CAF appoints interim president after CAS upholds FIFA ban on Ahmad

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FIFA Council member Constant Omari Selemani (C) speaks with guests ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament final draw at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on December 1, 2017. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15, 2018 in 11 Russian cities. / AFP PHOTO / Yuri KADOBNOV (Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images)

The Confederation of African Football on Monday announced the appointment of Constant Omari as interim president until a permanent replacement is elected during Friday’s elections.

FILE PHOTO: FIFA Council member Constant Omari Selemani (centre) speaks with guests during a past event. (Photo credit YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images)

The decision was made hours after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) issued a ruling upholding a ban on Ahmad Ahmad by FIFA but reducing it from five years to two years.

“Following today’s decision, Mr. Constant Omari, the First Vice-President of CAF, will now occupy the position of President on an interim basis until the election of a new President at the 43rd General Assembly,” CAF said in a statement.

“Article 24 paragraph 8 of the CAF Statutes provides that in an event of the President’s absence or temporal inability to perform his duties, he be replaced by the first Vice-President.”

This is the second time Omari is assuming the role of interim head of Africa’s football governing body. The first time was after Ahmad contracted COVID-19 in late October last year. His mandate was extended in November after Ahmad was sanctioned by FIFA for financial misconduct and other ethics violations.

In late January, however, Ahmad resumed his role after CAS issued a decision temporarily suspending the sanctions imposed by FIFA.

South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe, who also owns 2016 African champions Mamelodi Sundowns, is in pole position to win the federation’s presidency with Ahmad out of the equation and his rivals – Ahmed Yahya, Augustin Senghor and Jacques Anouma – all pulling out of the race last week following negotiations.

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