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A second term for Ahmad could spell doom for African Football

A second term for Ahmad could spell doom for African Football

CAF President Ahmad Ahmad has reportedly received backing from African Leaders in football to run for another term of office.

46 out of 54 Member Associations have called on the Madagascar football administrator to consider submitting his candidacy before the 12 November deadline.

Ahmad is yet to state whether he will throw his name into the hat for the race with elections billed for March 2021 in Rabat Morocco.

He is the subject of a Fifa ethics investigation which could possibly derail his bid after former Secretary General Amr Fahmy made various allegations to football’s world governing body against the Malagasy – all of which Ahmad denies.

Ahmad is yet to confirm his bid for a second term and is probably weighing his options given the current corruption charges against him.

The 60-year-old administrator became the seventh president of the African football body after displacing Issa Hayatou in an election on March 2017.

Ahmad defeated Hayatou who led CAF for 29 years by 34 votes to 20, and his tenure is set to expire in 2021.

When he was voted into office, Ahmad promised to sweep clean the corruption that had plagued African football for many years. He promised to reform the institution based on financial transparency and also revamp CAF competitions.

While he has scored on issues like the expanded AFCON, AWCON and the Introduction of the Women’s CAF Champions League, none of these will mean anything if there is no transparency in financial and administrative management. It’s a case of one step forward and ten steps backwards.

Ahmad and his friends at CAF have shown incompetence in running its competitions. For example one of the biggest scandals was the CAF Champions League Final win by Esperance Tunis and ordered a replay of the second-leg match against Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca in June, 2019..

The Tunisian club denounced Ahmad as incompetent and corrupt vowing to appeal against the CAF decision with relevant international bodies.

Hours after the CAF Champions League debacle, Ahmad was arrested by French Police. Reports of Ahmad’s arrest were published by French-based pan-African magazine, Jeune Africa, who said the 59-year-old football administrator had been detained at his hotel in Paris, where he was attending the FIFA Congress.

His arrest by the Central Office for the Fight against Corruption and Financial and Tax Offences (Oclif), was reportedly in conection with a contract that CAF terminated with German equipment manufacturer Puma in favor of Technical Steel.

Ahmad is accused of having influenced this decision, standing to be rewarded with up to $830,000. He denied the allegations.

Ahmad was also heavily criticized for the manner in which CAF handled the hosting rights for the 2019 African Nations Cup, which were stripped from Cameroon last year and awarded to hosts Egypt.

CAF in 2019 terminated the 12-year, $1Billion guaranteed contract with French sports marketing agency, Lagardère Sports and Entertainment (LSE), a decision that has caused LSE to lodge formal complaints with The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

FIFA’s decision to intervene by sending its SG Fatma Samoura to manage CAF for 6-months triggered a panic among the CAF mandarins, who knew that it was only a matter of time before their mismanagement of CAF financial affairs came to the fore.

Along with Mme. Samoura came elements of the PWC Switserland office to conduct an audit of CAF, which was quite clever too, lest CAF officials later tried to lay the blame for missing funds at the feet of Samoura.

In reality, the African game has been terribly mishandled during the last three years and this now brings the question. Does Ahmad still have anything to offer African Football?

One thing is for certain, a second term for Ahmad could spell doom for African Football.

 

An African football Journalist based in the town of Kabwe, Zambia. Kelvin is a former Media Officer at Kabwe Warriors FC, a professional team that plays in the Zambian Super Division. He worked there for three years. He is also a freelance Photographer and Graphic designer. A co-presenter of a Sports Show on Power FM local radio station in Kabwe.

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