Mr. Ahmad Ahmad, the President of Confederation of African Football (CAF), African’s football governing body, has been sanctioned with a 5 years ban from all “football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level” after being found guilty of breaching FIFA Code of Ethics by the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee.
The 60-year-old Malagasy assumed office as the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on 16th March, 2017.
His position also makes him a FIFA Vice President. Since his assumption of office, his four-year term has been clouded with allegations of financial wrongdoing and misconduct.
Mr. Ahmad was found guilty by the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee of having breached art. 15 (Duty of loyalty), art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts or other benefits), and art. 25 (Abuse of position) of the 2020 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics, as well as art. 28 (Misappropriation of funds) of the 2018 edition. In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 200,000 (#83,754,093.14) was imposed on him.
However, Ahmad can appeal his sanction at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) once he has received the full grounds for the decision, a process that can take up to 60 days.
Fifa released the following statement on the matter today:
“The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has found Ahmad Ahmad, the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and a FIFA Vice-President, guilty of having breached art. 15 (Duty of loyalty), art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts or other benefits) and art. 25 (Abuse of position) of the 2020 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics, as well as art. 28 (Misappropriation of funds) of the 2018 edition.”
“The investigation into Mr. Ahmad’s conduct in his position as CAF President during the period from 2017 to 2019 concerned 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.”
“In its decision, following an extensive hearing, the adjudicatory chamber ruled that, based on information gathered by the investigatory chamber, Mr. Ahmad had breached his duty of loyalty, offered gifts and other benefits, mismanaged funds and abused his position as the CAF President, pursuant to the FIFA Code of Ethics.”
“Consequently, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr. Ahmad had breached arts 15, 20 and 25 of the current edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics, as well as art. 28 of the 2018 edition, and sanctioned him with a ban from all football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level for five years. In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 200,000 has been imposed on Mr. Ahmad.”
“The terms of the decision were notified to Mr. Ahmad today, the date on which the ban comes into force. In accordance with art. 78 par. 2 of the FIFA Code of Ethics, the full, motivated decision will be notified to Mr. Ahmad in the next 60 days, after which it will be published on legal.fifa.com.”
Football: Southampton announces £76.1m loss for 2019/20 financial results
Premiere League side, Southampton FC has revealed a UK£76.1m loss in Covid-hit 2019/20 financial results.
English Premier League club, Southampton Football Club, has reported a net loss of £76.1million for the fiscal year of 2019/20 ending in June 2020, due to the significant impact of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.
Key highlights of its FY 2019/20
- Southampton FC incorporated by St Mary’s Football Group Ltd, posted a decrease in the overall revenue down to £126.6m which represents a nosedive of £23m compared to £149.6 reported in the fiscal year of 2018/19, with the net loss before tax up from £41m.
- As a consequence of the English Premier League ending before 30 June 2020, broadcasting revenue fell to £93.5m compared to £112.8m in 2019 – a drop of £19.3m, despite the Saints finishing 11th in the 2019/20 Premier League season (five places higher than the previous season).
- With the suspension of the league in March 2020, until Project Restart, which led to matches played behind closed doors, matchday revenue fell to £14.5m with a £2.5m drop compared to £17.0m in 2019.
- Project restart also coated them an additional £1.5m of net additional costs of sales and administrative expenses in order to enable the men’s first-team squad to train and conclude the 2019/20 season in a COVID-19 secure environment.
- The Saints reported that the total 2019/20 revenue foregone as a highlight of the significant impact of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic over the financial year was £10.3m, with a further £20.9m revenue deferred into the year ended 30 June 2021.
- However, the club said revenue would have shown up a £8.2m (5.5%) increase up to £157.8m for the 2019/20 fiscal year, had it not been lost or deferred due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
- The transfer business was significantly impacted as the Summer 2020 transfer window did not open until July 2020, after the financial year ended. The sales of Charlie Austin and Gallagher in the Summer 2019 window helped see a profit of £13.9m compared to £20.9m made in 2019.
