Sepp Blatter, UEFA, Tanzania Boss Resist FIFA Takeover of African Football
Global football governing body FIFA recently appoints General Fatma Samoura as “FIFA General Delegate for Africa” for a 6-month period from 1 August 2019 to 31 January 2020, renewable with the agreement.
The agreement, announced in a joint statement, effectively sees FIFA take over the management of football on the African continent.
As part of this process, it was also agreed that FIFA and CAF will undertake as soon as possible a full forensic audit of CAF.’‘
Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has joined critics of the decision to take over management of African football, questioning the role that the compliance committee is playing at the global body.
‘‘Quo vadis FIFA? African Football under control, new colonialism? Well done courageous Leodegar Tenga! Is the compliance committee sleeping?’‘ Blatter tweeted on Friday evening.
Blatter was president of FIFA for 17 years until he was kicked out of the position by the Ethics Committee on charges of coruption and financial mismanagement. He has since been banned from taking part in any FIFA activities until 2022.
Blatter was referring to the Tanzania football boss, Tanga who has cast doubt on whether the CAFExecutive Committee approved FIFA’s plans as claimed in the joint statement issued on Thursday.
In leaked messages that Tanga reportedly sent to a CAF Whatsapp group, the Tanzanian football official argues that while the members agreed to the FIFA takeover in principle, there was no agreement on the details of how the cooperation would be implemented.
“There is no doubt that at our Exco Meeting yesterday (Wednesday), we unanimously agreed that, in principle, we do agree to the cooperation between FIFA and CAF would lead to promoting integrity, ethical practice and FairPlay and eradicating corruption,” Tanga wrote.
“But we also agreed that Exco members would be given time to go through the proposed text and come up with the details of the cooperation.’‘
Tanga further argues that English-speaking members of the committee had asked for translated versions of the briefing documents that were written in French.
According to Tanga, a final decision on the matter was to be reached at an Exco meeting next month.
“Finally, it was agreed that the matter will be discussed at the forthcoming Exco Meeting (of 16th July, two days before the Ordinary General Assembly) where details and mode of cooperation would be sorted out.”
FIFA’s decision to take a prominent role in the affairs of football in Africa have been resisted by the European football federation (UEFA).
Aleksander Ceferin, the head of European football, was among the FIFA vice presidents asked by Infantino on Thursday to approve plans to appoint FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura as FIFAGeneral Delegate for Africa.
Ceferin said Infantino’s proposal was received at 1:50 a.m. Thursday and a response was sought by 10:30 a.m.
“I cannot be expected to have your proposal examined by UEFA’s legal team or consult the European members of the FIFA Council on a subject of such great importance in such a short time,” Ceferin wrote to Infantino in a letter seen by The Associated Press.
“Never in the history of our institutions has the FIFA Secretary General, who under the FIFAStatutes leads the organization, been placed on secondment to take control of a confederation, even with the latter’s consent.”
Ceferin is a member of the FIFA Council, which features the regional confederation leaders who serve as vice presidents of the global governing body.
Ceferin said Samoura becoming FIFA General Delegate for Africa while retaining the title of secretary general “raises a large number of questions and in particular the likelihood of ‘conflicts of interest’ as well as doubts over whether it complies with the statutes of FIFA and the CAF.”
“Without our legal analysis of the situation and consultation of the European members of the FIFACouncil, I am not at liberty to approve the proposal you put forward.”
Samoura, a Senegalese former United Nations official, became FIFA’s first female secretary general in 2016 after Infantino’s election.
Ceferin has asked Infantino for an “accurate description of the role and powers of the FIFAGeneral Delegate for Africa, an accurate description of the way FIFA would function in her absence.”
“At this stage, I am not in possession of enough information or assurances on this subject to be able to approve the proposal,” Ceferin wrote to Infantino.
“For these various reasons, I am sure you will fully understand that, in the current state of affairs and without additional information from you, I cannot approve the proposal set out in your letter sent to the FIFA Bureau of the Council members to appoint a FIFA General Delegate for Africa.”