CAF throws Nigerian side Dolphins out of Confederation Cup, Tunisia’s Club Africain advance

CAF has thrown Nigerian side Dolphins out of this year’s Confederation Cup competition for failing to turn up for the kick-off of first-leg of their match against Club Africain of Tunisia in Rhades.

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 CAF Interclubs Organising Committee ruled on Thursday that Dolphins have been eliminated from the competition while other sanctions could be applied.

“Dolphins are thus eliminated without prejudice to other financial sanctions that could be taken by the Committee,” a CAF statement said on Thursday.

Dolphins protested the supposed walk over by Club Africain after arriving in Tunisia in good time for the game after a late departure.

However, the team were delayed at the airport for two hours and then taken on a merry go-round on the streets of Tunisia before arriving at the stadium after walk over formalities had been concluded.

Dolphins protested to CAF on Thursday, March 12, through the NFF, before departure from Lagos requesting the game to be moved from Saturday, March 14 to Sunday March 15.

But CAF says the Nigeria Football Federation failed to heed to the laws of the continental governing body about preparing for such matches.

“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 CAF statement said.

“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.”

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