By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The President of the Confederation of African Football, CAF Ahmad Ahmad has been banned from all sporting related activities for the next five years by Football governing body FIFA.
The FIFA ethics committee found “Ahmad had breached his duty of loyalty, offered gifts and other benefits, mismanaged funds and abused his position as the CAF President.”
“The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has found Ahmad Ahmad, the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and a FIFA Vice-President, guilty of having breached art. 15 (Duty of loyalty), art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts or other benefits) and art. 25 (Abuse of position) of the 2020 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics, as well as art. 28 (Misappropriation of funds) of the 2018 edition,” the statement read.
“The investigation into Mr Ahmad’s conduct in his position as CAF President during the period from 2017 to 2019 concerning various CAF-related governance issues, including the organisation and financing of an Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca, his involvement in CAF’s dealings with the sports equipment company Tactical Steel and other activities.”
“In its decision, following an extensive hearing, the adjudicatory chamber ruled that, based on information gathered by the investigatory chamber, Mr Ahmad had breached his duty of loyalty, offered gifts and other benefits, mismanaged funds and abused his position as the CAF President, under the FIFA Code of Ethics.
“Consequently, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Ahmad had breached arts 15, 20 and 25 of the current edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics, as well as art. 28 of the 2018 edition, and sanctioned him with a ban from all football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level for five years. Also, a fine of CHF 200,000 has been imposed on Mr Ahmad.”
Ahmad’s first four-year term was clouded with allegations of financial wrongdoing and misconduct at the Confederation of African Football headquarters in Cairo. He was detained by French authorities in Paris on the eve of the Women’s World Cup for questioning about a CAF equipment deal with a company that appeared to have little connection with soccer.
The Ban for the Malagy comes at a time when he has been seeking re-election as President of CAF. 46 African football Federations had called for Ahmad to seek a second mandate, which he fittingly obliged. The CAF election is scheduled for March 12 in Rabat, Morocco.
A Clear Road for Patrice Motsepe of South Africa?
Patrice Motsepe, chairman of 2016 African club champions Mamelodi Sundowns is seen as the front contender for the CAF Presidency. With Ahmad Ahmad’s ban, the tagline may just be true.
Ahmad’s ban leaves the number of candidates for the Presidency to three; Jacques Anouma of Ivory Coast, Augustine Senghor, the head of the Senegalese Football Federation and Patrice Motsepe of South Africa.
“Motsepe can contest the position since he fulfils the requirements of having been involved in football for the past five years, with the South African having led Pretoria-based Sundowns since 2004, and has received the backing of his federation,” BBC Sports Africa reported.
“Caf must improve its global standing,” said South Africa FA president Danny Jordaan. “He is the most appropriate person we could offer for the leadership of Caf. We do not want any compromise on governance or ethics in football.”
“He has more superior qualities than me,” Pinnick told BBC Sport Africa. “It’s not about me, it’s about African football. If you have someone with superior qualities, you have to learn from him and queue behind him and wait for your time.”
“The key to successful governance starts from the point where the right person or persons are put in the right positions for the right reasons,” said Sierra Leone FA president Isha Johansen. “African football and the African continent need to be on the global platform for the right reasons.”