CAPE TOWN – Tunisian Football Federation (TFF) vice-president Maher Snoussi has negotiated a deal with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) that will enable the country to compete in the 2017 African Nations Cup qualifiers.
The TFF was threatened with expulsion from the preliminary tournament if it did not apologise by March 31 for claims of bias by officials in a chaotic end to their campaign in this year’s Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea.
Snoussi told reporters on Monday he had met CAF president Issa Hayatou in Dakar this month and agreed a solution to the dispute between the two bodies.
Tunisia have agreed to withdraw their protest to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after CAF fined them $50,000 and threatened to ban them from the next tournament if the TFF did not apologise for remarks made about officials after the 2-1 quarter-final loss to hosts Equatorial Guinea.
CAF said at the time it “instructed the Tunisian federation to send to CAF a letter of apology for the insinuations of bias and lack of ethics against CAF and its officials, or to present irrefutable evidence to substantiate the accusations”.
The north Africans were incensed when Mauritian referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn awarded the hosts a penalty in the dying minutes which allowed them to take the game to extra-time and ultimately triumph 2-1.
The Tunisian players attempted to physically assault the referee after the final whistle and members of both sides clashed in ugly scenes. Seechurn was banned for six months by CAF for his role in the incident.
There is already one case against CAF lodged with CAS.
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Morocco were kicked out of the 2017 and 2019 competitions for their late withdrawal of hosting privileges for the 2015 edition due to fears over the spread of the Ebola virus.
The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) was fined $1 million and ordered to pay 8.05 million euros ($9.12 million) in damages to the CAF and its partners. That case is still pending.(Reuters)