Editorial: Fifa’s decision exposes poor CAF leadership

Fatma Samoura is the first female secretary-general of FIFA. Picture: Supplied/ Getty Images
Fatma Samoura is the first female secretary-general of FIFA. Picture: Supplied/ Getty Images

This week’s decision by football governing body Fifa to take over the running of African football says a lot about those of us who are put in positions of leadership and authority.

Just like in politics, football on the continent has clearly not escaped bad leadership.

CAF and Fifa released a joint statement saying that general secretary Fatma Samoura will take over the running of the continental federation.

She will be assisted by experts in a bid to oversee the management of the embattled organisation. Fifa will also undertake a forensic audit of CAF.

Samoura will work with CAF from August 1 until January 31.

While the decision is welcomed and lauded, it does not send a good message about the continent, especially at a time when the biggest football tournament – the Africa Cup of Nations – is under way in Cairo, Egypt.

The clear inference of this decision is that CAF is unable to handle its own affairs and solve its own problems, and that we have to seek the assistance of the master – often outside Africa – to help us clean our mess.

This is an indictment on the CAF leadership. All this shows that African football is in disarray and in need of an urgent intervention.

CAF’s problems are well documented and we thought what that, when he took over two years ago, president Ahmad Ahmad would stick to his promises and change Africa’s image.

But we were wrong.

Earlier this month, Ahmad was detained and later released by the French police after being questioned regarding allegations of corruption.

He is under investigation by Fifa’s ethics committee and has been in the eye of the storm over corruption, financial misappropriation and sexual harassment allegations.

Maybe this is the time to clean up our act once and for all, and emerge out of this episode wiser and corruption free.

Hopefully fair play will become the order of the day.

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