The President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and a FIFA vice president since 2017, Ahmad Ahmad, a 60-year-old from Madagascar has been banned by FIFA on Monday for various ethics violations.
According to a statement released by FIFA’s ethics body, CAF President Ahmad Ahmad was found guilty of breaching four separate articles of the football governing body’s code of ethics which included offering and accepting gifts and other benefits, abuse of power, and misappropriation of funds.
“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 investigation into Mr. Ahmad’s conduct in his position as CAF President during the period from 2017 to 2019 concerned 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” the statement read.
Ahmad’s ban disqualifies him from standing for a new term early next year and from football-related activities.
“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.” the statement further read.
Ahmad, however, can appeal his sanction at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), once he has received the full grounds for the decision, a process which is said to take up to 60 days. Thus, his chances of re-election are dependant on winning his appeal at CAS as well as ensuring the appeal is heard early enough to be confirmed as a candidate.
CAF President Ahmad Ahmad must therefore ensure his clearance from all allegations by 11 January which is the date set by CAF to formally announce the presidential candidates to all its members.
Ahmad was also fined 200,000 Swiss francs ($220,000) by the football governing body.
Decision to ban Ahmad
The decision to ban Ahmad was announced more than a year after FIFA received complaints of wrongdoing, and 17 months after he was detained and questioned by French authorities in Paris about a CAF equipment deal.
Ahmad is currently on medical leave after contracting the coronavirus late last month. Constant Omari Selemani, the DR Congo FA president who faces his own ethics investigation over a television deal that he and Ahmad changed to benefit CAF’s broadcast partners at a cost of millions of dollars to African soccer, takes over as the new interim President of CAF until March 2021.
CAF holds its presidential elections on March 12, 2021.