Club L. (“Claimant”) is a football club, affiliated to the Cameroon Football Federation (“FECAFOOT”), which is a member of the International Federation of Football Association.
The dispute arose in connection with the process of elections organized by FECAFOOT and then cancelled, at the request of Club L., by the Conciliation and Arbitration Chamber (“CAC”) of the National Olympic and Sports Committee of Cameroon in 2015.
As a result, the Club L., lodged a notice of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It sought to confirm the nullity of the elections organized by FECAFOOT and asked for a decision on a particular point on which the CAC has not ruled. In its award issued in 2017, the sole arbitrator found that the claim is time-barred.
The Club L. initiated the annulment proceedings before the Swiss Federal Tribunal (“SFT”) on the three grounds, namely the violation of the right to be heard, the failure to rule correctly on the tribunal’s jurisdiction and the incompatibility of the award with public policy (Case 4A_170 / 2017). FECOFOOT has also requested the annulment of the award before the FST (Case 4A_194 / 2017).
The SFT decides to join the both requests. First, the SFT considers that Claimant did not regularly submit to the CAS the facts that he alleges to be omitted and unanswered by the sole arbitrator. Consequently, there is no violation of the right to be heard. Then, noting that in sport arbitration the line between admissibility and jurisdiction issues is sometimes blurred, the SFT addresses the allegation regarding the foreclosed delay and considers that this complaint is manifestly ill-founded. Finally, the fact that the CAS declared another claim to be admissible in another case involving FECOFOOT, whereas Claimant filed the notice of intent within the same period as Club L. had done, is not a sufficient reason to annul the award. Second, with regard to the FECOFOOT’s request, the SFT holds that its claims are inadmissible.