The president of the Confederation of African Football, Ahmad Ahmad, and another top official face questions about revisions to a multi million-dollar television deal.
FIFA ethics investigators have asked the top soccer official in Africa to explain why he agreed to revise a television contract in a way that appeared to benefit a commercial partner over his own organization — the latest ethical concern for a governing body that was subject to direct FIFA oversight as recently as February.
The official, Ahmad, the president of the Confederation of African Football and a FIFA vice president, and Constant Omari, CAF’s powerful vice president, have been asked by FIFA to provide details about amendments to a television contract with the marketing company, Lagardère Sports.
The changes to the deal, which covers all of the region’s top club and international competitions, have the potential to move millions of dollars in losses from Lagardere Sports onto the books of the African soccer body, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times.
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The new investigation is just the latest problem for Ahmad, who was briefly detained last year by French authorities investigating allegations of embezzlement and who faces a separate FIFA ethics probe involving complaints of sexual harassment by several female employees and consultants.
Ahmad is seeking a new four-year term early next year, and sanctions related to any of the open cases could disqualify him from running.
In effect, CAF agreed to buy the unpaid debt at a discount, trusting that it could recover the full amount itself from a company that had already defaulted on the debt multiple times.
If they do not, the men could face charges under FIFA’s ethics code. Like Ahmad, Omari, 62, is a member of FIFA’s governing council.
Both FIFA and Ahmad have declined to comment on the new investigation.
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