Fifa to parachute in general secretary Samoura to run CAF
Fatma Samoura, the general secretary of Fifa, is to be parachuted into the Confederation of African Football to run the stricken continental governing body.
Samoura, from Senegal, will be appointed as a Fifa general delegate for Africa and have a direct role for the governance of CAF from 1 August until at least 31 January, 2020 "renewable with the agreement of both organisations."
The move was approved by the CAF executive committee, which met yesterday in Egypt, host of this year's Africa Cup of Nations between 21 June and 19 July.
Fifa said today that Samoura's task will be to: oversee operational management of CAF, including governance and administrative procedures; ensure the efficient and professional organisation of all CAF competitions; and support the growth and development of football in all countries and regions of CAF.
Fifa and CAF will also "undertake as soon as possible a full forensic audit of CAF."An internal document, leaked to several news organisations yesterday, had proposed Samoura as a "temporary Fifa High Commissioner for Africa," who would "conduct a root-and-branch review of governance of the confederation, oversee operational management of the organization, and recommend where needed a series of reform efforts, to be agreed with CAF member associations and with Fifa 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."
The historic move - the first time Fifa has effectively taken control of one of its continental governing bodies - comes two weeks after CAF president Ahmad Ahmad was questioned by France's Central Office for the Fight against Corruption and Financial and Fiscal Crimes.
The 59-year-old Madagascan official, who is also being investigated by Fifa's ethics committee, was released without charge following his questioning in Paris and has dismissed all allegations against him as "false."
It is understood the detention related to CAF breaking the terms of a contract with Puma, the German sportswear firm, by ordering equipment via a French intermediary Tactical Steel.
That company was cited in a 31 March letter by former CAF general secretary Amr Fahmy to a Fifa body that investigates alleged ethics breaches.
The whistleblower document accused Ahmad of ordering bribes of $20,000 to be paid into the accounts of presidents of national associations in Africa.
It also accused him of: costing CAF an extra $830,000 by ordering equipment via Tactical Steel; harassing four unnamed female CAF staff; violating statutes to increase Moroccan representation at the confederation; and overspending more than $400,000 of CAF money on cars in Egypt, where the body is based, and Madagascar, where a satellite office has been established for him.
Fahmy was subsequently sacked, with Ahmad having claimed in a CAF meeting in mid-April that all decisions were made "collegially" and were "transparent."
Ahmad's arrest came less than 24 hours after Gianni Infantino, soon after his re-election as Fifa president to 2023, hailed “a new Fifa” that had emerged since the federation's nadir of 2015, when, ironically, it was malpractice within the regional confederations, in that case the Americas, which impacted on the international governing body.
Ahmad was installed as CAF president in March 2017 after defeating Issa Hayatou, in the process ending the Cameroonian official’s 29-year reign at the helm of African soccer. His present term is due to run until 2021.