The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced that its presidential elections will hold in the Moroccan capital of Rabat next year.
Incumbent president Ahmad Ahmad is expected to face a stiff challenge in the quest to hold on to his post but so far he has refused to confirm or deny if he will run for a second term. In a video press conference held on Thursday 1o September, Ahmad said, “I am finalizing with my team. Such a position in society in a continent is not about personal ambition, it is a commitment that is sought after by different interest groups.”
The beleaguered 60-year-old Malagasy is fighting multiple allegations of corruption. He is the subject of an ethics inquiry by soccer’s global governing body, FIFA, and by the authorities in France where he was detained for 12 hours for questioning by the police in a corruption investigation.
A 55-page report by the accountancy firm PWC, hired to audit CAF uncovered millions of dollars of financial irregularities. Former CAF executive committee member and one of Ahmad’s harshest critics Musa Bility described the content of the report indicting his foe as “crimes against humanity” and “daylight robbery.”
Ahmad has also been accused of multiple acts of corruption around the award of commercial contracts, as well as being accused of multiple counts of sexual harassment of women within the CAF organization. A strong challenge against any second term ambition is expected next year.
Candidates will be able to apply from 11 September to 12 November, with the elections themselves scheduled to take place on 12 March.
In another highly anticipated announcement, CAF unveiled the new dates for the resumption of the Champions League and Confederation Cup initially scheduled 22 and 25 September respectively.
Champions League first legs between Morocco’s Raja Casablanca and Egypt’s Zamalek as well as Raja’s city rivals Wydad Casablanca against Cairo giants Al Ahly will now be played on 17-18 October, with the return legs a week later.
The final itself has been moved from 16 October to 6 November.
Meanwhile, the one-off Confederation Cup semi-finals will now take place on 19 and 20 October.
Guinea’s Horoya face Pyramids in one tie while Renaissance Berkane battle Moroccan compatriots Hassania Agadir in the other.
The Confederation Cup final, also in Rabat, has also been moved to 25 October, having earlier been set to take place on 27 September.