The international governing body of association football, Federation International de Football Association (FIFA), is once again forced to ban a high-ranking official over corruption.
FIFA’s Independent Ethics Committee handed the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Ahmad Ahmad, a 5-year ban from football-related activities plus a fine of 200, 000 Swiss Franc after it found him guilty of abuse of office, misappropriation of funds and offering gifts and other benefits in his position as CAF president.
Mr Ahmad is just finishing his 4-year term in the office after he took over from long-standing president Issa Hayatou. He had indicated interest to run for the office again just last month, which is not going to happen anymore with the current ban.
The governing body has faced allegations of corruption for years, which prompted an audit last year that FIFA says will restore order in African Soccer. The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee found Mr. Ahmad, the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and a FIFA Vice-President, guilty of having breached article 15 (Duty of loyalty), article 20 (Offering and accepting gifts or other benefits) and article 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.
In a statement published on FIFA website, the body announced that “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.”
Mr. Ahmad, has maintained denial of any wrongdoing.