The decision on Sudan’s appeal against Fifa’s decision to strip them of three World Cup points given to Zambia will be known by next week, MTNFootball.com can exclusively reveal.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) has told MTNFootball.com that will it announce the decision that will affect Ghana’s 2014 World Cup chances by the end of this month.
Sudan took FIFA to the Swiss court sports court in an attempt to regain a World Cup qualifying victory the team were stripped of by Fifa for fielding an ineligible player in their match against Zambia.
Cas says it aims to give a verdict by the end of February, before group matches resume in March.
“Please be advised that the decision is expected to be notified by the end of this month,” CAS spokesperson Katy Hogg told MTNFootball.com exclusively.
Sudan beat Zambia 2-0 in a Group D tie in Khartoum on 2 June but football’s world governing body Fifa awarded Zambia a 3-0 win by 45270ca2ec4b8da6f391b84626583e30 after ruling that Saif Ali, who scored the second goal, should have been suspended for accumulating yellow cards in previous competitive matches.
Ali was sent off when Zambia beat Sudan in an Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final in February.
If the original scoreline is reinstated Sudan will lead the group ahead of 2010 World Cup quarter-finalists Ghana.
But if Cas upholds the Fifa ruling Zambia, who won the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, will have maximum points from two matches.
Sudan’s next match is away to Ghana on 24 March, while Zambia will play on the same day away to last-place Lesotho.
On the field of play, Zambia’s six point lead of the log now appears unassailable because it has a home match against Sudan and a two-legged regional battle with Lesotho – three games from which Zambia can collect maximum points.
Ghana, now second on the log with three points, will need to win its two-legged ties with Sudan and an away match to Lesotho. Ghana could be fancied to beat Lesotho away and Sudan at home.
However, beating Sudan at its home is a herculean task.
The decider appears to be the Zambia –Ghana clash to be hosted by Ghana.
Chipolopolo has the luxury of drawing this game or even losing it, provided Ghana stumbles away to Sudan or Lesotho and that’s assuming Zambia maintains a 100% record.