President cleared to return to football

President cleared to return to football

Published Jul. 18, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

A Sudanese club president has been cleared to return to football after he allegedly assaulted a referee during an African Champions League semifinal.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport says it upheld Mohammed Al-Birair's appeal and overturned his four-year ban imposed by the Confederation of African Football in January.

CAS says the match referee, Djamel Haimoudi of Algeria, ''claimed to have been assaulted'' by Al-Birair. Haimoudi is among seven Africans referees being considered by FIFA for the 2014 World Cup.

The court says it will publish its detailed verdict within weeks.


Al-Birair's club Al-Hilal lost 1-0 to Tunisia's Esperance in the first leg of their semifinal in Omdurman last October.

The African football body suspended Al-Birair for 30 days, then imposed a four-year ban when he appealed.