Later this week, Patrice Motsepe will officially become the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as Ahmad’s five-year ban was reduced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) to two years ban on Monday.
Ahmad who was suspended and slammed with a five-year ban had hoped an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport would help to overturn the ban. But instead, it was reduced to a two-year ban preventing him from running for the presidential (CAF) election.
Motsepe, the South African billionaire will become the first South African to preside over the affairs of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Jacques Anouma, Augustin Senghor and Ahmed Yahya who were his running mates for the position have all pulled out and withdrew their candidacies over the weekend.
And the only obstacle to the 59-year-old’s coronation on Friday was Ahmad who many believed may come back to contest along with him if his ban was completely overturned.
But the 61-year-old Malagasy failed to do this.
“The CAS Panel has partially upheld the appeal and has reduced the length of the suspension imposed on Mr Ahmad to two years, starting today, less the period of suspension already served between 19 November 2020 and 29 January 2021, and has also reduced the fine,” CAS said in a statement.
The CAS reduced his ban from 5 years to 2 years and his fine from $200,000 to $50,000 citing lack of evidence to support the claim that he was involved in the Tactical Steel contracts and that he benefited from the deal while in charge in 2017.
Initially, when banned by Fifa in November, the global body had cited Ahmad’s ‘Duty of Loyalty’ breach – which was in connection to his role in the deal between Caf and Tactical Steel, which mainly manufactures gym equipment, for the latter to provide sportswear.
The Malagasy was charged along with a breach of ethics codes relating to the offering and accepting gifts or other benefits, ‘abuse of power’ and ‘misappropriation of funds’.
Motsepe, Africa’s ninth-richest man with a wealth of $2.9 billion according to Forbes magazine, will now lead CAF into the future.
The owner of Mamelodi Sundowns, 2016 Africa’s continental club champions, will be crowned Caf president when the elections take place in Morocco on 12 March.
Last weekend, Motsepe spoke at a press conference in Mauritania alongside his initial rivals – Ivorian Anouma, Senghor of Senegal and Mauritanian Yahya – and Fifa president Gianni Infantino about the decision to come together to back only his candidacy.
“African football needs collective wisdom, but also the exceptional talent and wisdom of every president of every country and every member association,” he said. “That’s what gives me confidence.
“When we all work together with the experience, talent, and passion, football in Africa will experience success and growth that it hasn’t experienced in the past. It requires all of us.”
He reiterated in his ten-point manifesto, his desire to build partnerships and sponsorship within the private sector to boost CAF as he spoke in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott before Saturday’s African Under-20 championship final.
He also expressed his belief that an African nation will soon win the World Cup.
“Our objective must be that one of the countries will win the World Cup,” he said. “I think it will happen soon. The talent is there.
“Continuous investment in youth and academies and making competitions globally competitive will be key. We do need the private sector to get involved with financial resources. The commitment to improve and continue to invest is there and the governance transparency is an excellent foundation.”