By Osasu Obayiuwana
November 18 – With just 72 hours to Thursday’s CAF executive committee (exco) meeting in Cairo, the first since the Africa Cup of Nations final in Egypt, a member of the executive committee has lashed out against CAF President Ahmad for “not respecting the rules of the organisation.”
In a letter dated November 15 to his CAF exco colleagues and the General Secretary, Hadji Mouad, Souleyman Waberi (pictured left, Ahmad pictured right) who is also the head of CAF’s Referees Commission, has accused Ahmad of subverting the laid down rules for making changes to matters concerning referees and refereeing of CAF-organised matches.
“It is with great surprise and consternation that I have just seen in the agenda [for] the meeting of the Executive Committee scheduled for 21 November 2019 in Cairo, received yesterday (November 14), in its point 7, a [attached] draft of [for] “Reform of the Arbitration.’’
“I wanted to draw your attention [to the fact] that up to now, neither the CAF Referees’ Committee, which is statutorily responsible for all refereeing-related matters, nor myself, who is the current President, have been associated with the development or design of such a reform project.”
“I [have been] present in Cairo since 5 November 2019… How can the administration of the CAF include a point [on the CAF exco committee agenda] concerning refereeing which was not submitted and discussed [by] the committee dedicated to this task?”
“It is clear that in this case there is a blatant interference in the prerogatives of the committee and a lack of consideration and respect in its president.”
“Who else, better than the chairman of the committee, can or should propose such reforms? Pending a coherent answer to these questions, I ask all those involved in this way (presenting the proposal to the CAF exco) to respect our statutes, for the proper functioning of our institution,” Waberi said.
Waberi, who is also the President of the Djibouti FA, vowed to resign as the head of CAF’s Referees Commission if the proposals tabled before the 23-man CAF executive committee are not withdrawn.
“Already, I [have] inform[ed] the president and members of the executive of the CAF, that I will leave the presidency of the Referees’ Committee, if this project of reform does not go through the legal procedure to arrive on the table of the Executive Committee. It is inconceivable that the future of refereeing… is treated this way. This… is contrary to the mission that our member associations have entrusted to us,” Waberi said.
In a telephone conversation that this reporter had with Waberi on Saturday, following the publication of the letter, he said that he confronted the CAF President over the proposal.
“When I went to him and told him that what was done (tabling the proposal before the executive committee) was wrong, he told me that he is the president of all the committees in CAF. This response is not acceptable and I have made that very clear to him.”
“I will make my views very clear, when we have our meeting on Wednesday and we shall see what happens there.”
Another CAF exco member told Insideworldfootball on Saturday that Wednesday’s meeting in Cairo could be “the last straw that breaks the camel’s back” of the 23-man exco body.
“Things continue to go wrong with how we govern the organisation. I hope that we can change course or the future is only going to get worse for us,” the member warned.
The unilateral termination of CAF’s contract with Lagardere Sports, which was done by the Emergency Committee of CAF – and not with the approval of the full executive committee, is also slated for discussion on Wednesday.
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