By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
Three things are constant in Africa: Leaders who do not want to leave power, diverse cultures and corruption. Corruption in Africa is a chronic disease that manifests in all things like politics, health care, service delivery, sports among others.
In a bid to fight the vice, authorities try to come up with severe punishments to the perpetrators like imprisonment, fines, and banning from holding public offices for a specified period of time.
Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) has thus slapped the last two punishments to Ahmad Ahmad, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) President for corruption and mismanagement of funds.
On Monday, November 23, 2020, FIFA announced that they have banned Ahmad from all football-related activities for five years, and fined him $220,000 (about Shs800m) for his crimes.
The statement from FIFA reads in part thus:
“The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has found Ahmad Ahmad, the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and a FIFA Vice-President, guilty of having breached Art. 15 (Duty of loyalty), Art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts or other benefits) and Art. 25 (Abuse of position) of the 2020 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics, as well as Art. 28 (Misappropriation of funds) of the 2018 edition.
“The investigation into Mr Ahmad’s conduct in his position as CAF President during the period from 2017 to 2019 concerned various CAF-related governance issues, including the organisation and financing of an Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca, his involvement in CAF’s dealings with the sports equipment company Tactical Steel and other activities.
“In its decision, following an extensive hearing, the adjudicatory chamber ruled that, based on information gathered by the investigatory chamber, Mr Ahmad had breached his duty of loyalty, offered gifts and other benefits, mismanaged funds and abused his position as the CAF President, pursuant to the FIFA Code of Ethics.
“Consequently, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Ahmad had breached Articles 15, 20 and 25 of the current edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics, as well as Art. 28 of the 2018 edition, and sanctioned him with a ban from all football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level for five years. In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 200,000 has been imposed on Mr Ahmad.”
Born on December 30, 1959 in Madagascar, Ahmad Ahmad has been CAF president from 2017, and FUFA President Moses Magogo is one of his close friends, and he was a beneficiary of that Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca last year.
It should be noted that Magogo was also banned for sixty days from football and fined Shs37 million for reselling FIFA 2014 World Cup tickets.
FIFA said that Ahmad Ahmad can appeal this decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
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