The Cameroon Football Federation has been ordered, as a last option, to reimburse former Indomitable Lions coach Antonio Conceiçao for more than 1,600,000 euros.
Samuel Eto’o and the Cameroon Football Federation (Fécafoot) have suffered yet another legal setback. The ruling of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the match between Cameroon and Antonio Conceiçao has just been affirmed by the Swiss Federal Court.In February 2022, the Fécafoot was ordered, as a final option, to reimburse Antonio Conceiçao, the former coach of the Cameroon national team, for his “unfair dismissal” by paying more than 1,600,000 euros (more than one billion CFA francs).
Fécafoot has petitioned the Swiss Federal Court in an effort to reverse this ruling. Sadly, they were unable to pull off this endeavor. The Swiss court said, “The appeal is rejected”. Furthermore, Fécafoot is mandated to pay the 16,500 Swiss francs (17,095 euros) in legal fees. It will cover Antonio Conceiçao’s expenses with 18,500 Swiss francs (12,574,344 CFA francs or 19,167 euros).
The details of the case involving Antonio Conceiçao
Fécafoot presented a number of reasons in this intricate case to contest the May 8, 2023, CAS ruling. First off, Fécafoot had maintained that Antonio Conceiçao’s termination was warranted due to his inability to fulfill his contractual duty of winning the 2021 African Cup of Nations or qualifying at the very least for the championship. CAS dismissed this objection, claiming that the respondent had met his contractual responsibilities by placing third in the competition and that he was not required to attain any particular outcome.
After carefully considering Fécafoot’s arguments, the Swiss Federal Court denied its motion. Fécafoot was really trying to contest CAS’s interpretation of the employment contract, the court said, and therefore was not admissible in these proceedings.Furthermore, since CAS had construed the contract in a way that was compatible with the interpretation’s outcome, the Tribunal determined that CAS had not broken the rule of contractual integrity.
It was also debated what financial responsibilities came with the job contract; Fécafoot maintained that the Cameroonian Minister of Sport was the only one having these responsibilities. CAS came to the conclusion that the respondent was obligated to Fécafoot under the terms of the contract, not the state authorities. Lastly, Fécafoot attacked CAS for making an erratic conclusion and for not honoring its right to be heard.
CAS certainly (?)
Rejecting these concerns, the Swiss Federal Court emphasized that CAS had arbitrated the dispute in accordance with all applicable principles.”After reading the arguments put up by the interested party [Fécafoot, editor’s note], it is evident that the latter is trying to contest the arbitrators’ interpretation of the employment contract that binds the parties under the guise of an alleged violation of its right to be heard. The Swiss Federal Supreme Court said that “it goes without saying that such an approach is doomed to failure in international arbitration.”