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Fifa steps in at crisis-stricken CAF, with Samoura set to take over

Fifa has confirmed that it will take the unprecedented move of parachuting its leading executive, secretary general Fatma Samoura, into the Confederation of African Football to temporarily run the crisis-stricken organisation.

Samoura will be given the title of Fifa General Delegate for Africa on a six-month basis, starting on August 1. Her role will be to “conduct a root-and-branch review of governance of [CAF], oversee operational management of the organisation, and recommend where needed a series of reform efforts”, according to a leaked Fifa memo seen by the BBC. 

CAF is currently facing a multitude of issues, not least of which is the ongoing investigation into its Malagasy president, Ahmad, who was arrested in Paris earlier this month amid allegations of financial mismanagement and sexual harassment. He was later released by French police but remains under investigation by the Fifa ethics commission. 

Samoura’s insertion into the top level of CAF required the agreement of the confederation’s executive committee, which was secured unanimously, as Fifa statutes prevent it from running any of the six continental governing bodies.

The move is likely to have been ordered directly by Fifa president Gianni Infantino, who was said to be furious about Ahmad’s arrest, particularly as it came shortly after Infantino was elected for a first full term as Fifa president, and had boasted during his acceptance speech of having turned Fifa around from the dark days of Sepp Blatter’s reign.

SportBusiness has reached out to Fifa for further comment.