In a decision transmitted yesterday to the parties, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne confirmed its competence to decide on the merits of the UEFA vs. FC Sion case, dismissed the demand of FC Sion to stay the proceedings, confirmed the nomination of the arbitrator originally chosen by FC Sion, stating twice in its decision the "clear abuse of CAS procedures" by FC Sion.
UEFA has stated several times the need to have a decision on the merits of the case, respecting the rules and procedures established for all clubs participating in the UEFA Europa League, and accepted by FC Sion when entering the competition.
In order to solve this case quickly and in the best interests of the competition and all its participants, UEFA filed a request for an accelerated procedure to CAS on 26 September. The Swiss civil courts have already recognised the competence of CAS to decide on the merits and so FC Sion's repeated attempts to obstruct the CAS proceedings is clearly unjustified and shows bad faith.
It seems that FC Sion has repeatedly attempted to obstruct justice and, as quoted by the CAS decision of yesterday, has engaged in a "clear abuse of procedures", to delay or postpone a decision on the merits of the case. This is obviously detrimental to the smooth running of the competition and also has a negative impact on the other clubs participating in the group, for whom FC Sion has no apparent respect.
UEFA repeats that "provisional and super-provisional measures" are only issued pending a decision on the merits of a case; it is now obvious that CAS is the forum to rule on the merits. An accelerated procedure – as proposed by UEFA – would allow FC Sion to be reintegrated to the group, provided it wins on the merits.
This would be accepted by all the other clubs since they have agreed to the same conditions. Here we note that equality of treatment is a basic principle of sporting fairness and is also usually accepted in the courts. UEFA fails to understand why FC Sion is "abusing procedures" to delay a decision on the merits.
UEFA recalls that delaying a conclusion in this case will present a major prejudice to the whole UEFA Europa League, especially the other clubs in the competition. UEFA therefore once again urges FC Sion to come quickly to CAS, as it promised to when it entered the UEFA Europa League, in the same way as every other club.
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