Shock as FIFA slaps CAF boss Ahmad with five-year ban over graft

 
The football world is reeling in shock after world football governing body Fifa announced Monday that it had slapped CAF president Ahmad Ahmad with a five-year ban from all football activities over  graft.

This effectively ends Ahmad’s stint at the helm of the continental football body as he will not be able to stand for re-election.

He can appeal his sanction at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) once he has received the full grounds for the decision, a process that can take up to 60 days.

Last month, the former head of Madagascar’s FA announced his intention to go for a second term in office when Caf elections take place next March.

Ahmad, 60, ascended to the post on 17 March 2017, at the CAF General Assembly in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), the year of the 60th anniversary of the institution, winning the election by obtaining 34 votes out of 54 voters ending the long reign of Cameroonian strong man Issa Hayatou.

In announcing the ban, Fifa said that its  adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has found Ahmad guilty of having breached article. 15 (Duty of loyalty) and article. 20 by offering and accepting gifts or other benefits.

He was also found to be in breach of  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.

The investigation into his conduct, Fifa said, were during the period from 2017 to 2019  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.

Below is Fifa’s statement.

“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.

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

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. In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 200,000 has been imposed on Mr Ahmad.

The terms of the decision were notified to Mr Ahmad today, the date on which the ban comes into force. In accordance with art. 78 par. 2 of the FIFA Code of Ethics, the full, motivated decision will be notified to Mr Ahmad in the next 60 days.

By Isaac Swila and Fifa.com