CAF Elections: Advantage Pinnick As Ahmad Reelection Bid In Jeopardy Over FIFA Ban For ‘Breaching Code Of Ethics’

Confederation of African Football president Ahmad Ahmad has been found guilty of breaching various codes of ethics, according to BBC Sport Africa.

Ahmad, on Wednesday, announced his intention to stand for a second term in office when CAF elections take place next March.

This could now be in jeopardy after the investigatory chamber of football’s world governing body determined that he has breached various codes of conduct.

The next step is for the adjudicatory chamber to hand out its sentencing which could possibly happen by the end of November, a source told the BBC.

Any ban is likely to rule out FIFA vice-president Ahmad’s chances of standing for re-election, given he would have to pass an eligibility test to resume his place on the FIFA Council.

This could work in favour of Nigeria Federation Football president Amaju Pinnick who is believed to be weighing a bid to run for CAF’s top job although he is yet to confirm his candidacy.

According to BBC Sport Africa, FIFA’s ethics committee found that Mr Ahmad ran afoul of the body’s code of ethics over his involvement in the controversial deal involving Tactical Steel.

Tactical Steel is a little-known French gym manufacturer, run by an old friend of Ahmad’s then attaché Loic Gerand, which provided sportswear equipment to CAF in 2017 after an original deal with Puma was cancelled.

The deal with Puma, which was slightly smaller, was worth just under $250,000 while the alternative deal with Tactical Steel – for 22,000 items instead of 15,000 – came to just over $1m.

At the time, Ahmad denied accusations of any wrongdoing in the deal as ‘totally false, malicious and defamatory’.

A FIFA spokesperson refused to comment on the ethics case BBC Sport Africa reports.

“Please note that as a general policy, the independent Ethics Committee does not comment on potential ongoing proceedings nor on whether or not investigations are underway into alleged cases,” the spokesperson said.

“As usual, any information the Ethics Committee may like to share will be communicated accordingly upon their indications.”

CAF’s former Secretary General Amr Fahmy initiated the complaint in March 2019 when sending documentary evidence to FIFA, with the organisation’s former Finance Director Mohamed El Sherei following suit with his own evidence a few months later.

An audit into CAF last year at the instance of the world body which described Mr Ahmad’s organisation as being in ‘disarray’ while questioning the body’s accounting, its governance and its payments.

At the time, the audit recommended further investigation into the deal with Tactical Steel.

A second audit duly followed earlier this year, concluding in July.

Mr Ahmad has also been arrested and investigated by French anti-corruption authorities who questioned the Malagasy in Paris in June 2019. He has not been charged with any offence.

The former vice-president of Madagascar’s Senate has led African football since 2017, when backed by a Pinnick-organised coalition, he dethroned long-standing head Issa Hayatou.

CAF’s next presidential elections take place in March 2021 in Morocco, with the registration deadline for candidates ending on 12 November.

Pinnick would have to submit his candidacy before the deadline to be eligible to contest.

Whatever the outcome of any decision, Mr Ahmad, whose reelection bid has received support from 48 African FA heads, would be able to appeal at sport’s highest legal power, the Court of Arbitration for Sport.