CAF Kicks Dolphins Out Of Confederations Cup

Nigerian football premier league side, Dolphins Football club of Port Harcourt have officially been kicked out from the CAF Confederation Cup, after their appeal against the walk over during their last continental fixture was thrown out on Thursday.

Dolphins failed to show up early for Saturday’s CAF confederation game against Club Africain of Tunisia because of a bonus row and flight disruption.

CAF asked Dolphins to remain in Tunis, until their appeal was looked it into. But following the verdict, they will now fly back to Nigeria.

“The CAF Interclubs Organising Committee issued its decision on Thursday, 19 March 2015 on the basis of the various reports of the match officials and correspondences between the concerned parties,” CAF stated in a release on its website.

“The Committee had received a petition from Nigerian club, Dolphins, through the Nigeria Football Federation. Dolphins did not show up at Rades Stadium (Tunisia) on Saturday, 14 March 2015 at 3pm local time, for the kick-off of the match against Club Africain of Tunisia, for the 1/16th round first leg of the Orange Confederation Cup. The referee acknowledged forfeiture of Dolphins.

“The Committee noted that the Nigeria Football Federation did not observe article 10.2 of Chapter IX of the rules of the competition, which obliges the federation of the visiting team to inform the federation of the host team and CAF of the date of arrival in the capital of the host country at least two weeks prior to the date scheduled for the match. The non-observance of this disposition attracts a fine of $2000.

“As it stands, the club only informed CAF on 13 March 2015 of the fact that it missed its flight between Port-Harcourt and Lagos, and could only arrive in Tunis on the day of the match without requesting for a postponement of the encounter. Even though the request was not made, CAF proposed to the Tunisian team to delay the kick-off of the match by 30 minutes for the sake of fair-play.

“In view of the above, the Committee did not consider that we were facing a case of force majeure and went on to apply Article 17 of Chapter XI of the regulations, which states: “If for any reason whatsoever, a team withdraws from the competition or does not report for a match-except in case of force majeure accepted by the Organizing Committee – or if it refuses to play or leaves the ground before the regular end of the match without the permission of the referee, it shall be considered loser and shall be eliminated from the competition.”

“Dolphins are thus eliminated without prejudice to other financial sanctions that could be taken by the Committee.”

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Ihesiulo Grace

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