What the Southampton FC MD is saying
Southampton Managing Director, Toby Steele, said:
- “As with many companies and industries, the group is in the midst of a challenging financial environment due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is reflected in the financial results for 2019/20 and necessitated the group to restructure its debt facility during June 2020. Despite these challenges, our group-wide staff have shown great resilience, facilitating a smooth return to training and matches for men’s and women’s teams across all age groups, as well as the return of fans, albeit briefly, during season 2020/21.
- “We also have great pride in the work of the Saints Foundation, in particular the collaboration with group staff in the ‘Saints as One’ initiative during the early stages of the pandemic. The ongoing support of our fans, many of whom purchased a 2020/21 season ticket at a time when the return of football was unknown, is greatly appreciated and it is our hope to get fans back where they belong, supporting all our teams in person, in greater numbers as soon as possible.”
Manchester City owner, Sheikh Mansour spends £760k on old FA Cup Trophy
Manchester City owner, Sheikh Mansour has paid almost £760,000 to buy the oldest surviving FA Cup.
Manchester City owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, purchased the 1896–1910 Football Association Challenge Cup (FA Cup) at an auction.
The FA Cup was the first trophy won by Manchester City 116 years ago when they defeated Bolton Wanderers 1-0 in 1904 final, making the Manchester club the first professional football club from Manchester to capture a major honour. They are now the proud custodian of their first trophy.
The club tweeted, “We are delighted to announce we are now the proud custodian of the 1896–1910 #FACup following the recent purchase of the trophy at auction by Club owner, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed.”
We are delighted to announce we are now the proud custodian of the 1896–1910 #FACup following the recent purchase of the trophy at auction by Club owner, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 8, 2021
Etihad chairman, Sheikh Khaldoon al-Mubarak, on commenting on the purchase said: “This Cup is a visible reminder of the rich and long history of English football to which Manchester City is inextricably entwined.
“Winning this actual trophy in 1904 was a turning point for the Club and for the city of Manchester in that it firmly cemented football in the heart of its community.”
What you should know
- The cup was previously the property of West Ham co-owner, David Gold, before he put it up for sale last year September by an anonymous buyer which is now revealed to be Manchester City’s owner.
- Auctioneers Bonhams had announced that a particular item of silverware was sold for £760,000 ($1.03m).
- The cup is the forerunner of the current FA Cup and also the oldest surviving piece of FA Cup silverware in England and the one first used in 1871 stolen from a shop while on display following Aston Villa’s triumph in 1895 and that was the last time it was seen.
- Originally, there were fears that the trophy would be bought privately and taken overseas, before Mansour stepped in to ensure the trophy will remain in England for the benefit of English football.
- The trophy has been offered to the National Football Museum in Manchester, England on loan, where it has been housed for the past 16 years, 2005.
Former FIFA President, Sepp Blatter rushed to hospital
Family have confirmed that former Fifa president, Sepp Blatter has been hospitalised.
Former President of FIFA, Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, was reportedly rushed to the hospital in Switzerland over a serious situation, but not life-threatening.
This isn’t the first time Blatter has been hospitalised, with the Swiss suffering health problems in November 2015 and July 2016.
The daughter of the 84-year-old, Corinne Blatter, confirmed the reports stating, “My father is in hospital. He’s getting better every day. But he needs time and rest.”
In her statement, Corinne asked for privacy on behalf of her family.
What you should know:
- Blatter served as the FIFA president for 17 years, from 1998-2015.
- He is currently serving a six-year ban. He was banned by FIFA’s ethics committee in 2015 from football for eight years where he was found guilty of a series of breaches including a conflict of interest and dereliction of duty over a 2million Swiss francs (£1.35m) “disloyal payment”.
- A FIFA appeals committee upheld the suspension but reduced it from eight years to six.
- The Swiss currently under criminal investigation over an alleged undue payment to the former UEFA president Michel Platini. Both Platini and Blatter have continued to maintain they did nothing wrong.