Marseilles - The president of the Confederation of African Football(CAF), Ahmad Ahmad, was released without charge in France on Friday, a day after being arrested for questioning in Marseilles, the city's public prosecutor said.
Prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux said Ahmad, who was in France for the FIFA Congress held Wednesday, was questioned as part of a probe into corruption, breach of trust and forgery.
Ahmad was in Paris for the FIFA Congress ahead of the start of the
Women's World Cup. His confederation's marquee event, the African Cup of
Nations, kicks off in Egypt on June 21.
The French investigation concerns CAF's breach, shortly after its
signature in December 2017, of a contract with Puma to supply equipment
and clothes to 580 volunteers at the 2018 African Nations Championship,
an event for national teams made up of African players with clubs on the
CAF allegedly tore up the contract in favour of a better offer from a
small French-based company which supplies Adidas gear, according to
documents seen by AFP.
That company is based in La Seyne-sur-Mer, on the Mediterranean coast east of Marseille, a source close to the case said.
Puma "asked for compensation of $100,000, but CAF did not pay," Amr
Fahmy, a former CAF Secretary General, who is already involved in a
separate investigation of Ahmad, told AFP.
In a statement on Thursday, FIFA said that it had "taken note of the
alleged events concerning Mr Ahmad Ahmad, who is being questioned by the
French authorities in relation to allegations related to his mandate
while President of CAF."
World football's governing body said it had asked "the French
authorities for any information" that might be of interest to its Ethics
Ahmad is already the subject of an investigation by the commission,
opened after Fahmy submitted a dossier in March alledging
"mismanagement". Ahmad has denied the accusations.
FIFA's statement on the arrest concluded: "FIFA is now clean from the
scandals that tarnished its reputation and this same determination
should prevail in governing bodies such as confederations. FIFA will be
at the forefront of ensuring that this is enforced by everyone involved