Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has reduced Confedereation of Africa Football (CAF) outgoing president Ahmad Ahmad’s five-year ban to two, ending his slim hopes of contesting for the position at elections this Friday in Morocco.
Fifa last year handed Ahmad a five-year ban from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) for financial misconduct just after he announced that he would stand for CAF presidency re-election.
But the Madagascan took his appeal against the ban to the international sporting court—the highest body in sports judicial decisions.
The appeal was heard on March 2‚ 10 days before the CAF presidential election as well as for positions on the Fifa council.
A statement from CAS released on Monday says it has reduced the ban to two years.
The statement reads: “The Panel of arbitrators in charge of the matter‚ composed of Mr Olivier Carrard [Switzerland]‚ President‚ Prof. Thomas Clay [France] and of Professor Massimo Coccia [Italy]‚ after having deliberated‚ found Ms. Ahmad guilty of violating the FCE [Fifa Code of Ethics] for the following offences: Violation of articles 20 and 28 FCE: failure to record various financial transactions‚ acceptance of cash payments‚ bank transfers of bonuses and indemnities without a contractual or regulatory basis;
“Violation of articles 20‚ 25 and 28 FCE: distribution of gifts and misappropriation of funds [use of CAF’s money to help finance an invitation to a pilgrimage to Mecca in favour of certain presidents of national federations‚ an invitation which was not directly related to football; contrary to the rest of the decision‚ this offence was only retained by a majority of the Panel and not unanimously]”
The ruling all but confirms Mamelodi Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe’s ascension to the CAF presidency.
The business mogul is the only candidate for the post after the others withdrew.
Mauritania’s Ahmed Yahya, Senegalese Augustin Senghor’s and Ivory Coast’s Jacques Anouma stepped aside and have pledged to support the South African followed a deal brokered by Fifa president Gianni Infantino.
Senghor and Yahya will serve as Motsepe’s vice-presidents.
Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda said CAS’s ban has ended Ahmad’s football administration career.
He said: “He still wanted to contest despite all the dirt that was revealed by Fifa investigation.
“But after this CAS ruling, I doubt if he will bounce back.
On Motsepe’s rise to CAF top position Nyirenda said it was a deal that strived to save Africa football image.
“Ahmad’s legacy was just too bad. CAF needed somone with clean hands and that man is Motsepe,” he said.