SWITZERLAND, JUNE 07 – CAF president Ahmad Ahmad has been released by the French judicial authorities, with no charges against him.
Recall that Today’s Echo had reported that Ahmad, who is also the Vice President of FIFA, was arrested Thursday at the Berri Hotel in Paris, France. He has been accused of contract fraud, mismanagement of CAF funds, and the payment of $20,000 sums directly into the private bank accounts of federation presidents.
Ahmad, who is also a FIFA vice president, had been in Paris for the FIFA Congress on Wednesday, where its newly re-elected president Gianni Infantino said his organisation had got rid of a “toxic, almost criminal” image.’
The CAF President was scheduled to watch the opening match at the Women’s World Cup. He will subsequently leave for Egypt ahead of the African Cup of Nations, AFCON, starting on June 21.
A former sports minister and current senator in Madagascar, Ahmad was elected president of the Confederation of African Football in 2017, a position which gave him a seat on FIFA’s ruling council as a vice president.
Thursday’s arrest is related to bribery allegations linked to the 2017 switch CAF made from its German kit supplier Puma to French company Tactical Steel.
Ahmad is accused of having influenced this decision, standing to be rewarded with up to $830,000. He has denied the allegations. ‘‘All decisions were taken in a collective and transparent manner,” Ahmad said in mid-April.
In a statement, FIFA said it “has taken note of the alleged events concerning Mr Ahmad Ahmad, who is being questioned by the French authorities in relation to allegations related to his mandate while president of CAF”.
It continues by saying it is unaware of the details surrounding this investigation and therefore cannot make any specific comment.
But it adds that FIFA has asked the French for “any information that might be relevant to investigations taking place within its ethics committee”.
Having noted that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, the statement concludes: “As the FIFA president reiterated yesterday, FIFA is fully committed to eradicating all forms of wrongdoing at any level in football.
“Anyone found to have committed illicit or illegal acts has no place in football.
“FIFA is now clean from the scandals that tarnished its reputation and this same determination should prevail in governing bodies such as confederations. FIFA will be at the forefront of ensuring that this is enforced by everyone involved in football.”