CAF President Issa Hayatou
CAIRO - 25 April 2017: Egypt’s battle against the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and its former president, Issa Hayatou, is not likely to end soon now that Egypt’s situation has been strengthened by African Union (AU) support.
The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) that referred Hayatou to the public prosecutor in January received a letter of support from the African Union (AU) on Sunday backing Egypt’s efforts to expose the CAF’s corruption. It has been proven that the CAF sold the worldwide rights of the African Cup of Nations and CAF Champions League, from 2017 to 2028, to the French media company Lagardere Sports in the absence of free and fair competition.
In its battle against the CAF strongman, Egypt backed current CAF President Ahmed Ahmed, of Madagascar, who has been working to review all contracts signed while Hayatou was president of the organization.
The clash was ignited in September 2016 when the broadcasting contract with Lagardere was unveiled. Egyptian advertisement company Presentation Sports claimed their offer was $200 million more than Lagardere’s offer of $1 billion, raising questions over the transparency of the bidding process. This led Egypt to open fire on the suspicious deal.
Lagardere head Hamada Chadi ruled out the possibility of cancelling their contract with CAF over the Egyptian lawsuit. However, a source who requested anonymity as they are not supposed to talk to the press told Egypt Today that the Egyptian government is supporting the ECA’s battle “by all legal means,” asserting their right to fair bidding to give all African countries the chance to enjoy future games.
Egypt has the right to sue the CAF since its offices are based in Cairo. Consequently, Hayatou announced his intention to move CAF’s headquarters from Egypt to Morocco last March, days before the elections that overthrew him.
Egypt’s Economic Misdemeanors Court adjourned Hayatou’s trial to May 8 upon the request of his lawyer.