FIFA has banned the head of African football, Ahmad Ahmad from football for five years following an ethics investigation by the world soccer’s governing body.
Ahmad, the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), had intended to stand in an election in March in which he would have faced a number of challengers.
That seems impossible now as he has been found guilty of breaching ethics codes and slapped with a five-year ban.
The Madagascan, who is also a FIFA vice-president, had been investigated for his conduct during the period from 2017-2019.
FIFA’s adjudicatory chamber said Ahmad had breached rules relating to duty of loyalty, offering and accepting gifts or other benefits, abuse of position and misappropriation of funds.
Aside from the ban, he has been fined CHF 200,000 (£160,000/$220,000).
FIFA said in a statement on Monday: “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.
“These included 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 article 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.”
Ahmad had disclosed his intention to run for a second term in office late last month, but he was struck with COVID-19, which forced him to hand over to CAF first vice-president Constant Omari as he continues his recovery.
The 60 year-old was elected CAF president in 2017 after defeating long-standing incumbent Issa Hayatou and he will have to pass an eligibility test to take back his place on the FIFA Council.