue without following proper Fifa laid down procedures.

Burkina Faso emerged as Group F leaders with 10 points, but Namibia stand to benefit more because six of the total points gained by the Stallions came from the defeat the Brave Warriors suffered in matches in which Zengue featured.

If Namibia gets awarded the six points, then that takes Namibia's tally to 9 points while the Stallions will end with only 4 points, giving the Brave Warriors the right to be at the 2012 Afcon finals in January.

The Namibian Football Association's initial legal challenge was thrown out by CAF's disciplinary body on a mere technicality that it was not co-signed by the Burkina Faso national team captain and also that the NFA lodged its appeal late.

NFA then appealed against that ruling which dismissed its challenge on a mere technicality.

Following the appeal hearing last week Tuesday, CAF have since gone quite on the outcome. In most organisations, the outcome of legal proceedings is expected to be released within a week. 

NFA Chairperson John Muinjo is an unhappy man over the delay and now questions CAF's bona fides in the whole saga.

"Up to now we haven't anything from them [Caf] and that's not in the spirit of fair play," said Muinjo.

"I'm a principled person and if principles are not being respected, then obviously I won't be happy with that.

"In my view the decision to dismiss our original protest was not a football but political decision."

Many observers tend to agree with the NFA that CAF's decision to dismiss Namibia's challenge sounds more like sacrificing principles on an alter of expedience than a decision based on sound legal principles.

It was expedient for Caf to dismiss the NFA's challenge to avoid the complications of booting the Stallions out of the Afcon finals, who in turn could have challenged the outcome, leading to a protracted legal battle, which could then threaten the beginning of the 2012 Afcon finals in January.

Caf decision in the Namibia appeal appears to have been ill-advised.

If indeed it is true that Burkina Faso fielded Zengue in matches wherein he should not have taken part, and Fifa rules were not adhered to, then that is a serious violation which should have given Caf the right to investigate and come to the bottom of the allegations despite the fact that the NFA was late in submitting its challenge or any other technicality.

CAF's decision and stance on the matter is simply disappointing because violating Fifa rules on switching nationalities and the use of ineligible players are serious allegations and stand against the spirit of fair play that Fifa and even Caf advocate for.

Again, Caf has compromised its image and put its ability to make impartial decisions as a  soccer mother governing body on the continent into question, especially in the eyes of those who have always felt over the years that Caf appears to be biased towards West and North African nations, to the detriment of nations form the other parts of Africa.  

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