By Paul Nicholson
April 11 – As Confederation of African Football (CAF) administrators gather in Egypt for the AFCON 2019 draw and executive committee meetings, more detail of the corruption allegations swirling around their president Ahmad Ahmad have emerged amid insider reports that he is planning a purge of full time executive in Cairo.
Reports are also emerging of a number of sexual harassment claims against Ahmad – Insideworldfootball has seen copy of a police report filed – following a series of separate incidents concerning CAF staff and contracted consultants.
Ahmad’s reaction to the corruption accusations was to initially pass them off as people not liking his reforms, but as the severity of the allegations have grown he has subsequently retreated to build his defences around his main supporters and in particular his Moroccan allies who now dominate CAF’s committee structures – in particular the finance and audit bodies.
The latest financial fraud allegations surround spending of $474,000 on four cars for Ahmad in the past two years as well as a near $740,000 bill, supposedly for air freight distribution, from a company called ES Pro Consulting based in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The air freight distribution invoice referred to the shipping of equipment that had been bought, presumably via CAF’s exclusive France-based equipment supplier Tactical Steel (see (See: Lid lifted on CAF boss Ahmad’s empire of corrupt deals and bought officials), but invoiced in Abu Dhabi for $885,060. Tactical Steel is run by Romuald Seilier, a close friend of Loïc Gerand, the personal attaché of Ahmad.
Insideworldfootball has seen copies of invoices and the payment authorisations, and in the case of ES Pro Consulting the wire transfer details.
When it comes to cars it seems Ahmad has a preference for very high end Range Rovers – three of them – having them imported to Egypt via official Jaguar Land Rover dealer MTI-Automotive in Cairo.
The most expensive is a $190,000 Range Rover 5.0L V8 Autobiography in Santorini Black. He also bought a $130,000 Range Rover 3.0 V6 Petrol Vogue, and a Range River Sport 3.0L V6. All three cars were paid for by CAF.
Ahmad’s car buying on CAF money was not confined to Range Rovers and Egypt. He also bought more modestly priced Hyundai ($60,000) and Peugeot ($30,000) for his Madagascar use. These cars were bought via the SICAM dealership in Cairo but with the remittance information on the bank transfer saying they were “Payment des voitures de liaison a Madagascar Bureau CAF president”.
Last month, Insideworldfootball revealed Ahmad’s empire of allegedly corrupt practises with this website reporting that he was being accused of contract fraud, mismanagement of CAF funds and the payment of $20,000 sums directly into the private bank accounts of federation presidents, as well as paying for 15 of Africa’s muslim presidents to attend the Umra during Ramadan
Insideworldfootball also has documents detailing a sports equipment offer in December 2017 for the African Nations championship (CHAN) from Puma for €312,000 that was dropped in favour of a $1,195,603 deal for exactly the same equipment to be bought via Tactical Steel.
The new allegations of financial corruption detail how far and how fast the Ahmad presidency has polluted African football for his own personal enrichment and how he favours his inner circle.
Ahmad’s next step looks set to involve a cleansing of his Egyptian staff, including the removal his general secretary Amy Fahmy who he suspects of disloyalty. It is the paranoia if a despot desperately trying to protect himself and plug the multiple leaks within his own organisation.
The shift of administrative power in CAF to Morocco where Ahmad has spent increasing amounts of time also bears further scrutiny.
Ahmad supported Morocco in their losing 2026 World Cup bid and has grown closer to the Moroccans who have undergone a remarkable transformation in playing fortune on the field, leading many to privately question whether matches are being fixed.
Morocco won the CHAN tournament in 2018 which they hosted – Africa’s second most important national team competition – while top club Raja Casablanca won the CAF Confederation Cup and triumphed again in the CAF Super Cup in Qatar last Friday.
Last year Wydad Casablanca won the CAF Super Cup. Ahmad’s residence is in the same building as Wydad Casablanca president Said Naciri who is also a local government dignitary and vice president of the Moroccan FA.
For some time rumours of sexual harassment have surrounded Ahmad but no-one has ever dared to come forward.
Insideworldfootball has now seen evidence of a police report filed as well as notification of a report filed to FIFA’s Ethics department following the internal complaints of four female CAF employees of sexual harassment.
Insideworldfootball will report further on these allegations tomorrow.
CAF Executive Committee put on the spot
Yesterday evening an anonymous email was circulated to all of CAF’s executive committee members urging them to take action into their own hands and use their own statutory powers to curb the excess of Ahmad.
Although unsigned the email is believed to be from internal CAF and national federation sources and the work of a group of individuals who have access to confidential email addresses and confidential information on the confederation’s working.
They are unhappy with what they see as the corruption within the African confederation, with the email telling the CAF exco: “It is no longer possible for you to plead ignorance and be in a position of passive complicity in the face of the mismanagement, particularly financial, that has settled in the Confederation of African Football.
“Your silence, if it persists, will be likened to active complicity, concealment and the abuse of social goods. Will you leave your honour tainted by a systematised rapine whose elements are already transpiring in the press around the world?”
The emai urges the exco members to use their “statutory and regulatory provisions to neutralise not only Mr Ahmad in his financial bulimia, but the constant and blatant violation of the regular statutes and regulations of the CAF… If you do not act, you will give reason to those who evoke a looting organised gang: The CAF MAFIA.
“The fate and future of African football are in your hands. History will remember what you will do in the next few hours, and will hold you accountable.”
Where are FIFA on this?
To date FIFA have been noticeable by their absence. Ahmad was powerfully supported by FIFA president Gianni Infantino in his overthrow of previous CAF president Issa Hayatou. Ahmad has in turn been a supporter of Infantino at every opportunity bar the 2026 World Cup vote when he placed his support behind the Moroccan bid.
That move caused a rift with Infantino that was subsequently patched up via a mediator, and business as usual was resumed.
However, the increasing noise surrounding the Ahmad corruption allegations and now the sexual harassment accusations, will make it difficult for FIFA’s Ethics body to again sweep Ahmad’s misdeeds under the carpet.
With FIFA under heightened scrutiny concerning sexual abuse and equality issues within the sport globally, not even this FIFA administration can pretend everything in the African church is kosher. Can they?
Insideworldfootball contacted FIFA for comment on the initial allegations made against Ahmad on March 18. FIFA has still not replied. FIFA has not been contacted regarding the latest set of allegations, but their press department is having its carpet swept currently under a new director of communications.
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