Issa Hayatou, appointed “honorary president” of CAF while President Ahmad is suspended for 5 years by FIFA
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) held a General Assembly (GA) on 11 December 2020 marked by the absence of its President Ahmad, suspended for 5 years by FIFA, and the appointment of its former boss, Issa Hayatou, to the honorary position of “honorary president” of the institution.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) closed an exceptionally difficult year 2020 on 11 December, on the occasion of its ordinary General Assembly which was marked by the absence of the boss of African football, Ahmad Ahmad, recently suspended for five years by the Ethics Committee of the International Football Federation (FIFA).
FIFA’s President Gianni Infantino – himself in the grip of justice in Switzerland – gave the inaugural speech in English. I obviously cannot fail to mention President Ahmad,” he began. It is clear that from a personal point of view, what happened, as for many of you, made me very sad. We must respect the decisions of the independent bodies.
Consensual opening remarks, followed by those of Constant Omari. The first vice-president of CAF, who was appointed interim boss during this crisis, also mentioned the Malagasy, in the preamble to the GA. “There is the impediment of our brother and friend, President Ahmad, who was elected and who has now engaged in a struggle for his dignity and to assert his rights,” stressed the Congolese, who referred to an appeal filed with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the sanction pronounced by FIFA.
Surprisingly, at the very moment when the African football family is reunited “virtually” (because of Covid-19), the speech that Ahmad wanted to give before this same GA is circulating among journalists. Ahmad criticizes in a barely veiled way the attitude of FIFA. The latter would not have accepted that an audit conducted by the Senegalese Fatma Samoura in Cairo ended in February on the decision of the CAF Executive Committee. Some prefer to keep Africa small and fearful,” he wrote in the draft speech. Faced with our sovereign choice, our opponents took the decision to plunge the Confederation into an unimaginable political turmoil.
Second irony of the day, the GA endorsed shortly after the appointment of Ahmad’s former rival, Issa Hayatou, CAF boss from 1988 to 2017, to the position of honorary president. A project that certainly dates back several months, but whose validation comes at a strange time.