By Paul Nicholson
August 16 – Musa Bility, the former Liberian FA president and Confederation of African Football (CAF) executive committee member, is not slowing down in his mission to hold FIFA and CAF to account over their co-operation initiative that has seen control of African football fall under the dominating wing of the world governing body.
In a new statement Bility raises the conflict of interest issues he has warned of surrounding the dual role of Fatma Samoura as FIFA’s general secretary and ‘CAF General Delegate’, and uses as an example the recently initiated broadcast rights grab by FIFA of African member associations’ World Cup 2022 and 2026 qualification matches.
“In a letter dated 12th August 2019 and addressed to all Member Associations of FIFA, and
under the heading “The FIFA SGs assignment as the FIFA GD for Africa as of 1st August 2019”, Samoura explains to the FIFA membership that she has duly delegated her FIFA duties, specifically to Alasdair Bell (FIFA Deputy SG),” says Bility.
“In another letter dated 13th August 2019, she has addressed the 54 Member Associations of
FIFA and CAF, enclosing a mandate for the collectivization of media and marketing rights for the World Cup qualifiers 2022 and 2026.
“Sinisterly, both letters and the mandate have been done on the FIFA letterhead.”
Bility then goes on to ask:
“a). What is the status of CAF under the presumptive FIFA-CAF cooperation? Has CAF been formally liquidated?
b). With the mandate for the collectivization of broadcast and marketing rights being done onFIFA letterhead, will these now belong to FIFA to do with as it pleases? It is worth noting UEFA currently controls 100% the same RIGHTS being hijacked by FIFA from CAF. They exercise all rights including distribution of proceeds to their MA’s
c). At what point does Fatma Samoura cease to be FIFA SG and become the CAF GD? Currently she is behaving as though she has not ceded her official role at FIFA despite delegating her duties.
d). Isn’t there a self-evident conflict of interest, that we have consistently pointed out, regarding the role Fatma Samoura is supposed to play in CAF while being allowed to gallivant between Africa and Europe?”
Bility was banned by FIFA just 24 hours after taking CAF to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) alleging the CAF-FIFA co-operation was illegal and broke the statutes of both governing bodies. It was a decision taken by FIFA’s Ethics committee February 12 but not announced until June, days after Bility had refused to support the FIFA-CAF takeover proposal. Bility alleges he was told by FIFA’s Mathias Grafstrom that if he publicly supported the initiative they would make the charges against him go away (at that time Bility did not know he had been banned). Bility refused to comply. Two days later he was banned.
“Let me reiterate that this CAF – FIFA arrangement is wrong on so many levels, from legal to moral, it is an unprecedented attempt to obliterate the will of the African FAs and thereforetheir right to self-determination,” says Bility in his statement.
“This situation cannot and will not be allowed to go unchallenged.”
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