Ahmad Ahmad has been cleared to run for a second term as President of the Confederation of African Football.
The embattled Malagasy national was initially deemed ineligible to re-contest by CAF’s Governance Committee after he was banned by FIFA in November for five years after football’s world governing body found him to have breached several of its ethics codes.
He was, however, reinstated to his position as CAF president following a dramatic ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on January 29 which issued a temporary stay on his ban ‘until the day that the final CAS award is issued’.
CAS, sports highest legal body, says it will hear Ahmad’s appeal in full on 2 March, with a decision issued before the CAF presidential elections on 12 March.
Ahead of the substantive ruling from CAS, Ahmad requested a reevaluation of his candidacy by the Governance Committee of CAF which has now rescinded their initial decision to disqualify him.
“The decision rendered on November 19 by the Judging Chamber of the Ethics of [FIFA] prohibiting Mr Ahmad Ahmad from exercising any activity related to football at the national and international level for five years have been suspended by decision No TAS 2020 / A / 7592 of January 29, 2021 by the CAS, the candidate Ahmad Ahmad is now declared eligible for the post of President of CAF,” the Governance Committee wrote in a 5 February letter addressed to the CAF Secretary General.
While this means Ahmad is now free to contest for a second term, the status of a CAF President as a vice president of FIFA and member of the Executive Committee of football’s governing body means he will also need to overturn the decision of FIFA’s Review Committee which had also ruled his candidacy ineligible.
Meanwhile, should CAS find against Ahmad when its hearing takes place in early March, he will be ruled out of the race once and for all.
Ahmad’s readmittance means five candidates have now been cleared to run for the CAF elections on 12 March including Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast), Patrice Motsepe (South Africa), Augustin Senghor (Senegal), Ahmed Yahya (Mauritania).