Alleged corruption: FIFA to take over CAF on eve of Cup of Nations

A drastic and dramatic overhaul of African football is expected to be announced on Thursday , the eve of the kickoff of the African Cup of Nations, in the wake of corruption scandals consuming the Confederation of African Football .
The CAF executive committee took a stunning decision on Wednesday to cede control of the running of the organisation and have FIFA general secretary , Fatma Samoura parachuted in as “ FIFA High Commissioner for Africa ” , according to sources .

No announcement has been made by African football ’ s governing body but CAF president, Ahmad Ahmad is scheduled to hold a press conference in Cairo on Thursday at 0900 GMT .

Ahmad , who is the subject of an ethics investigation by FIFA after allegations of corruption and sexual misconduct, proposed the idea in a document shared with colleagues on the executive committee , the sources said .

Samoura is to lead a FIFA team that will conduct “ a root – and – branch review of governance of the confederation , oversee operational management of the organisation , and recommend where needed a series of reform efforts , ” the document read .

“ This will be done in order to put CAF itself on a modern and sound footing , improve its image and reputation and thus ensure that CAF is better equipped to face future challenges and to grasp future opportunities. ”
FIFA are to also undertake a forensic audit of the monies they have been giving CAF .
The idea of sending Samoura to Africa is said to have been put together by FIFA president Gianni Infantino and CAF vice president Amaju Pinnick in the wake of Ahmad ’ s brief detention by French police last week for questioning on corruption allegations .

Ahmad , who is seeking to hold onto some semblance of power or even walk away from his post without sanction , had been forced to accept the deal and then propose it to his own colleagues , CAF sources told
Reuters on Thursday .
With FIFA seeking to improve football ’ s image , the Ahmad controversy has come as major embarrassment to Infantino , who has been claiming a new- look, clean and corruption – free FIFA .

Ahmad , by virtue of his position as leader of African football , is automatically a FIFA vice president .

African football has been rocked not only by the firing of CAF general secretary Amr Fahmy for whistleblowing , but also a walk -off in the Champions League final and the alleged assault on a referee by another of CAF ’ s vice president .

The Cup of Nations kicks off in Cairo on Friday when hosts Egypt take on Zimbabwe .
( Reuters / NAN)

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