By The Atlas Lions, Feb 17 2015 7:16PM
BERNE, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Morocco have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over their ban from the next two African Nations Cup tournaments, the Swiss-based tribunal said on Tuesday.
Morocco, originally due to stage this year's Nations Cup, were banned by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after asking to postpone the tournament due to worries over the Ebola virus.
CAF refused, moving the tournament to Equatorial Guinea and fining the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) $1 million and ordering it to pay 8 million euros ($9.1 million) in damages to CAF and its partners.
"In its appeal to the CAS, the FRMF requests the annulment of the challenged decisions and that a final award be issued by the end of March 2015," CAS said in a statement.
"An arbitration procedure has been opened and is being conducted according to the Code of Sports."
By The Atlas Lions, Feb 17 2015 6:31PM
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Morocco has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the heavy sanctions it faces for withdrawing as host of the African Cup of Nations because of the Ebola epidemic.
Morocco was expelled from the 2017 and 2019 tournaments and was fined $1 million by the Confederation of African Football. CAF also demanded a further $9 million in compensation.
CAS says it received the appeal Tuesday from the Moroccan Football Federation, which seeks to have the sanctions lifted and requested that a final ruling be issued by the end of March.
Morocco pulled out two months before the tournament's start in January, citing health risks from fans traveling from Ebola-affected regions in West Africa. It asked for a delay. CAF refused and the tournament was moved to Equatorial Guinea.
By The Atlas Lions, Feb 16 2015 7:35PM
(Morocco World News) Morocco to Appeal CAF Sanctions in the Court of Arbitration for Sport
Rabat – Morocco has decided to appeal the decision of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to suspend the national football team from participating in the 2017 and 2019 African Cup of Nations in the court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.
CAF’s Executive Committee decided last week to expel Morocco from participating in continental tournaments for the next four years. Morocco was also fined $1 million and will have to pay an additional $9 million in compensation following its decision to postpone the 2015 Afcon over fears of the Ebola virus.
According to governmental sources quoted by several local media outlets, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) will file the appeal to the sport’s highest court after consultation with a law firm.
Head of Government Abdelilah Benkirane said on Thursday in Rabat that Morocco will not accept the “unfair” sanctions placed upon it by the governing body of African football and “will spare no effort to defend its rights.”
“Morocco will not succumb to injustice,” Benkirane was reported as saying by the Government Spokesperson, Mustapha El Khalfi, who spoke to the press following the weekly cabinet meeting.
The Moroccan Royal Football Federation said in a statement that it was “totally stunned” by the decisions taken by CAF’s Executive Committee.
“The FRMF is “committed to taking all the necessary steps and measures to uphold the rights and interests of Moroccan football,” the statement added.
By The Atlas Lions, Feb 16 2015 11:46AM
Morocco national team head coach Badou Zaki started his tour in Europe to talk with players who could pull on the country's colours.
Morocco were kicked out by Caf from the 2017 and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and fined $1 million for refusing to host this year's event due to fears over Ebola, but that did not make their technical staff stop preparing themselves.
Morocco rejected the sanctions by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) and decided to appeal against the decisions.
According to Moroccan media, Atlas Lions head coach Zaki and his assistant Mustapha Hadji started a tour in Europe where they will meet some players of Moroccan descent.
Media reports say that Zaki will meet up with Anwar El Ghazi to persuade him to play for Morocco.
Zaki have already met with some players like Zakaria Labyad and Sofiane Boufal of Lillie.
Morocco will play a friendly match by the end of the next month against Uruguay.
By The Atlas Lions, Feb 13 2015 9:37AM
According to Voetbal International Utrecht midfielder Anouar Kali has left the club to sign for Qatar side Al Arabi.
Kali hasn’t featured for Utrecht since an incident in training two weeks ago that left winger Kristoffer Peterson with a broken jaw and the club have allowed him to leave for Qatar, where the transfer window is still open. Al Arabi are believed to have paid €200,000 for the Moroccan U23 international.
The 23-year-old made his breakthrough at Utrecht, making 52 league appearances before leaving to join Roda JC in 2013. However after Roda JC suffered relegation last season Kali returned to the Cathedral City.
Kali has made 14 appearances for Utrecht this season.
By The Atlas Lions, Feb 13 2015 9:12AM
Levante have announced they have reached a mutual agreement with central defender, Issam El Adoua, for the immediate termination of his contract, which was set to expire in June 2015. The 28-year-old has a lucrative offer to join Chongqing Lifan FC in the Chinese Super League, which can now be completed without any further delays.
The Moroccan player leaves Levante with the blessings and thanks for the level of professionalism he demonstrated during his stay, having originally joined the club on a free transfer in 2013.
El Adoua made his first appearance from the bench for Levante in the 7-0 drubbing suffered at Barcelona, on the opening day of the 2013/14 campaign. He leaves the Valencian club having made a total of 22 appearances in La Liga, plus 9 in the Copa del Rey, over the last two seasons.
By The Atlas Lions, Feb 13 2015 8:03AM
Paris - The African division of global players' union FIFPro have hit out at African football bosses for their treatment of Morocco.
The country has been banned from the next two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments for refusing to host this year's event due to fears surrounding the Ebola virus, they were also kicked out of the 2015 edition when being replaced as hosts.
