KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Ahmad Ahmad, the president of the African football confederation, is to appeal against a five-year ban from football imposed last week by the ethics committee of world governing body FIFA.
The 60-year-old from Madagascar had previously announced his intention for stand for re-election to CAF’s top job at a special congress in Rabat, Morocco, next March.Ahmad’s lawyers, in a statement, announced his decision to raise a complaint at the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the verdict imposed for corruption. He has always denied the charges.
The first step for Ahmad is to wait to study the written judgment and then appeal to FIFA. Only then can he go to CAS. However Ahmad is considering asking CAS for a ruling suspending his ban pending the completion of his rights of appeal – which could go all the way to the Swiss Federal Court.
Ahmad, who has been out of action after testing positive for Covid-19, ousted Cameroon’s long-serving Issa Hayatou as CAF president in 2017.
He stood for the presidency initially on a platform promising administrative reform, financial transparency and a potential competitions reorganisation.
However all of this was soon relegated to the shadows by a damning report about the realities submitted to FIFA in spring 2019 by Amr Fahmy, then the CAF secretary-general.
Fahmy claimed he had been ordered by Ahmad to pay $20,000 in bribes into accounts of African FA presidents and that CAF had incurred $830,000 in costs by axing an equipment contract with Puma in favour of a little-known French intermediary named Tactical Steel.
He had also used CAF funds to pay for a pilgrimage to Mecca for several members of the executive committee.
On top of all this Ahmad was accused of harassing four female members of the CAF staff, amending statutes to increase Moroccan representation within the organisation and over-spending more than $400,000 of CAF money on cars in Egypt and Madagascar, where he had set up a local office for himself.
The following June, also in 2019, Ahmad, one of FIFA’s seven vice-presidents, was detained for 12 hours for questioning by French police while in Paris attending FIFA Congress. No charges were brought.
Two weeks later FIFA sent its Senegalese secretary-general Fatma Samoura to effectively take over the running of Ahmad’s dysfunctonal CAF for six months.
Four other contenders have registered their intention to stand for election to the CAF presidency: Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast), Patrice Motsepe (South Africa), Augustin Senghor (Senegal) and Ahmed Yahya (Mauritania).