Tunisia appeal to CAS over potential African Cup of Nations ban

Security guards protect referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn (2nd-R) from Tunisia's players at the end of the African Cup of Nations quarterfinal.

CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images

The Tunisian Football Federation (FTF) has gone to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to appeal against a potential African Nations Cup ban.

Tunisia were knocked out of this year’s tournament by hosts Equatorial Guinea at the quarter-final stage, a game that ended in ugly scenes as Mauritian referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn was angrily confronted by Tunisia players.

Seechurn had awarded a controversial penalty against Tunisia in stoppage-time, allowing Equatorial Guinea to equalize and later win in extra-time.

Seechurn was later suspended for six months for poor performance while the FTF was fined £32,500 by the African Football Confederation (CAF) and ordered to formally apologize for suggestions of bias against the governing body.

Should they not comply by March 31, their place at the 2017 competition is at stake.

But they have now taken the issue to CAS, as well as applying for a stay on the initial deadline.

A CAS statement read: "The Tunisian Football Federation (FTF) has filed an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the decision of the Executive Committee of the African Football Confederation (CAF) which calls into question the participation of the FTF at the 2017 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN).

"In a decision dated 6 February 2015, the Executive Committee of the CAF…fixed a deadline until 31 March 2015 for the FTF to conform to the CAF directives, failing which, the Executive Committee of the CAF would disqualify the national team of Tunisia from the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

"The FTF’s statement of appeal is accompanied with a request for a stay. An arbitration procedure has been initiated and is being conducted in accordance with the Code of sports-related arbitration."