Last hurdle to Patrice Motsepe's ascent to Caf presidency cleared after Cas ends Ahmad's slim hopes

Mninawa Ntloko Digital sports editor
Patrice Motsepe is expected to be elected Caf president unopposed on March 12 in Rabat, Morocco.
Patrice Motsepe is expected to be elected Caf president unopposed on March 12 in Rabat, Morocco.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

The last hurdle to the confirmation of Mamelodi Sundowns boss Patrice Motsepe's ascension to the Confederation of African Football's presidency was cleared after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ended outgoing president Ahmad Ahmad slim hopes of re-election on Monday.

Cas reduced Ahmad’s five-year ban from football to two years on Monday and effectively reaffirmed Fifa's original decision in November last year‚ pretty much ending his bid for re-election.

Cas dramatically reinstated Ahmad as president of Caf temporarily pending an appeal against a five-year ban from the sport in January.

The Madagascan took his appeal against the ban to the international sporting court — the highest body in sports judicial decisions — in Lausanne. The appeal was heard from March 2‚ 10 days before the Caf presidential election‚ and for positions on the Fifa council‚ on March 12.

Monday's ruling means that Motsepe is set to to replace Ahmad on Friday and become president without any obstacles.

Ahmad’s participation in the elections was dependant solely on whether he succeeds in overturning the November decision of the Fifa ethics committee to ban him from football for five years having been found to have breached several of the global ruling body’s ethics codes.

He was banned from football for five years in November and fined 200‚000 Swiss francs after the ethics investigation by Fifa.

"In agreement with Mr Ahmad and FIFA‚ an expedited procedure was conducted and a hearing was held by videoconference on 2 and 3 March 2021‚" Cas said in a statement on Monday.

"The Panel of arbitrators in charge of the matter‚ composed of Mr Olivier Carrard (Switzerland)‚ President‚ Prof. Thomas Clay (France)‚ and of Prof. Massimo Coccia (Italy)‚ after having deliberated‚ found M. Ahmad guilty of violating the FCE for the following offences:

- Violation of articles 20 and 28 FCE: failure to record various financial transactions‚ acceptance of cash payments‚ bank transfers of bonuses and indemnities without a contractual or regulatory basis;

- Violation of articles 20‚ 25 and 28 FCE: distribution of gifts and misappropriation of funds (use of CAF's money to help finance an invitation to a pilgrimage to Mecca (Umrah) in favour of certain presidents of national federations‚ an invitation which was not directly related to football; contrary to the rest of the decision‚ this offence was only retained by a majority of the Panel and not unanimously)