Confederation of African Football (CAF), Ahmad Ahmad was on Thursday morning arrested at the Berri Hotel in Paris, by the French Central Office for the fight against corruption and financial and fiscal offenses (Oclif).
According to reports published by South African online publication, soccerladuma.com and @jeune_afrique, Ahmad signed off on a deal, which benefitted the company Technical Steel, with one of the company’s bosses said to have paid a total of €739,000 (R12.3 million) to the CAF president in order to get the deal sanctioned.
The news of Ahmad’s arrest come just hours after the CAF executive committee ruled to replay the abandonded CAF Champions League final, which initially saw Esperance being crowned champions after Wydad Casablanca walked out of the game following a disallowed goal not being checked by VAR.
It was later confirmed that VAR was not working throughout the whole game and CAF decided the second leg must be replayed at a neutral venue at some point after the upcoming African Cup of Nations.
According to French tabloid, Jeune Afrique, this inquiry is linked to the contract unilaterally terminated by CAF with the German equipment manufacturer Puma to engage with the company Technical Steel, based in La Seyne-sur-Mer.
A signing of a contract which, according to the former secretary general of the continental forum Amr Fahmy, was favored by the proximity between Ahmad and one of the leaders of the French company, whose additional cost would reach 830,000 dollars (739,000 euros).
But in April, Ahmad had said “all decisions were made collegially” and “transparent.
Ahmad was in Paris to attend the FIFA Congress, which saw the re-election of President Gianni Infantino as president.
The decision to replay the CAF Champions League final has not gone down well with Esperance followers and many across the continent included some top Ahmad followers.
This also comes just 15 days ahead of the next edition of the biggest football jamboree in the continent, the Africa Cup of Nations, which starts in 15 days in Egypt and will need Ahmad for the smooth running of the festival.