Banned African football boss Ahmad back at work pending appeal

Banned African football boss Ahmad back at work pending appeal

Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad Ahmad resumed his duties on Sunday (January 31) after having a five-year FIFA ban temporarily frozen by sport’s highest court while he appeals, the continental governing body said in a statement.

The former Madagascar minister of fisheries, voted in as African football’s top official in 2017, was suspended for five years by the sport’s world governing body FIFA in November after being accused of abuse of office, mishandling funds and trading gifts.

The ban was frozen on Friday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which said it would hear Ahmad‘s appeal on March 2 and deliver a verdict before March 12 so as not to prejudice his chances of running for re-election should his suspension be overturned.

Ahmad wants to stand for re-election on March 12 at the CAF Congress in Morocco but was ruled ineligible by a FIFA review committee because of the ban.

Ahmad has labelled the FIFA suspension “incomprehensible and shocking” and said it was implemented to prevent him from being “re-elected to the presidency of CAF”.

The CAF statement said Ahmad had conducted a video meeting with the African organisation’s emergency committee on Sunday and will meet the CAF governance committee on Monday to discuss his candidacy for the elections.

He will then travel to Cameroon in midweek to attend the final of the African Nations Championship, the 16-team tournament for national teams made up of only locally-based players that is staged every two years.

All the presidents of CAF’s 54 member associations have also been invited to next Sunday’s match, allowing for furious lobbying ahead of the election.

The CAF statement said Ahmad’s “tenure at the head of continental football was marked by numerous administrative and sports reforms which were intended to enable the institution to raise its standards towards greater excellence.

“He intends to continue with the implementation of these reforms,” it added.