By Paul Nicholson
August 3 – Musa Bility has made it a hat-trick of hard-hitting letters in the past week with his latest being to the FIFA Council demanding they force the standing down of FIFA president Gianni Infantino following the opening of a criminal investigation by the Swiss judiciary.
Bility highlights a video call Infantino convened “with the panicked English-speaking Presidents of African member associations where he strived to reassure them that the status quo at FIFA would remain and that he was not going to resign from his position.”
He questions the integrity of Infantino’s political motivation and warns FIFA Council members unequivocally saying: “…the FIFA President’s first impulse was not to call members of the Bureau or the Council to explain to them the implications of the criminal proceedings, rather it was to arrogantly call individual member associations of his African “base”, something that should terrifying to everyone on the Council.”
Bility is currently serving a 10-year ban and $500,000 fine delivered by FIFA following his failure to support the decision for a FIFA-CAF cooperation that saw FIFA take over the running of the affairs of CAF from 1 August 2019. He is appealing that ban at CAS and now has a hearing date set for September 29 – more than a year after he filed his appeal.
It is precisely the FIFA interference in Africa and the issues surrounding corruption within the confederation that have been at the centre of Bility’s letters last week to the UN and African Union; and UEFA and Conmebol presidents Aleksander Cerferen and Alessandro Dominguez. Bility was banned following his opposition to the FIFA plans to take control of the African confederation and after he vocalised concerns over the various corruption allegations and investigations swirling around CAF president Ahmad.
In his letter to the FIFA Council Bility says the FIFA “presidents’ credibility has been tarnished” and that FIFA “cannot afford to gamble its reputation and commercial prospects now by playing a dangerous political game of indecision or division.”
He points to the previous suspensions five years ago of former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and FIFA vice president Michel Platini as well as a host of other FIFA officials pointing to “a culture where when senior members get caught up in criminal investigations, scandals or indictments, they immediately vacate their positions in order not to taint the institution.”
However he says there has been a shift in culture “since the shameful arrest of CAF President Ahmad Ahmad in Paris, France on 5th June 2019…The World remains baffled as to why Ahmad Ahmad was never compelled to resign from all his football positions in the face of such revelations. Instead, a controversial mission led by FIFA SG Fatma Samoura was sent to Africa to manage CAF in a bid to shield Ahmad.”
The Ahmad investigation appears to have halted – if was ever started – and Billity says “This appears to be the playbook that Gianni Infantino wishes to use in his own case, desperate not to relinquish his position and hopeful to use the ambivalence of a few to claim that he has the legitimacy to retain the FIFA Presidency.”
See the full Bility to the Council by clicking here: MHB letter to FIFA Council
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