Morocco were fined $1 million and ordered to pay $9 million in compensation for pulling out at the last minute, forcing Equatorial Guinea to step in at the 11th hour to save the day.
But FIFPro said the punishment will affect players the most.
"It's not up to the African division of FIFPro to know whether Morocco acted within its rights in refusing to organise the last CAN," said a FIFPro statement.
"However, it is our place to express surprise that the CAF sanctions target first of all the players.
"Preventing a country from competing at three successive African Cup of Nations (2015, 2017 and 2019) is to sacrifice an entire generation of players, preventing them from expressing themselves on the highest international stage and preventing them from taking part in an important element of their job as a professional footballer."
FIFPro said they favoured financial sanctions against the Moroccan FA or indeed a ban against hosting events for a certain period of time, rather than kicking the team out of those competitions.
By The Atlas Lions, Feb 11 2015 12:36PM
(AP) RABAT, MOROCCO — Morocco has rejected sanctions by the Confederation of African Football for withdrawing from hosting the African Cup of Nations, calling them harmful to the sport and against the rules.
Morocco pulled out two months before the tournament's start in January, citing health risks from fans traveling from Ebola-affected regions in West Africa. It asked CAF for a delay. CAF refused, rebuffed Morocco's stance on Ebola fears, and Equatorial Guinea ended up hosting.
Morocco was expelled from the 2017 and 2019 tournaments and fined $1 million. CAF also demanded a further $9 million in compensation.
"The executive committee is totally stunned by the decisions taken by the CAF, which has no relation with the conclusion taken after the meeting in Cairo with the president (of the Moroccan federation)," said the statement.
After that January meeting with CAF head Issa Hayatou, the president of the Royal Federation of Moroccan Football, Faouzi Lakjaa, said the penalty would only be financial.
The statement said Lakjaa was empowered to take "all measures he deems appropriate," but did not elaborate on what Morocco might actually do.
According to the local press, the federation is divided between those seeking a negotiated solution with the CAF, or appealing their decision to the Court of Arbitration of Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.
There is precedent for sport's highest court overturning CAF's attempts to ban a team from its marquee tournament.
In 2010, Togo successfully appealed its two-tournament ban imposed by Hayatou after the national team refused to play in Angola following a deadly attack on the team bus.
Then, the court asked FIFA President Sepp Blatter to mediate between Togo and CAF, and it ruled that the two-tournament expulsion "did not comply with the CAF competition regulations."
The latest sanctions put more pressure on the strained relationship between North African countries and CAF, which has been led for 27 years by Cameroon's Hayatou.
Last week, CAF suspended Tunisia's federation president and threatened that country with a ban from the next cup if it didn't apologize for suggesting the body was biased against it. Tunisia refused to apologize.
Read more here: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2015/02/11/3485114/morocco-federation-rejects-penalties.html#storylink=cpy
By The Atlas Lions, Feb 6 2015 6:12PM
(cafonline) Malabo 6 February 2015 - The CAF Executive Committee, meeting in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on the side lines of the 30th edition of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations took action on the refusal of Morocco to host this competition as scheduled and agreed i.e. from 17 January to 8 February 2015.
Morocco had based its request to postpone the tournament by a year on 10th October, 2014, on allegations "of the highest health risk". Morocco cited the outbreak of the Ebola virus as a case of force majeure in justifying its request for postponement, citing in particular the risk of contamination of its population because of anticipated fans' flows.
CAF raised objections and inadmissibility of Morocco's request who were obliged to state their position of withdrawal from the organization of the 2015 Orange Africa Cup of Nations by 11 November 2014.
The Executive Committee considered that, contrary to what the Royal Moroccan Football Federation cited, force majeure cannot be accepted for the benefit of the federation.
Thus, according to the provisions of Articles 7.1.a, 23.11 and 62 of the Statutes of CAF and in accordance with Article 41 of the Application of the Statutes of CAF regulations and according to Article 92.4 of the competition rules and the terms of the Framework Agreement signed for the Orange AFCON 2015, the CAF Executive Committee decided to suspend the national team of Morocco from the next two editions of the Africa Cup of Nations, 2017 and 2019, and to impose on the federation the regulatory fine of US$ 1 million (One million United States Dollars).
The CAF Executive Committee decided by a separate measure to be borne by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation the sum of eight million and fifty thousand euros (8.05 million euros) in compensation for all material damage sustained by CAF, stakeholders and partners as a result of the decision not to host AFCON 2015.
By The Atlas Lions, Feb 6 2015 3:37PM
(Morocco World News) Rabat – Confederation of African Football (CAF) has decided to suspend Morocco from participating in the African Cup of Nations for the next four years.
According to well acquainted sources cited by the North African Football Union (UNAF), the governing body of African football has decided to suspend Morocco from participating in the next two editions of the African Cup of Nations (CAN) 2017 and 2019 following the kingdom’s decision to postpone the CAN 2015 over fears of the Ebola virus.
Despite the efforts made by Rabat to convince the African football governing body, Issa Hayatou, CAF’s president said that the arguments presented by Morocco were “not convincing.”
Following a meeting in Cairo back in November, the executive committee of the CAF decided that the African Cup of Nations 2015 would not take place in Morocco. The Moroccan national team was also disqualified from the 30th edition of the African Cup of Nations currently taking place in Equatorial Guinea.
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