Lausanne: Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad Ahmad announced on Wednesday he will appeal FIFA’s five-year ban for corruption to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Ahmad, from Madagascar, has been head of CAF since March 2017 but was suspended by the global body on Monday for “governance issues”.
“I challenge the sanction that has been imposed. Beyond my case, it is the self-determination of football in Africa that is under attack,” the 60-year-old posted on Twitter.
“This decision was not rendered in a fair and impartial manner,” added a statement from him.
His bid for re-election as head of the African confederation in March 2021 is now in doubt and the statement said the CAS plea was so that Ahmad could run his campaign.
Ahmad was also fined $220,000 by FIFA for the misdeeds, which related to “the organization and financing of an Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca” and his involvement in CAF’s dealings with a sports equipment company.
Ahmad, who was made a FIFA vice-president after being elected the head of CAF, had denied the accusations and last week stood down from his post for 20 days after testing positive for coronavirus.
In response to Ahmad’s ban, CAF announced on Monday that Constant Omari’s position as interim head of the body would be extended, without specifying for how long.
In April 2019, Ahmad was accused of a series of offences by former CAF official Amr Fahmy, who informed FIFA in a letter Ahmad had paid bribes to directors, made personal use of CAF funds and sexually harassed a number of employees.
Two months later he was arrested in Paris while at the FIFA Congress ahead of that year’s women’s World Cup as part of a probe into corruption but was released a day later without charge.