Out of Africa

Tuesday 24 Nov 2020

Ahmad Ahmad is no longer president of the Confederation of African Football

Former secretary-general of CAF Amr Fahmi
Former secretary-general of CAF Amr Fahmi

Ahmad Ahmad, president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and a FIFA vice-president, has been found guilty of having breached four articles of FIFA statues, and has been banned from all football-related activity for five years.  

The Malagese, who replaced the former CAF president Issa Hayatou in 2017, breached the following: Article 15 (duty of loyalty), Article 20 (offering and accepting gifts or other benefits) and Article 25 (abuse of position) of the 2020 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics, as well as Article 28 (misappropriation of funds) of the 2018 edition.

According to a FIFA statement on Monday, the investigation into Ahmad’s conduct in his position as CAF president from 2017 to 2019 concerned various CAF-related governance issues, including the organisation and financing of an Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca and his involvement in CAF’s dealings with the sports equipment company Tactical Steel.

In its decision, following an extensive hearing, the Adjudicatory Chamber ruled that, based on information gathered by the investigatory chamber, Ahmad had breached his duty of loyalty, offered gifts and other benefits, mismanaged funds and abused his position as CAF president, pursuant to the FIFA Code of Ethics.

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Consequently, the Adjudicatory Chamber found that Ahmad had breached Articles 15, 20 and 25 of the current edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics, as well as Article 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. In addition, he was fined 200,000 Swiss francs ($200,000).

The terms of the decision were notified to Ahmad on Monday, the date on which the ban comes into force. The full decision will be notified to Ahmad in the next 60 days, after which it will be published on the legal section of the FIFA official website.

The ban means Ahmad can no longer run for a second mandate in the elections, scheduled for March 2021.  

CAF followed with a statement after the FIFA statement to announce that the FIFA decision puts Ahmad in a position of no longer being able to exercise his responsibilities. Then, in accordance with its statues, CAF announced that the current interim term of Constant Selemani Omari as president of CAF is extended.

Omari, CAF’s vice president, stepped in as acting president to Ahmad who was hospitalised after contacting the coronavirus. Though he was recently released from hospital, he had not resumed his responsibilities as he was in convalescence.

“The Confederation of African Football, which is concerned about the reputational consequences of this long procedure, maintains the schedule of all its activities and programs,” the CAF statement said.

Former secretary-general Amr Fahmi had filed a complaint to FIFA concerning Ahmad for alleged corruption in 2019 and provided FIFA with documents which forced the world governing body to open an investigation.

Fahmi died earlier this year at 37.

FIFA had sent their Secretary-General Fatma Samoura to run CAF for six months and look into the breaches.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 26 November, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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