CAF boss Ahmad to appeal FIFA ban at CAS, saying Africa is under attack

By Andrew Warshaw

November 26 – Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad Ahmad is to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against his five-year FIFA ban but his chances of clearing his name don’t look great.

Ahmad, head of CAF since March 2017, was thrown out of the game following a detailed FIFA investigation that sprung into action amid reports of his misconduct throughout his controversial presidency. Ahmad failed to reach one full term.

Insideworldfootball first broke the story of Ahmad’s corruption in March 2019 – see Lid lifted on CAF boss Ahmad’s empire of corrupt deals and bought officials.

The FIFA Ethics judiciary found African football’s leader “had breached his duty of loyalty, offered gifts and other benefits, mismanaged funds and abused his position as the CAF President.”

Lawyers for Ahmad announced on Twitter he will challenge the ban when he receives the written grounds relating to what they describe as an “incomprehensible and shocking decision”.

“This decision was not rendered in a fair and impartial manner,” Ahmad’s legal team quoted him as saying.

“I challenge the sanction that has been imposed. Beyond my case, it is the self-determination of football in Africa that is under attack.”

Ahmad’s strategy appears to be to try and get CAS to freeze the ban during his appeals process so he can campaign for a second four-year presidential term, with the election slated for March.

But he will have to wait some time to start his legal case. A Fifa ethics sanction can only be contested once the full grounds have been received.

FIFA said on Monday that could take up to 60 days, meaning it could come in January – just weeks before the election.  And before he goes to CAS, Ahmad must first invoke Fifa’s own appeals body process.

With four candidates running against him, many of his supporters may be starting to feel too much reputational damage has already been done. Plus, Ahmad and all the other candidates must pass a FIFA-conducted eligibility test.

Ahmad has been out of action since testing positive for Covid-19 in Cairo, standing down from his post for 20 days. In response to his ban, CAF placed first vice-president Constant Omari in interim charge without specifying for how long.

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