KALUSHA Bwalya’s dream to be on the ballot for the March 28, 2020 FAZ presidential election has hit a snag after the Court of Arbitration for Sports on Monday issued a statement that it had made changes to its operating procedures due to the coronavirus.
CAS said it will not host any in-person hearing before May 1, 2020, while Bwalya’s appeal includes a request for an in-person hearing.
“CAS will not host any in person before May 1, 2020. Depending on the circumstances of each individual case, the arbitrators and parties are encouraged to conduct hearings by video-conference or to cancel them (final award on the basis of the written submissions). If such measures are not possible or appropriate, the hearings must be postponed until May 2020 or later. Depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak, the prohibition of in-person hearings may be extended,” read the statement. Bwalya appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) against the FAZ decision to stop him from contesting the FAZ Presidency.
He wants FAZ to rescind its decision to stop him from taking part in the election after failing the integrity test.
In a letter addressed to the CAS secretary general by Spain based sports lawyer Paolo Torchett, who is representing Bwalya, he indicated that the decision by the FAZ Electoral Committee be reviewed and declare his client eligible for the election.
Torchett has proposed that the matter be treated with urgency so that the CAS can issue an award before the presidential elections set for March 28, 2020.
He further requested CAS to suspend the holding of the upcoming presidential elections pending the result of the case before the CAS.
Torchett said failure by FAZ to suspend the election, his client Bwalya will pursue all legal avenues before the CAS to seek interim relief.
The coronavirus outbreak is affecting several other cases before the CAS.
For instance, Manchester City’s attempts to have their two-year ban from European football overturned are facing potential delays CAS deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
City are appealing a decision by Uefa to ban the Premier League champions from competing in the Champions League for the next two seasons for “serious breaches” of their Financial Fair Play regulations.
Ferran Soriano, the City chief executive, said last month that the club wanted an “early resolution” and expressed hope that the case would be “finished before the beginning of the summer”.
But those hopes could be complicated with CAS, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, having already postponed three cases as the global health pandemic deepens.