Ahmad Ahmad, former president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), was banned by FIFA because he failed to extend the tenure of Fatma Samoura, its secretary-general, by six months, insiders revealed.
On Monday, the football’s world governing body handed the 60-year-old Madagascan administrator a five-year ban from all football-related activity for breaching various codes of ethics.
In a statement, the FIFA ethics committee said it found that “Ahmad had breached his duty of loyalty, offered gifts and other benefits, mismanaged funds and abused his position as the CAF President.”
“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,” it added.
HowAfrica was reliably informed that the former African football governing body boss was not banned for violating any code of ethics but because he did not extend Samoura’s secondment tenure with the continent’s football body.
In June 2019, Samoura was appointed as “high commissioner for Africa” to help CAF conduct a forensic and administrative review of the body for a period of six months.
The former United Nations’ deputy humanitarian coordinator (DHC) was, however, with the confederation from August 1, 2019 to January 31, 2020 — with her stay not extended.
A CAF bigwig, who spoke with TheCable, said Ahmad was booted out of the continent’s coveted seat because he failed to “dance to FIFA’s tune”.
“It’s a FIFA conspiracy. It only happened because they allowed Fatma to leave,” the insider told TheCable.
“This was Ahmad’s crime and the wall came crushing. If he had allowed Fatma to stay, these issues wouldn’t have come up at all. It was a bombshell that was long expected.
“It is a conspiracy that’s bigger than our eyes can see. There are bigger issues involved.”
The ban comes about 17 months after he was arrested and grilled by French investigators over corruption allegations related to an apparel contract.
In its statement, FIFA had said part of its investigation into Ahmad’s conduct in office was linked to that deal.
Prior to the ban, Ahmad, who had been president of CAF and vice-president of FIFA since March 17, 2017, had also indicated interest to retain the top seat of African football.