FIFA to take over management of African football

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FIFA is set to take over the running of African football in the wake of corruption scandals consuming the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

FILE PHOTO- REUTERS
Fatma Samoura

The CAF executive committee made the decision to give up control and have FIFA general secretary Fatma Samoura take over as “FIFA General Delegate for Africa”.

Samoura will run CAF from August to January with the possibility of renewal after her six-month stint is completed.

CAF president Ahmad Ahmad, who is the subject of an ethics investigation by FIFA after allegations of corruption and sexual misconduct, proposed the idea to colleagues on the executive committee at their meeting in Cairo on Wednesday. It was approved without dissent.

It is believed that FIFA president Gianni Infantino and CAF vice president Amaju Pinnick out together the idea of sending in Samoura to run CAF in the wake of Ahmad’s brief detention by French police in early June for questioning on corruption allegations.

Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Ahmad Ahmad delivers a speech during the 40th CAF ordinary general assembly on February 2, 2018 in the Moroccan city of Casablanca. / AFP PHOTO / FADEL SENNA (Photo credit should read FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)

Ahmad, who is seeking to hold onto some semblance of power or even walk away from his post without sanction, had been forced to accept the deal and then propose it to his own colleagues, CAF sources told Reuters.

The statement said Samoura would be assisted by experts in a bid to oversee management of CAF, including governance and administrative procedures.

She would attempt to improve the professionalism of the organisation and support growth and development in all African countries.

FIFA is to also undertake a forensic audit of CAF, it added.

The controversy surrounding Ahmad, who was elected CAF president two years ago, has come as a major embarrassment to Infantino, who has been claiming a new-look, clean and corruption-free FIFA.

Ahmad, by virtue of his position as leader of African football, is automatically a FIFA vice president.

African football has been rocked not only by the firing of CAF general secretary Amr Fahmy for whistleblowing, but also a walk-off in the Champions League final and the alleged assault on a referee by another of CAF’s vice presidents.

The Cup of Nations kicks off in Cairo on Friday when hosts Egypt take on Zimbabwe.

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