Ahmad Ahmad, who is president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), has been banned from football for five years by FIFA following an ethics investigation.
FIFA announced the ban during the Madagascan official’s campaign for four more years as the head of CAF.
Ahmad was elected CAF president in March 2017, and last month submitted his candidacy to serve a second term in office, with elections due to take place next year.
Ahmad’s first four-year term was clouded with allegations of financial wrongdoing and misconduct at the Confederation of African Football headquarters in Cairo.
Ahmad was detained by authorities at a luxury hotel used by FIFA in Paris on the eve of the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
He was questioned about a CAF equipment deal with a French company that appeared to have little connection with soccer.
“Ahmad had breached his duty of loyalty, offered gifts and other benefits, mismanaged funds and abused his position as the CAF President,” FIFA said.
“The investigation into Mr. Ahmad’s conduct in his position as CAF President during the period from 2017 to 2019 concerning various CAF-related governance issues, including the organization and financing of an Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca, his involvement in CAF’s dealings with the sports equipment company Tactical Steel and other activities,” FIFA said in a statement.
“The circumstances that have befallen him are unfortunate and make me deeply sad,” Phillip Chiyangwa, Ahmad’s campaign manager in 2017, said.
The CAF election is scheduled for March 12 in Rabat, Morocco.