World football governing body FIFA has banned Confederation of African Football (CAF) president and FIFA vice-president Ahmad Ahmad for five years for violating FIFA Code of Ethics.
In a decision released on Monday, FIFA banned Ahmad from all football-related activity for the next five years after finding him guilty of graft and abuse of office charges.
"The investigation into Mr Ahmad's conduct ... from 2017 to 2019 concerned various Caf-related governance issues, including the organisation and financing of an Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca, his involvement in Caf's dealing with the sports equipment company Tactical Steel and other activities," statement from FIFA read.
The ban effectively locks Ahmad, 60, out of all football-related activities at national and international level alongside a $200,000 fine even as he had previously denied any wrongdoing.
The ban by FIFA puts in doubt the former Madagascar Football Association boss’ bid for a second term in office in the CAF elections slated for March next year after his election in 2017.
Ahmad stepped back from leading CAF saying it was for 'medical reasons' to allow him to recover from Covid-19 leaving first vice-president Constant Omari to head the Federation.
The FIFA ban might play to the advantage of South African Patrice Motsepe, Africa's tenth richest men, who earlier this month announced his bid to replace Ahmad as CAF president.
Motsepe, the chairman of 2016 African club champions Mamelodi Sundowns, will also fight it out for the seat at the top of the continental football body with Jacques Anouma of Ivory Coast.
Patrice Motsepe PHOTO/COURTESY
The move by FIFA comes days after the Ethics Committee found Haitian Football Association president and former FIFA standing committee member Yves Jean-Bart guilty of abusing his position.
Jean-Bart was also found guilty of having sexually harassed and abused various female players, among them minors and he was handed a lifetime ban from all football activities.