After nearly seven months of the change in the presidency of the African Football Confederation, a delegation of the African COMMESA will arrive to Cairo next weekend to hold a meeting with Ahmad Ahmad, President of the African Football Confederation next Thursday and it’s expected to be storming to say the least, since the new Confederation will be asked to present the reasons behind that delay in keeping the promises they made during their presidential campaign mostly reconsidering the commercial contracts of the Confederation specially regarding TV rights which are violating the laws of competition which Issa Hayatou granted to the French company Lagardère without holding public biddings for long periods of times which reached up to twelve years and counting, after signing with the same companies for more than eight years, which is considered to be a destructive situation for fair competition and a strong violation of the laws and rules of the COMMESA regarding these issues.
A final report has been issued by the COMMESA last September proving the violations in over 70% of the CAF contracts, mentioning the two contracts with Lagardère and Adidas, and it demanded that the CAF should take instant measures to scrutinize these contacts in order to avoid the legal and financial consequences that could be forced by the COMMESA, such as a large financial felony that could reach up to 10% of the total of his earnings.
Close sources to the COMMESA stated that there is a dissatisfaction inside the COMMESA towards Ahmad Ahmad because of him turning a blind eye on this issue and on the presidential promises he made, he did not even reconsider one contract of the controversial contracts that he himself called unethical and invalid. There aren’t even any signs of seriousness from his part to open internal investigations regarding this matter, until a conviction that Ahmad Ahmad is following Hayatou’s footsteps is developed amongst the members of the COMMESA.
Recent blasts to the headquarters of beIN sports by the authorities in France, Greece, Spain and Italy following a request from the Swiss district attorney in an attempt to reveal the circumstances of the purchase of TV rights of the World Cup of 2026 and 2030 and the nature of liaison between Gerome Valcke and BeIN Sports network, these developments will probably heat up the Thursday meetings between the COMMESA and CAF, since the investigations tend also to reveal the circumstances of the purchase the TV and commercial rights of the African Football Confederation championships, and the nature of a similar relationship between Hayatou and Lagardère; the right arm of BeIN Sports network in the field of purchasing the TV rights, knowing that beIN Sports owns 21% of Lagardère’s bonds, which raises heavy suspicions on the Hayatou/Lagardère deal.
It is crucial to note that Ahmad Ahmad have stated that these contracts are invalid and corrupt and he assured that his first bills once elected president will be reconsidering them thoroughly and annihilating them, however non of these promises are lived up to, nor did he take any measures in the matter, which placed him in a direct confrontation with the COMMESA group which have started taking legal action against the Confederation since last March in which he will pay a heavy price on behalf of his precedent Hayatou in case he kept up this pace and did not step up to revise the CAF’S contracts and make sure that they have been proceeded in full transparency and integrity.
It is to be noted that the COMMESA is an African economical entity that holds 20 of the biggest economies in Africa.