CAF ExCo member to take Fifa agreement to CAS

Fifa’s reform roadmap for the Confederation of African Football is set to be challenged after the latter body’s executive committee member, Musa Bility, said he will take his opposition to the plan to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Bility has spoken out after world football’s governing body last week solidified its plans for CAF, signing a protocol agreement to outline a road map for the two organisations to support the latter’s reform process.

The road map will be implemented with the close collaboration of Fatma Samoura, Fifa’s general delegate for Africa, as well as CAF’s new general secretary Mouad Hajji. Samoura and Hajji will work closely with the CAF administration and a group of experts on the reform process.

The road map covers three main areas. These are financial management, good governance and internal procedures; efficient and professional organisation of competitions; and the growth and development of African football.

However, Fifa’s plans have been criticised by some as a takeover of CAF and Bility, a noted critic of the continental body’s administration under president Ahmad, has now taken action. The Liberian official has said he will ask CAS to declare the Fifa agreement invalid and order CAF to commence a forensic audit of its finances, which he claims the ExCo had previously agreed to only to be overruled by Ahmad.

The former Liberian Football Association president has also called for the resignation of Ahmad, who has found his position under attack in recent months amid mounting allegations of corruption and wrongdoing.

“In an attempt to salvage CAF from imminent implosion and irreversible reputational damage, Fifa proposed a poorly conceptualised and worse executed agreement,” Bility said in a statement reported by the Reuters news agency.

“Logically, and in a sane world, the acquiescence by the CAF leadership that they have been unable to manage their own affairs ought to have been followed by quick resignation of its top leaders.

“It is clear to me and many others that the agreement as currently structured has the sole purpose of shielding and cleansing CAF president Ahmad from the crimes he has committed – financial impropriety, sexual harassment and nepotism.”

In February, Bility resigned from two senior positions within CAF, claiming that Ahmad was taking the governing body in the “wrong direction”. While Bility remains on the ExCo, he has exited roles on the emergency committee and as president of the African Nations Championship standing committee.

Ahmad was elected to power in 2017, ending Issa Hayatou’s 29-year hold on the presidency. However, Bility, who mounted a failed bid for the Fifa presidency in 2016, has hit out at Ahmad’s leadership style and claims under him, CAF risks becoming the “subject of ridicule around the world”.

In his latest statement, Bility also claimed that Fifa president Gianni Infantino has used the CAF situation as a means to ease Samoura out of her position at the world governing body. He added: “Infantino has thus seized this opportunity to offer Fatma a ‘golden parachute’ into a confederation job to pave the way for her eventual replacement at the helm of Fifa.”