The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has today confirmed that the United Arab Emirates National Federation will remain suspended from FEI membership until 31 December 2020. The CAS ruling comes after a two-day hearing via videoconference on 12 and 13 November following an appeal by the UAE against the suspension imposed by the FEI Board on 24 September 2020.
“We welcome today’s CAS decision confirming that a violation of the FEI rules occurred which warranted a full suspension of the UAE National Federation’s membership across all disciplines and significant financial penalties”, FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “We are grateful to the CAS for expediting the hearing of this appeal so that we are able to provide clarity to our community on the issue prior to the FEI General Assembly next Monday.”
Today’s CAS decision rules that the UAE National Federation “is suspended with respect to all FEI disciplines from 24 September 2020 until 31 December 2020”.
The FEI Board had imposed a suspension on the UAE National Federation following a detailed investigation into the circumstances around two National Endurance Events (CEN) in January and February 2020 – the Sheikh Mohammed Cup and The President’s Cup – that should have been held as International Endurance Events (CEIs) as the number of foreign athletes far exceeded the quota permitted for National Events.
The CAS also ruled that 25% of the prize money awarded at the 2020 Sheikh Mohammed Cup and 5% of the prize money awarded at the 2020 President’s Cup must be paid to the FEI, plus organising dues that would have been payable to the FEI had the Events been held as CEIs.
At the request of the parties, and in order to fast track the ruling, the CAS provided today’s decision without the full rationale, which will be provided at a later date.