Confederation of African Football president Ahmad Ahmad’s five-year ban from football has been lessened to two years from five years, the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced on Monday.
The ruling virtually ends Ahmad’s hopes seeking re-election this week but notably paves the way for South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe to replace him and become the organisation’s eighth president in its 63-year history.
Ahmad was banned from football for five years by FIFA in November and fined 200,000 Swiss francs after an ethics investigation by world soccer’s governing body, which found the 61-year-old guilty of offering and accepting gifts and other benefits as well as of misappropriation of funds.
On appeal, CAS on Monday reduced the ban to two years – meaning Ahmad cannot stand for re-election this week – and cut his fine to 50,000 Swiss francs.
Ahmad, who was also a FIFA vice president, had hoped his appeal would be successful and allow him to seek re-election in Morocco on Friday.
Motsepe is set to replace him from Friday after an agreement brokered by FIFA president Gianni Infantino last week that will see the 59-year-old mining magnate, owner of the South African club Mamelodi Sundowns, elected unanimously and two of his rivals – Augustin Senghor of Senegal and Ahmed Yahya of Mauritania named as CAF vice presidents.