StarTimes Uganda Premier League side Proline Football Club have filed an appeal against the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Switzerland.
According to documents, Football-256 is privy of, Proline seek the redress of sport’s highest court of appeal over what the club has described as poor interpretation of the FIFA rules and regulations governing the international break.
Through their lawyers Med Kaggwa & Co. Advocates, Proline seek redress from CAS after FUFA’s Appeals Committee affirmed the earlier ruling by the Competitions Disciplinary Panel to deduct the club six points and six goals from those accumulated or to be accumulated, plus pay a fine of UGX 5,000,000.
The appeal dated 21st October, 2019 was delivered to the Swiss court via international courier DHL. On 25th October, CAS confirmed receipt of the appeal, with the court proceeding to state the terms to which Proline must adhere to before the court can proceed.
“I acknowledge the receipt of your Statement of Appeal dated 21st October 2019, filed at the Court of Arbitration foe Sport (the “CAS”) on behalf of Proline Football Club against the Federation of Uganda Football Association.” Read part of the letter addressed to Proline lawyers from the CAS.
This includes payment of the CAS Court office fee up to the tune of Swiss Francs 1,000 to the CAS bank account and the nomination of the arbitrator chosen by the appellant.
Football-256 understands that these terms were supposed to be fulfilled within three days, to which Proline have swiftly adhered to; paid the required sum, and nominated an arbitrator.
What is Proline’s appeal about?
On 12th September, the FUFA Competitions Disciplinary panel ruled that Proline be docked six points and six goals of those to be, or already accumulated in the league, for failing to honour their league fixture against SC Villa that was scheduled for Saturday, September 7th, at the Star Times stadium, Lugogo.
The said match was scheduled to be held inside a FIFA gazetted week for international matches, and on the same weekend the Uganda Cranes played Kenya in an international friendly in Kenya.
In their defence, Proline quoted the 2001 FIFA circular no. 792, which provides for matches in the international break to take precedence over matches in national championships or cup competitions. If those scheduled international friendly games were to be played inside the gazetted international weeks. And that no national competitions be organised on the gazetted days.
The CDP ruled that circular no. 792 despite coming into effect in January 2002, it was no longer in line with the current FIFA statutes.
Adding that according to Annex 1 of the regulations on the status and transfer of players of June 2019 provides that clubs are obliged to release their players to the respective countries that they are eligible to play for if they are called upon.
The panel also found that StarTimes Uganda Premier League secretariat was justified in upholding the fixture according to Article 19 of the FUFA Competition rules that provide that a fixture involving a club with three (3) or more players called up to the national team may be called off three (3) days before or after the national team engagement.
Proline had only two players (Mustafa Mujuzi and Bright Anukani) called up to the national team, and therefore it was justified for UPL to uphold the fixture.
Proline were further found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute through their various public communications and pronouncements about the matter, actions which depicted that UPL and the entire football management as ignorant of football regulations, and therefore fined UGX. 5,000,000.
Proline appealed the decision to the FUFA Appeals Committee, with the committee upholding the decision by the CDP on 8th October. However, Proline were advised to appeal to higher courts of appeal if they felt the decision was not satisfactory.
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