International Chess Federation
Wednesday, 19 Jun 2024 12:26
CAS upholds FIDE's decision on South African Chess Elections

CAS - The Court of Arbitration for Sport, an independent institution based in Lausanne that resolves legal disputes in the field of sport, has dismissed the appeal filed by the Chess South Africa association regarding FIDE's decision to hold FIDE-supervised elections for Chess SA in November 2023

The case stems from early 2023 when, due to internal issues, the South African Sports Federation and National Olympic Committee provisionally suspended Chess SA in March 2023, with the suspension being made final in April 2023. In May 2023, the FIDE Council passed a resolution addressing the conflicts within Chess SA and appointed a "Reverse Delegate" to organize elections, ensuring democratic procedures. This led to FIDE's decision on October 6, 2023, to hold FIDE-supervised elections for Chess SA on November 25, 2023. The elections took place on the appointed date, a new Executive Board was elected, and Mr Andre Lewaks was elected as the President of Chess SA. However, FIDE decided to hold recognition of the outcome until all appeals were dealt with.

FIDE's decision to organize the elections was challenged on behalf of Chess SA in front of the FIDE General Assembly, and after losing the appeal, Chess SA and several Executive Board members appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). On June 17, 2024, CAS issued its final verdict: The appeal filed by Chess SA against the FIDE General Assembly decision of December 17, 2023, was declared inadmissible. The decision was made on the grounds that the Chess SA Executive Board did not have a quorum to authorize the lawyers to file the appeal. The appeal filed by certain members (natural persons) of the Chess SA Executive Board was also declared inadmissible, as those individuals had not filed an internal appeal with the FIDE GA in the first place and were not the addressees of the FIDE GA decision of December 17 2023.

The ruling of CAS is final and subject to immediate execution as per Article 190, paragraph 1 of the Swiss Private International Law Act.

Taking into account the CAS decision, FIDE officially recognizes the results of the elections held and wishes the new management success in advancing chess in the country.

About Court of Arbitration for Sport

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is an institution independent of any sports organization which provides for servic­es in order to facilitate the settlement of sports-related disputes through arbitration or mediation by means of procedural rules adapted to the­ specific needs of the sports world.

The CAS was created in 1984 and is placed under the administrative and financial authority of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS).

The CAS has nearly 300 arbitrators from 87 countries, chosen for their specialist knowledge of arbitration and sports law. Around 300 cases are registered by the CAS every year.

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