TAS rules against Sport Ancash and will play non-league football next season

13 months after Sport Ancash controversially lost the play-off match that would’ve sent them into Peru’s top division; the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) has ruled that the result of the match will stand, despite claims that opponents Academia Deportivo Cantalao fielded two ineligible players.

The Federation of Peruvian Football (FPF) tweeted: The sports tribunal panel has notified the FPF that we have decided to reject the appeal filed by Sport Ancash FC.

This tops off an absolutely rotten 12 months for Sport Ancash. Having lost the play-off, they remained in Peru’s second division for the 2017 season, eventually finishing bottom of the table. They have now been relegated into the abyss of non-league Peru, after putting in a season of apathetic performances whilst they awaited the verdict of their appeal.

Sport Ancash had pinned all their hopes on the chance that the verdict would’ve ruled in their favour, overturning the play-off result, and seeing them promoted into Peru’s top division. Indeed, the club admitted on their twitter feed that this season they had decided to focus on their appeal, at the expense of their football. The gamble hasn’t paid off, and they will spend the year trying to get back into Peru’s professional divisions.

To some extent, they only have themselves to blame. As a football club, Ancash should have prioritised football this year, and put the appeal on the backburner until a decision had been reached. If they have any reason to feel aggrieved, it is that the result of the appeal has taken far longer than expect, when a result had been expected back in late September. Perhaps, if they had known their fate sooner, they would have put more effort into their football.

Fans will be incredibly disappointed after watching their team finish last, with a lamentable goal difference of -46, giving supporters only three wins to celebrate in 12 months. The team looked a far cry from the squad that, only a year ago, had looked on the verge of returning to Peru’s first division. Whether or not justice has been served, huarcinos who follow the city’s second club, deserved better, after finishing the previous season with such high hopes.

The Peru Cup awaits Sport Ancash, Peru’s non-league tournament that determines who will ascend into the top two divisions, with a chance for the winner to jump straight into the top league. Perhaps, without an appeal in the back of their minds, Sport Ancash can finally start playing football again.

Author: Frederick Clayton

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