Ahmad Ahmad will resume his post as president of the Confederation of African Football following a dramatic ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday.
The Malagasy 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.
In his absence, CAF 1st vice president Constant Omari assumed the presidency but will now return to his former position following the ruling.
Ahmad lodged an appeal against his ban at CAS, which issued a dramatic preliminary restoring him to his post.
He will now resume his post as a vice president at FIFA but is still ineligible to contest CAF’s presidential elections in March since the CAS decision came after both the CAF’s Governance Committee and FIFA’s Review Committee published their lists of eligibile candidates.
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.
“Due to a risk of irreparable harm for Mr Ahmad if the disciplinary sanction is maintained during the period prior to the CAF elections, the CAS panel has upheld the request to temporarily stay the effects of the [Fifa ban],” CAS, sport’s highest legal body, said in a statement.
This effective suspension of the FIFA ruling will be in place ‘until the day that the final CAS award is issued’.
Ahmad will need to overturn the decisions ruling him ineligible to run, since his appeal at CAS was not against the decision barring him from contesting the elections but against his FIFA ban.
Should CAS find against him when its hearing takes place in early March, Ahmad will be ruled out of the race once and for all.
As of this week, four candidates were cleared to run for the CAF elections on 12 March: Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast), Patrice Motsepe (South Africa), Augustin Senghor (Senegal), Ahmed Yahya (Mauritania).