Sport court rejects Namibia's Zengue appeal

Sport’s highest court has upheld its decision to allow Burkina Faso to compete in the Africa Cup of Nations and rejected an appeal by Namibia over an ineligible player, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said on Tuesday.

Quoting a ruling by the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), CAF said that Namibia’s appeal over the eligibility of Cameroon-born defender Herve Zengue was dismissed on Tuesday.

Emmanuel Zombre, an official with Burkina Faso’s football federation, also said that the country had retained its place at the African Cup, which kicks off in less than two weeks.

Confirmation from the CAS was expected later on Tuesday, with the sports court traditionally releasing its findings to the parties involved before making the decision public.

The Namibia Football Association had twice protested to CAF over Zengue’s presence in Burkina Faso’s team after losing out to the Burkinabes in qualifying for the January 21 to February 12 Cup of Nations.

After Africa’s ruling body rejected both of those appeals, Namibia turned to CAS.

Namibia argued that Zengue, who is married to a woman from Burkina Faso, still did not meet Fifa criteria to play for his adopted country.

CAF added that Tuesday’s decision also ordered the Namibia Football Association to pay 5 000 Swiss francs ($5 275) toward its legal fees for the CAS hearing.—Sapa-AP

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