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Gambia’s appeal case against Togolese team player dismissed

Adewale Olufade, also known as James Olufade, has played club football in both Togo and Cameroon... Picture credit: BBC
Adewale Olufade, also known as James Olufade, has played club football in both Togo and Cameroon… Picture credit: BBC

The Court of Arbitration for Sports (Cas) has dismissed the appeal Gambia filed against the decision of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) in the case of the Togolese national team player James Oloufade Adewale.

Gambia questions the eligibility of Togo defender Olufade, who played in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between the two countries.

In February this year, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) dismissed the Gambia Football Federation’s initial appeal which claimed Adewale does not meet the necessary criteria to play for the Sparrow Hawks.

Caf ruled the Togolese Football Federation was able to prove that Olufade was born in Togo, making him eligible to play.

And in March, the GFF appealed against the decision of the CAF Appeal Board to dismiss their protest against an earlier decision of the Confederation’s Organising Committee.

Olufade played Gambia in a 1-1 draw of the African Cup of Nations qualifiers in October 2018.

However, on Wednesday Cas had communicated its decision to the GFF that it has confirmed the decision of the CAF Appeal Board, upholding the qualification of the Togolese player.

“We had high hopes that justice would finally prevail after presenting all the necessary documentation to prove our case beyond reasonable doubt but the sole judge who sat over the issue has decided otherwise,” said GFF’s communications director Baboucarr Camara.

“Thus, while we affirm our commitment to defending the interest of Gambian football, we wish to further state that since this is the last legal remedy in sports available at our disposal, we are left with no choice but to accept the decision.”

Many critics consider the whole legal saga of the GFF as a futile attempt. Even after winning the case, Gambia would still have only 2 points addition.

That is insignificant in terms of Gambia’s quest for qualifications since Benin was in front of the country by 4 points.

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