FIFA to Appoint Samoura to Help Resolve Crisis in CAF

Fatma Samoura

Fatma Samoura

Football’s world governing body and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) are considering appointing FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samoura as a ‘High Commissioner for Africa’ in light of recent governance issues on the continent.

If the proposal is approved, Samoura would take charge for at least six months from 1 August.

African football’s ruling body has been in the spotlight recently, with CAF President Ahmad questioned by French authorities earlier this month as “part of a probe into corruption, breach of trust and forgery”.

Ahmad was interviewed about the mysterious involvement of a French company, Tactical Steel, in the negotiating of a lucrative new sportswear contract ahead of the African Nations finals.

The deal was among a number of complaints reported to the FIFA’s Ethics Committee by the then CAF General Secretary Amr Fahmy. Days later he was sacked by Ahmad.

Other issues concerned alleged sexual harassment of staff, overspending on new cars and selective ‘personal allowance’ payments to a number of African FA presidents.

The 59-year-old who is also being investigated by FIFA’s Ethics Committee, was released without charge following the talks in Paris and has dismissed all allegations against him as “false”.

Other recent issues include the decision to replay CAF’s flagship club match after this month’s African Champions League final between Esperance of Egypt and Wydad Casablanca of Morocco was marred by a boycott following the failure of the VAR system.

There was also controversy with regard to rescheduling the 2019, 2021 and 2023 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

“The rule of the temporary FIFA High Commissioner for Africa would be to conduct a root and brand (sic) review of governance of the confederation, oversee operational management of the organisation and recommend where needed a series of reform efforts,” a leaked memo stated.

“The FIFA High Commissioner for Africa would act under the supervision of both the CAF President and FIFA President (Gianni Infantino).”

The Senegalese would have to delegate some of her FIFA duties if she takes charge, said a source with knowledge of the process.

CAF’s Executive Committee met yesterday in Egypt, which will host this year’s Africa Cup of Nations between 21 June and 19 July.

BBC Sport Africa understands that any decision would have to be rubber-stamped when the CAF Congress meets in Cairo on 18 July, the eve of the 2019 Nations Cup final.

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