By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau
The proverb that says when one finger dips into palm oil it will eventually soil the remaining fingers may play out in the case of the five years ban slammed on Madagascan Ahmad Ahmad, the erstwhile President of Confederation of Africa Football (CAF).
Prompt News Online investigation reveals that embattled Ahmad will not go down alone after all.
Speculations are rife that most of those who benefited from Ahmad’s largesse are in for a big surprise as the axe will soon fall on them if the allegations against the football administrator are anything to rely upon.
Prompt News reports that the investigation into 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, a bizzare act that would not have happened in the first instance, is likely to attract FIFA wrath to the beneficiaries of the religious trip to Mecca.
Also, Ahmad was accused by his former Secretary General, late Amry Fahmy of bribery as he was alleged to have given unsolicited money to heads of Member Associations (MA).
Fahmy’s evidence against Ahmad may equally nail some members of CAF leadership and others in the various countries.
Already, the Independent Ethics Committee found Ahmad, who was 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 FIFA Committee stated that Ahmad’s involvement in CAF’s dealings with the sports equipment company Tactical Steel and other activities nailed him.
In its decision, following an extensive hearing, the Adjudicatory Chamber ruled that, based on information gathered by the Investigatory Chamber, 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 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 Ahmad.
The terms of the decision were notified to Ahmad on Monday, November 23, 2020, 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 Ahmad in the next 60 days, after which it will be published on legal.fifa.com.
Sensing the rot in CAF, FIFA’s Secretary General Fatma Samoura had been sent to work on the implementation of Governance Reforms at CAF Secretariat in Cairo, Egypt for the six-month period up to February this year.
Samoura’s secondment was reportedly organised at the request of CAF itself.
Meanwhile, it is becoming crystal clear that Ahmad and some of those angling to contest for the Presidential seat in the CAF General election scheduled for March 12, 2021 in Rabat, Morocco may be banned alongside Ahmad.
Late last month, Ahmad disclosed his intention to run for a second term in office but he was later down with Coronavirus, which forced him to hand over the realms of power to CAF first Vice-President, Constant Omari as he continues his recovery.
However, Omari himself is in the eyes of the storm as he is equally facing allegations, a situation which makes him unsuitable to hold forth for Ahmad.