The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld an appeal filed by former Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou after FIFA banned Hayatou for alleged wrongdoing in a commercial deal for African soccer.
Hayatou, who was Confederation of African Football president for 29 years until 2017 and was also FIFA’s former interim president, was banned for one year last August for a breach of “duty of loyalty” rules, FIFA said in announcing the ruling of its ethics committee.
He was also fined 30,000 Swiss francs ($33,000).
Hayatou launched an appeal soon after.
The FIFA investigation concluded Hayatou negotiated and signed CAF “into an anti-competitive agreement with Lagardère Sport,” a media rights agency based in France.
But on Friday, the CAS said in a statement it had upheld Hayatou’s appeal and said no sanction would be imposed.
CAS said its arbitrators — president Manfred Nan of the Netherlands, Hamid G. Gharavi and José J. Pintó — held a video conference in December.
“Following its deliberations, the panel found that there was insufficient evidence to establish a violation 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.”
Hayatou was a long-time FIFA vice president and its stand-in president for several months between Sepp Blatter’s suspension from office in October 2015 and the election of Gianni Infantino four months later.
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