By Osasu Obayiuwana
August 21 – Amr Fahmy, the former General Secretary of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), was questioned by the French authorities on Tuesday in Paris.
This is in furtherance of their investigation into CAF’s financial affairs, concerning business transactions between the African football governing body and kit suppliers Tactical Steel, a company based in La Seyne-sur-Mer.
“I was requested by the French Police to give information, regarding their ongoing case that became public last June,” Fahmy (pictured) told Insideworldfootball on Tuesday.
In an official statement he gave to Egyptian media, Fahmy said: “I was summoned to Paris to testify in the case of Ahmad Ahmad, after I had been approached to set the date [of testimony], according to my schedule.
“Accordingly, I headed to the Police Department of ‘Nanterre’, which specialises in the cases of bribery and tax evasion.
“I gave my statements in the case of Ahmad Ahmad and ‘Tactical Steel’ and left the department at 7pm.”
The “ongoing” investigation led to CAF President Ahmad and his personal aide Loic Gerand being questioned, on June 6, by the French authorities, after the conclusion of the FIFA Congress in Paris.
Officers from the Central Office for Combating Corruption and Financial and Tax Crimes (OCLCIFF) are investigating a contract broken by Ahmad with Puma in December 2017, which was subsequently placed with Tactical Steel.
OCLCIFF are examining possible acts of tax evasion, money laundering and fraud.
As previously reported by Insideworldfootball, the Puma contract was worth €312,000 but was dropped in favour of Tactical Steel, for a subsequent deal worth $1,195,603.
Tactical Steel is run by Romuald Seilier, a close friend of Gerand, the personal attaché of Ahmad.
In an exclusive interview this reporter had with Ahmad in May, before he was questioned by OCLCIFF, the CAF President insisted that the deal with Tactical Steel met all legal and ethical guidelines.
He claimed that the increase in the subsequent order, from Tactical Steel, was responsible for the significant difference in the contract price originally given to CAF by PUMA.
“No one is asking about the quantity of the equipment that we bought [from Tactical Steel],” Ahmad told Insideworldfootball.
“How much were we supposed to buy from Puma, compared with what we eventually bought through Tactical Steel?
“The information is contained in the purchase documents and they are not secret. You can ask our new General Secretary for the details.
“The supplies from Tactical Steel were for three competitions (as opposed to the contract with Puma, which was to supply equipment for the 2018 CHAN in Morocco only).
“We had an emergency situation at that time. But after these purchases, there has to be a tender for everything. I was not involved in these purchases. They were handled completely by the administration,” Ahmad claimed.
Fahmy, who was questioned by the French authorities on Tuesday, had previously filed a litany of complaints against Ahmad with the FIFA Ethics Committee in March, which is still investigating them. He was subsequently fired as CAF General Secretary on April 11, on the eve of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations draw in Cairo.
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