4th February 2022
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has upheld the appeal filed by the former CAF President Issa Hayatou against the decision issued by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee dated 17 June 2021 (the Challenged Decision) in which he was deemed to have breached Article 15 para. 1 of the FIFA Code of Ethics (duty of loyalty) and sanctioned with a one-year ban from taking part in any football-related activity and a fine of CHF 30,000.
As the CAS Panel has upheld the appeal, the Challenged Decision is set aside and no sanction is to be imposed on Issa Hayatou.
In the Challenged Decision and further to an investigation, the Adjudicatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee found that Issa Hayatou, President of the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) and Member of the FIFA Council at the time of the facts, had breached his duty of loyalty towards CAF by entering into an anti-competitive agreement with a sports agency in relation to the commercialisation of marketing and media rights related to various CAF competitions. Having reached this conclusion, the FIFA instance sanctioned Issa Hayatou.
In August 2021, Issa Hayatou filed an appeal at the CAS seeking the annulment of the Challenged Decision. The matter was referred to a panel of CAS arbitrators composed of Mr. Manfred Nan (Netherlands), President, Mr. Hamid G. Gharavi (I.R. Iran/France), and Mr. José J. Pintó (Spain). A hearing took place by videoconference on 7 December 2021.
Following its deliberations, the Panel found that there was insufficient evidence to establish a violation of Article 15 para. 1 of the FIFA Code of Ethics which would justify the sanctions imposed on Issa Hayatou by the FIFA instance. As a consequence, the CAS Panel upheld the appeal and set aside the Challenged Decision.
The original publication can be found here.