CAS case: What Egypt should present
In the aftermath of irregularities surrounding FIFA’s extraordinary decision to issue an exceptional, “special” ranking to decide seeds (Pots) in Africa for 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying, KingFut exclusively learned that the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) will be appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on the matter.
The oddities are well-documented, and include irregularities in dissemination, dates, format, and more.
The EFA should leave no stone unturned. Every abnormality needs to be spelled out in detail and relevant questions must be asked.
To rehash, these include:
1. The issuance of the “special ranking” was in violation of Page 5 of FIFA’s “2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition Format & Procedures – African Zone,” which states, “the draw date, location and procedure for Round Three will be confirmed by the end of Round Two by the Organising Committee for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.”
Round Two ended in November 2015.
2. The discreet “special rankings” memo regarding Round Three (the group stage) was not sent to African football associations until April 2016.
3. Not only were Round Three Procedures issued five months after the deadline, FIFA offered no detail as to what these rankings would entail or how they’d be derived. There were also no details offered in any official, public capacity like the Procedures for Rounds One and Two, but only through an ambiguous memo sent privately to African Associations, and only after it became known which African teams would comprise the top five in FIFA’s June 2016 Ranking.
4. This suggests that FIFA, for whatever reason about which it is not our place to speculate, not only didn’t approve of Africa’s top five in its regular June ranking, but that it wanted to wait to see the results of AFCON qualifiers played June 2-5 before publishing any details that may compromise its intended endgame.
5. Publications that specialize in FIFA Rankings noticed these irregularities and criticized them, including neutral, non-Egyptian, impartial entities like We Global Football and Football Rankings Info.
Why weren’t these procedures announced before FIFA’s own deadline?
Why wasn’t the most recent, regular FIFA World Ranking used to seed the teams as was done in Rounds One and Two?
Why did FIFA wait until its June Rankings were finalized (Egypt fifth in Africa and a top seed, Tunisia a second seed) before quietly announcing these procedures?
Why weren’t Round Three Procedures made public – complete with officially published documentation – like Round One and Round Two Procedures, instead of the discreet memo sent to African FAs we wouldn’t have even known existed if not for a brief article on the Tunisian Football Federation’s website?
Why were no details given as to how FIFA would calculate its “special” ranking?
Why wasn’t an exact release date given, instead of a range of dates? Release date has a direct effect on ranking order and who ends up being a top seed.
Though I’m doubtful of justice despite all of this, one hopes that the case can at least be expedited, as the Round Three group draw for 2018 World Cup qualifying takes place in a fortnight.
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