Mali government calls for ‘urgent’ FIFA probe into FEMAFOOT election fraud

August 23 – Mali’s sports ministry has asked FIFA to investigate the electoral process of the country’s football federation, Femafoot, warning of potential “disturbances to public order”.

Several candidates have questioned Femafoot’s procedure after being excluded, according to the BBC.

Present incumbent Mamatou Toure, a member of FIFA’s all-powerful Council, is currently behind bars for alleged embezzlement of public funds.

The strong man of Mali football, who has been in power for six years, was arrested earlier this month after he officially launched his campaign for another term in office.

Malian football administration has been in crisis for years and in 2017 the country was banned for six weeks for government interference.

Despite Toure being in detention, he is expected to be unchallenged in the presidential race.

In a letter addressed to FIFA’s outgoing secretary general, Fatma Samoura, the sports ministry said Femafoot’s electoral commission had ruled out three candidates: Salaha Baby, Amadou Mahamane Sangho and Sekou Diogo Keita.

Baby has already appealed the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“We have received correspondence from several candidates,” the ministry wrote to the outgoing Samoura, explaining that those excluded have “identified specific points of violation of the rules” which “are likely to call into question the whole process and make us witness a new crisis in football”.

The letter, quoted by the BBC, goes on to say that the ministry “cannot accept that the proper functioning of football in Mali is damaged” before warning of “splits in the population between different regions of the country” and even possible “disturbances to public order”.

“We ask FIFA to take an interest in the current process so that it takes place in strict compliance with the rules,” the letter concludes, asking world football’s governing body to act with “real urgency”.

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