Togo Ban to Be Lifted Following CAS Mediation
Blackshaw, Ian, The International Sports Law Journal
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) banned the Togo National Football Team from competing in the next two Africa Cup of Nations Competition, for government interference, after they withdrew from the tournament following the fatal attack on their team bus in the Cabinda province of Angola in January of this year.
The CAF President, Issa Hayatou, has agreed to ask his executive committee to lift the ban imposed on Togo, following mediation of their dispute, in which the Togo Football Federation agreed that it had not complied with the CAF regulations.
The mediation was led by the FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, after both parties agreed to interrupt a case due to be heard by the Court of Arbitration of Sport.
"I am very pleased that we have been able to find a solution which is satisfactory for both parties," said Blatter, adding: "The success today is for the entire football community, in particular for African football. This shows that we can solve internal disputes within the football family for the benefit of all those who are involved in our game, and in particular for the players".
The CAF Executive is due to meet on 15 May and is expected to confirm the lifting of the ban on Togo.
Apart from arbitration for settling sports-related disputes, the CAS also offers a mediation service, which was introduced on 18 May, 1999. And, as Ousmane Kane, the former Senior Counsel to the CAS and, during his tenure as such, responsible for mediation, has remarked:
"The International Council of Arbitration for Sport took the initiative to introduce mediation alongside arbitration. As the mediation rules encourage and protect fair play and the spirit of understanding, they are made to measure for sport. …