AFCON won't be affected by CAF president dispute; Egypt deserves increased host revenues: Amr Fahmy

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Sunday 9 Jun 2019

"I heard some talk that African Cup will be negatively affected by the ongoing incidents, but don't worry this won't happen," Fahmy said

Amr Fahmy
CAF Secretary General Amr Fahmy of Egypt (Photo: Ahram)

Egypt's hosting of the African Cup of Nations later this month won't be affected by the ongoing dispute between the Confederation of African Football (CAF) former general secretary Amr Fahmy and current president Ahmad Ahmad, the former said Saturday.

Fahmy blamed Ahmad Ahmad as being the main reason that hosts Egypt didn't see an increase in revenues despite the expansion of the prestigious tournament.

"I can't explain the details of my complaint against Ahmad Ahmad due to current legal procedures," Fahmy told MBC Masr TV channel late Saturday.

"I was getting a big salary upon my work for CAF, but I don't work for money, but for ethics and principles," he added.

On 15 April, the African football ruling body sacked general secretary Amr Fahmy after the Egyptian accused his boss Ahmad Ahmad of bribery and misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to officials and an internal document.

The document, sent 31 March by Fahmy to a FIFA investigations committee and seen by Reuters, accuses Ahmad of ordering his secretary-general to pay $20,000 (£15,256) in bribes into accounts of African football association presidents.

They included Cape Verde and Tanzania.

The document also accused Ahmad of costing CAF an extra $830,000 by ordering equipment via a French intermediary company called Tactical Steel.

Furthermore, the complaint accuses Ahmad of harassing four female CAF staff, whom it did not name; violating 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 a satellite office has been set up for him.

"I opened an investigation during my work at CAF and the investigation is still ongoing at FIFA. I'm not worried at all," explained Fahmy.

Arresting Ahmad Ahmad

At the wake of Fahmy's accusations, Ahmad Ahmad was arrested Thursday morning at a hotel in Paris where he was staying to attend the FIFA Congress. He was released hours later.

French magazine Jeune Afrique said Ahmad's arrest is linked to the contract unilaterally broken by CAF with German equipment manufacturer Puma, to engage with the company Technical Steel, based in La Seyne-sur-Mer, instead.

The new contract, which according to Amr Fahmy was favoured given the proximity between Ahmad and one of the leaders of the French company, came at an additional cost of $830,000 dollars (739 000 Euros).

Nations Cup is safe

Directly after being released, Ahmad held a meeting with Egyptian Football Association boss Hani Abu-Rida in the presence of a number of CAF board members in Paris to speak about final preparations for AFCON 2019.

"I heard some talk that African Cup will be negatively affected by the ongoing incidents, but don't worry this won't happen," Fahmy said.

Egypt will host the Nations Cup, which has been expanded to 24 teams, from 21 June to 19 July.

"Egypt is always known with fighting corruption," added the former general secretary.

"The current problem is that Egypt didn't increase its hosting revenues despite the expansion of teams to 24 instead of 16.

"I accepted to work with Ahmad Ahmad as I thought that I will modify the broadcasting contract. That didn't happen.

"Egypt will get the same amount gotten by Gabon for hosting the 2017 edition, neglecting the expansion of both teams and matches and also the timing, as the tournament will be this time in summer instead of winter that synchronises with European leagues.

"The fair value of the tournament is $100m, so Egypt should get $20m instead of $10m, but Ahmad Ahmad refuses to modify the contracts," he concluded.

The record seven-time African champions, Egypt, will play in Group A along with DR Congo, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Egypt will kick off the tournament by playing Zimbabwe on 21 June.

With Javier Aguirre at the helm, the Pharoahs are seeking to win the prestigious title for the first time since 2010, the last of their record seven victories.

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