FIFA bosses allegedly block CAF whistleblower El-Sherei’s return after Egyptian FA offer job

By Osasu Obayiuwana

September 16 – Mohamed El-Sherei, recently sacked as CAF’s Finance Director, following allegations of impropriety and incompetence, received another setback, after a subsequent job offer to him from the Normalisation Committee (NC) of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) was withdrawn. 

El-Sherei had recently been given a verbal offer of appointment by the NC, on the telephone, after a face-to-face interview.

But the appointment was reportedly blocked by FIFA, which has the final say on key appointments made by the NC.

Egyptian football has been in crisis since Hany Abou Rida, the FIFA Council member, quit as EFA President, along with his entire board, as a result of the poor performance of the national team, the Pharaohs, at the Africa Cup of Nations, which the North African country hosted.

El-Sherei, who laid a complaint of financial impropriety against CAF President Ahmad with the Investigatory Chamber of FIFA’s Ethics Committee, before his sacking, declined to speak to InsideWorldFootball when it contacted him for a statement.

But in reaction to a twitter post made by this reporter, asking why his job offer was withdrawn, El Sherei said  “They (CAF and FIFA) are still trying to hide their [governance] failure.”

Suketu Patel, the former CAF Vice-President and past chair of CAF’s Finance Committee, says the allegations that led to the sacking of El-Sherei do not match the character of the person that he mentored and worked with for several years.

”I have known him from [being] a very junior staff, when I first joined CAF and [I] played some role in his development and subsequent appointment as Director of Finance,” Patel told Insideworldfootball.

“Whilst not super intelligent, I liked his work ethics. [He] would stay up till 2am to meet deadlines. Above all, I respected his honesty. He comes from a highly respected Egyptian family,” Patel said.

John Muinjo, the former President of the Namibia FA, also gave a positive character reference for El-Sherei.

“I used to know and work with him closely. Used to be a professional person who has excelled, I think,” he said.

“He was my friend, I teased him often because he supported Al Ahly whole heartedly. I was jokingly supporting Zamalek.”

After the sacking of El-Sherei, a number of Egyptian staff also had their appointments terminated at CAF, following the arrival of Fatma Samoura, FIFA’s Secretary-General, as the organisation’s General Delegate for Africa.

A joint CAF/FIFA Partnership Roadmap “covering three main areas: financial management, good governance and internal procedures,” was examined during the inaugural meeting of the CAF/FIFA Taskforce on 10 September.

According to an official statement from CAF, the roadmap “is being implemented collaboratively by CAF Secretary General Mouad Hajji and FIFA Secretary-General and General Delegate for Africa Fatma Samoura, with the support of a group of specialists from FIFA selected for their expertise in key areas.”

Contact the writer of this story, Osasu Obayiuwana, at moc.l1590950058labto1590950058ofdlr1590950058owedi1590950058sni@o1590950058fni1590950058