Stand-in Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Constant Omari has been barred from standing for the Fifa Council, where he already has a position, in Friday’s elections in Morocco.
A Fifa Council member since 2015, Omari had appealed his rejection for the post by Fifa’s Review Committee on 26 January at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas), who ruled against him on Thursday.
The DR Congo football federation president is the subject of an ongoing Fifa ethics inquiry relating to a decision to amend the billion-dollar Lagardere TV contract.
Fifa is probing why Caf apparently agreed to buy around $20m of debt owed by a Beninois sports agency called LC2 GROUP to Lagardere Sports, the French company that had been handling Caf’s marketing and media sales until the contract was abruptly cancelled in late 2019.
Under an amendment – signed in early 2019 – to the original 2015 deal between Lagardere and Caf, the latter agreed to pay Lagardere $6.7m for the debt, which relates to outstanding TV rights payments, owed by LC2 GROUP.
Outgoing Caf president Ahmad – whose Fifa ban for various ethics breaches was reduced to two years this week – is also being probed on this matter, with Omari under investigation since he headed up the Caf delegation dealing with Lagardere.
Elsewhere, there was better news for Guinea’s Antonio Souare and Cameroonian Seidou Mbombo Njoya, both of whom were cleared by Cas on Thursday to contest for positions on Caf’s Executive Committee.
Both candidates’ eligibility for the posts had originally been rejected by Caf’s Governance Committee earlier this year.
Switzerland-based Cas has been busy this week with cases relating to the Caf elections, where South Africa’s Patrice Motsepe will be voted in – unopposed – as the ruler of African football on Friday.
After three of his rivals withdrew last week as part of a pact to unify behind a common vision for African football, Cas’ decision on Monday to maintain a Fifa ban on Madagascar’s Ahmad – albeit while reducing his sentence – confirmed his looming coronation.
Earlier this week, sport’s highest legal body also cleared Algeria’s Khireddine Zetchi to bid for a place on the Fifa Council during the elections in the Moroccan capital Rabat.
He had previously been barred by Fifa, who failed to fully explain why the Algerian was rejected as a candidate in January.