Ceferin opposes Infantino's move for Fifa to take control of CAF
Aleksander Ceferin, the president of Uefa, has clashed with his Fifa counterpart Gianni Infantino once again, this time over the decision of soccer's world governing body to place its general secretary Fatma Samoura in charge of the Confederation of African Football for six months.
Ceferin was among the Fifa vice-presidents asked by Infantino today to hastily approve Samoura's appointment as Fifa general delegate for Africa.
As of 1 August, Samoura will be tasked with overseeing operational management of CAF and undertake an audit of its finances.
It is the first time that Fifa has effectively taken control of one of its continental governing bodies.
Ceferin said he received Infantino's letter at 1.50am (CET) this morning and was asked for a response by 10.30am.
In a letter to the Fifa president, the Slovenian official wrote: "I cannot be expected to have your proposal examined by Uefa's legal team or consult the European members of the Fifa council on a subject of such great importance in such a short time.
"Never in the history of our institutions has the Fifa secretary general, who under the Fifa statutes leads the organisation, been placed on secondment to take control of a confederation, even with the latter's consent."
While Samoura would retain her position of general secretary, Fifa said she "will delegate her functions within the Fifa administration in accordance with the relevant internal regulations."
Ceferin said Samoura having two job titles "raises a large number of questions and in particular the likelihood of 'conflicts of interest' as well as doubts over whether it complies with the statutes of Fifa and the CAF."
He continued: "You must understand that this is not the type of decision to be taken lightly and in haste. Without our legal analysis of the situation and consultation of the European members of the Fifa council, I am not at liberty to approve the proposal you put forward."Infantino's move 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."
Ceferin and Infantino have been on a collision course for the past year over the Fifa president's proposed new global competitions; a revamped Club World Cup and global Nations League, with a reported $25 billion of outside investment.
Ceferin has led European opposition to the plans, principally due to the perceived lack of consultation, the impact on the international calendar and the source of the outside investment.