Amr Fahmy, former CAF exec who blew whistle on corruption, dies aged 36

By Andrew Warshaw

February 24 – Amr Fahmy, former general secretary of the African Football Confederation who blew the whistle on the corrupt activities of his boss Ahmad Amhad, has died of cancer at the age of 36.

Fahmy, whose father and grandfather assumed the same role, was appointed as CAF’s secretary general in November 2017, replacing Moroccan Hicham El Amrani.

However, he was fired less than two years into the job after he accused CAF’s president of bribery and misuse of hundreds of thousands of dollars and was replaced by another Moroccan, Mouad Hajji.

Last spring, Fahmy  filed a host of complaints against Ahmad with the FIFA Ethics Committee, which is still investigating them. A couple of months later, Ahmad was briefly detained by French authorities in Paris as part of a separate corruption probe.

The file against Ahmad presented by Fahmy is understood to include multiple financial mismanagement accusations as well as a swathe of sexual harassment complaints.

Fahmy’s information is said to show he was ordered by Ahmad to pay $20,000 into accounts of African football association presidents including those of Cape Verde and Tanzania – Ahmed’s supporters point out that these payments were transparent and recorded in CAF accounts – and that Ahmad cost CAF an extra $830,000 by striking a deal with French company Tactical Steel.

Fahmy’s revelations caused shockwaves across the continent and beyond and prompted FIFA to effectively take over the running of African football for six months last year, controversially dispatching its own general secretary Fatma Samoura to be in charge of African affairs.

“It is with great deal of sadness and emotions that we received the shock news,” CAF, who had no option but to be respectful and dignified in its response, said in a statement carried on its official website. “On behalf of CAF, we extend our deepest condolences to his family especially his parents, his spouse and daughter.”

When they sacked him, CAF cited “irreconcilable differences” without any credible explanation. The decision was met with considerable scepticism by a significant number of CAF’s executive committee who felt Fahmy was doing a good job.

Shortly before his death Fahmy revealed he planned to unseat Ahmad by going for the region’s top job himself having officially entered the race to take over as CAF president in 2021.

“I will start my campaign by visiting Sudan and Ethiopia in February, I am beginning in those two countries because they, along with Egypt, were the first three members of CAF,” Fahmy told the BBC. “My grandfather Mourad Fahmy was one of the founding members of the CAF and he was general secretary just like my father was too. “They served African football and it’s my time to do the same but this time from the president’s chair. My campaign will focus on pro-Africa, pro-football and anti-corruption.”

Sadly that cannot now happen.

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