By Osasu Obayiuwana in Cairo, Egypt
July 14 – Mustapha Fahmy (pictured), who served as the General Secretary of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for 28 years, from 1982 until 2010, has launched a blistering attack on current CAF President Ahmad, accusing him of incompetence and destroying the 62-year-old organisation.
In a three-page letter he wrote to Ahmad (linked below), written on July 12, Fahmy, an Honorary Member of CAF – which statutorily entitles him to attend CAF’s annual Ordinary General Assembly (OGA), protested against their refusal to invite him to next Thursday’s OGA, at the Cairo Marriott.
“You keep insisting to violate CAF Statutes by refusing to send me an invitation in my capacity as [an] Honorary Member, to allow me to attend the proceedings of the General Assembly,” Fahmy began.
“You (Ahmad) consider that Honorary Members have no voting rights, so this confers [on] you the right of preventing them from attending the General Assembly.
“By so doing, you are giving yourself a right which you don’t have, by virtue of CAF Statutes, because a General Assembly decision cannot, in any way, be contested by the Executive committee and more less [not] by the president,” Fahmy said.
Mustapha Fahmy belongs to a family that had dynastic control of the CAF Secretariat for 51 years, a record like none other at any other Confederation.
His father, Mourad, was General Secretary from 1961 till he died in 1982, with Mustapha taking over for the next 29 years and leaving the post in 2010.
Moroccan Hicham Amrani became the first non-Egyptian to become CAF’s CEO when he replaced Fahmy in 2010.
No black African has ever been in charge of the CAF secretariat in its 62-year-history.
On Amrani’s departure in 2017 – after Issa Hayatou was defeated by Ahmad in the presidential election in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Amr Fahmy, who is Mustapha’s son, resumed at the ‘family firm’, until he was sacked by the CAF executive committee, at the request of Ahmad, on 11 April 2019.
According to the official minutes of the meeting of the CAF executive committee on April 11 and April 12 – as read by this correspondent – Amr Fahmy was dismissed for “breach of trust”, “increase of salaries without validation of the President”, “verbal aggression to employees”, “insubordination” and “evident delay in the implementation of decisions of the Executive Committee.”
Mustapha Fahmy claims he rejected any involvement in the appointment of his son as CAF General Secretary in 2017. But he made clear that his “refusal” to be involved had nothing to do with a lack of confidence in his son’s ability to do the job.
“I would like to remind you (Ahmad) that when you informed me that you would like to appoint him as CAF general secretary, I answered that it was your own affair and that I would not like to be involved in that process. You were under the impression that I had no confidence in his capacities and capabilities, but it was the contrary.
“I had no confidence in your ability to manage an organisation as big and important as CAF. Your predecessors always had full confidence in their general secretaries and did not interfere in the running of the administration.
“But as far as you are concerned, you have always interfered in the management of the secretariat and the appointments at all levels.
“You have fired brilliant staff members who could have been a real asset to our administration… you managed to keep only those who were telling you that you are the best and those who were always following you, all the time when you were in Cairo,” Mustapha Fahmy said.
Ahmad told this correspondent that he had intended to dismiss Amr Fahmy for incompetence, one year into his term as CAF General Secretary.
But as a result of Amr Fahmy’s bout of serious sickness – which required him to undergo complex brain surgery – Ahmad told Insideworldfootball, in an interview with this reporter, in Djibouti City, that he had to postpone the inevitable.
“If you appoint a person to an important position and he is not capable of doing the job, then you make a change. That’s a normal part of management,” Ahmad insisted.
“But it’s not normal that if a president wants to remove a prime minister, the prime minister cries about it, when the president has the statutory power to remove you. There is no problem in CAF. There is a problem, perhaps, for the person that was removed,” the CAF President said.
Contact the writer of this story, Osasu Obayiuwana, at moc.l1563451380labto1563451380ofdlr1563451380owedi1563451380sni@o1563451380fni1563451380