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Explainer: Why FIFA’s involvement in CAF’s matters is disgraceful

The Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) has virtually been running the affairs of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) over the last one month.

CAF and FIFA logos

In June, FIFA appointed its general secretary Fatma Samoura as a ‘General Delegate for Africa'.

The role requires her to oversee the operational management of CAF, including governance and administrative procedures

The world football governing body said she would take charge for six months from 1 August, and could see her stay extended should her mandate be renewed.

A statement from FIFA said "it was also agreed that FIFA and CAF will undertake as soon as possible a full forensic audit of CAF.”

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However, what this means is that CAF is virtually ceding its power and operation to the world’s football governing body.

As it stands, the involvement of FIFA in the affairs of the CAF is both worrying and disgraceful.

It is not common for FIFA to interfere in the affairs of continental bodies this way. In fact, this probably is the first time it is happening.

Every continental confederation, including CAF, deserves to be independent from FIFA. That is the proper way of things.

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But CAF’s powerless situation currently has been aided by the lack of courage by its President Ahmad Ahmad.

Ahmad, since being arrested in France, has been more of a passenger and has demonstrated no leadership skills at the helm.

That, coupled, with the many scandals that have hit the Confederation since he was elected, has led to FIFA’s infiltration of CAF.

The most disgraceful part of it all is that, many CAF executives find nothing wrong with FIFA’s interference, aside Liberia’s Musa Bility who has filed a case with the at the Court of Arbitration of Sports (CAS).

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Bility wants CAS to “stop the hostile takeover of CAF by FIFA and especially the decision to bring Fatma Samoura to head the CAF secretariat.”

No matter the outcome of that case, it is totally disgraceful that a continent that has come this far in football should have FIFA running its affairs. 

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