The South African Football Association (SAFA) officially lodged an appeal against the decision of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to impose a US$65 000 fine as well as suspension from two future FUTSAL AFCON tournaments for their decision to withdraw from the tournament.
South Africa appears to be basing their argument on the minutes of the decision to stage the tournament in Laayoune, a known disputed area in occupied Western Sahara, and are steadfast that CAF refused to respond to their letter when they urged the continental organization to shift the tournament to other venues like Rabat, Casablanca or Marrakech other than Laayoune.
Mauritius, who replaced South Africa in the tournament but after playing a single game in which they lost 4-2 to Equatorial Guinea, were forced by their own government to also withdraw in solidarity with the Saharawi, also received a similar fine to South Africa.
In a press statement issued by the Mauritian Ministry of Sport, the country claim that after their FUTSAL squad departed for Morocco, they were advised by their Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade and given their position within SADC and the fact that SA had withdrawn on the principle of the recognition of the Saharawi Republic, they informed the Mauritian FA accordingly to also cancel their participation in solidarity.
But it could not be ascertained at this stage whether Mauritius will follow South Africa and also appeal their fine and suspension from future FUTSAL tournaments, neither could it be established on what grounds they would be appealing.
But after receiving notice of their suspension and fine, SAFA immediately drafted a letter to CAF informing them of their decision to appeal the sentence as well as the fine and by late on Friday, had, according to www.thomaskwenaite.co.za sources, dispatched a letter to Cairo to that effect.
“We have deposited the US$3000 deposit required to lodge an appeal,” said another source. “We think there has been an injustice perpetrated against us and we intend to ensure that justice prevails in the end,” he added.
Although on the surface, they seem to have bitten off more than they can chew, our deep-throat sounded extremely confident that they would win their appeal and the fine would be cancelled.
The source said he could not reveal much at this stage as it would be unethical could jeopardize their case if he revealed the contents of their argument before it could be presented in Cairo.