KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: The right of Mauritania’s Ahmed Yahya to seek the presidency of the African football confederation has been thrown into doubt by revelations of his role in an international transfer scandal.
Yahya has been given the all-clear by the election governance panels of both CAF and FIFA and is considered by many sources to be the favourite of world federation president Gianni Infantino.
However Infantino was also a supporter, four years ago, of Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad and that turned out extremely badly with the current CAF president trying to overturn a five-year ban from football for corruption.
The revelations about Yahya by the Norwegian outlet Josimar may give Infantino pause for thought. He cannot afford, for the sake of his own credibility, to back the wrong horse again.
The essence of the report concerns last July’s decision by the Mauritania Supreme Court that the local Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (FFRIM), led by Yahya, had illicitly siphoned off $75,000 in transfer fees which were due in 2016 to the club ASAC Concorde from Spanish club Levante.
The court ordered that the monies must be repaid.
Yahya himself has always denied wrongdoing.
FIFA supremo Infantino has been busy in Africa over the last few weeks out of concern for the outcome of the CAF election in Rabat on March 12.
The other three certain candidates are Ivory Coast veteran Jacques Anouma, South African millionaire Patrick Motsepe and Augustin Emmanuel Senghor, from Senegal.
As for Ahmad, he had his suspension raised by the Court of Arbitration for Sport ahead of an appeal hearing on March 2.