October 29 – African football chief Ahmad has suffered a potentially critical blow ahead of his bid to hang on to the presidency of his confederation after it was revealed that FIFA has found him guilty of alleged ethics violations.
On Wednesday, Ahmad, who is also a FIFA vice-president, announced his intention to go for a second term at elections in March after being encouraged to do so by a swathe of supporters.
All but eight federations on the continent gave him their backing, only to now discover that his entire career could be in serious jeopardy.
“I accepted to be a candidate while listening to the (federation) presidents, around 46 of whom asked me after receiving my assessment of my initial mandate,” said Ahmad whose tenure since taking over in 2017 has been marred by scandal and corruption.
Within hours of those comments, the BBC reported that the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s ethics committee has determined that he has breached undisclosed codes of conduct.
Ahmad has been a solid supporter of FIFA president Gianni Infantino and vice-versa despite multiple allegations of sexual harassment and financial corruption. Such was his inability to govern the Confederation of African Football (CAF) that FIFA ended up parachuting in general secretary Fatma Samoura to run African football for several months before the CAF executive committee voted her return to Zurich.
If Ahmad has indeed fallen foul of FIFA’s ethics code, it would present an intriguing scenario since at present he is the sole candidate to have submitted a candidacy during the registration period.
That is due to end on November 12 but with the adjudicatory chamber unlikely to hand out its sentencing before then, there is the potential scenario of Ahmad winning a second term but soon afterwards being banned.
He could also fail an eligibility test which would open the door to a potential rival. One figure waiting in the wings is outspoken Nigerian football boss Amaju Pinnick, a fierce critic of Ahmad who said last month he was still weighing up his options.
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