Before even a vote is cast, the Iraq FA elections look to end in another court case as FIFA and the AFC allows the illegal Iraq Football Association to organise and set-up the 2014 IFA elections with absolute freedom and impunity despite having no legitimacy.
On November 18, of this year, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled the 2011 Iraq FA elections as null, invalid, and void however the FA members who won that election have been plotting and scheming for the forthcoming 2014 elections.
FIFA have washed their hands of the whole affair calling the irregularities over the 2011 elections an ‘internal matter’ within the Iraq FA. However instead of intervening in the set-up of the 2014 elections, the world governing body FIFA and the AFC have stood aside while the Iraqi FA in its same structure is allowed to plan and plot its victory for the elections next month.
The dissolved Iraq FA has already organised the 2014 elections and set a date, January 18, 2014.
A FIFA and AFC Mandate for elections or fraud?
The Iraq FA have claimed that after a meeting in Kuala Lumpur on November 26 between FA official Walid Tabra and FIFA director of Member Associations and director of Legal Department, as well as by means of several correspondences which FIFA sent IFA between 20 November and 6 December 2013, in which FIFA supposedly and stringently instructed the Iraq FA that the ‘current executive committee’ should organise and run the upcoming election and decide on all matters (even though they didn’t have any legitimacy) and that the ‘new’ elections were not new but a re-run of the 2011 elections and must be attended by the same congress members.
The Iraq FA however has refused to share copies of these alleged letters.
Lawyer for the appellants Nezar Ahmed stated in his letter to FIFA and the AFC, “We demand that FIFA transmits to us copies of the alleged letters that FIFA sent to IFA so that we pursue the appropriate course of action, failing which FIFA is committing a denial of justice by providing the current Executive Committee unlawful legal basis permitting it to unlawfully engineer fake elections in order to deny us the relief obtained in the CAS case after two and half years of rigorous, time consuming and very costly litigations.”
“We would like to draw your attention to the fact that since the CAS ruled that the June 2011 Elections were invalid, void and null, FIFA, legally, is stopped from claiming that the current Executive Committee was elected or appointed on the basis of the procedure contained in IFA Statutes as article 17(2) of FIFA Statutes so stipulates. As such, under the provisions of articles 17(3&4) of FIFA Statutes, FIFA has an obligation not to recognise the current Executive Committee and any and all decisions and activities executed by it, otherwise FIFA is breaching the provisions of its own statutes.”
On 1 December 2013, the fully-intact Iraq FA Executive Committee circulated to the Iraqi media several press releases announcing the date of upcoming elections to commence on 18 January 2014, forming illegitimate and illegal electoral and election appeal committees, and controversially promoting thirty clubs from the third tier league to second tier league, and most importantly fixing the nomination timeline for the candidacy to the upcoming elections as follow: to be opened on 1 January 2014 and closed on 8 January 2014. This date however was proved to be wrong, and some have claimed it to be part of the FA’s misinformation to confuse the media and the nominees, while the inner crowd of the FA know the true entry dates for the nominations.
The correct date was December 1 to December 8, with the 6th and 7th of December being weekend holidays in Iraq, allowing little time for a meeting of club administrations to nominate their candidates.
Candidates also had no idea where to submit or send the application of nomination and to whom since the a invitation which some received three days and others five days after the timeline began, did not specify the address or place at which said application would be filed, and that the application should be filed with the election committee, which up to this date had not been disclosed to anyone outside of the Executive Committee or where it was located or its contact information.
There is also some contentions with the requirements for candidacy, (1.) an Iraqi citizen who carries only Iraqi nationality and no other as multi-nationality persons are not eligible for nomination, (2.) must not have been previously found guilty of a criminal offence, (3.) shall be no older than 75 and no younger than 25, (4.) must be named by the minute of a formal meeting of the Executive Committee of the member who is nominating him, (5.) must be seconded by another member, and (6) must also meet any and all other requirements issued by IFA, this last one was not mentioned in the letter from the FA.
However under the Article 18 of the Iraqi Constitution stipulates that an Iraqi may hold multiple citizenship which means the FA had no legal basis to deny any Iraqi nominee of their rights, granted to them by the constitution.
This also violates Articles 14 & 16 of the Iraqi Constitution, Article 2 of IFA Statutes and Article 3 of FIFA Statutes, bearing in mind that article 16 of the Iraqi constitution grants equal opportunities to all Iraqis irrespective of whether they carry dual nationality or not whereas Article 14 thereof prohibits any form of discrimination against all Iraqis irrespective of their dual nationality.
The FA which was dissolved by CAS on November 18, have continued to run normally presided under Najih Humoud, which under Article 38 of Iraq FA Statutes stipulates that members of the Executive Committee must withdrew from the process of making decisions on any matter if there is any risk of possibility of a conflict of interests with a member of IFA.
However all thirteen members of the current Iraq FA Executive Committee (which should have been dissolved and ceased operating after November 18) are running in the upcoming elections and continue to make decisions in the name of the Iraq FA.
“This provision,” according to Dr. Nezar Ahmed “bars the current Executive Committee from engaging in any decision making process in connection with the upcoming elections.”
“We will not hesitate to file claims against FIFA, AFC and their officials in civil and criminal courts in connection with any action or inaction undertaken by FIFA, AFC or their officials denying us or tampering with the justice we lawfully obtained in the CAS case, in particular any action or inaction intended to, or served the purpose of aiding or/and encouraging the current Executive Committee of IFA engineering yet again another invalid elections in obvious violations of IFA, FIFA and AFC Statutes, and the national legislations of Iraq. With this context, based on the above-detailed actions executed so far by the current Executive Committee in connection with the upcoming elections, if FIFA considers the above amounting to valid, legal and democratic elections, we would adore to know FIFA definition of invalid, unlawful and undemocratic elections.” Dr Nezar Ahmed, appellants lawyer