Why Deny CAF President US Visa?

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This news could sound surprising to very many football stakeholders across Africa and the leadership of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). I keep saying that leadership, in any category has to do with honesty, transparency, diligence with sense of patriotism irrespective of whoever is leading a team of conglomerate like the CAF in Cairo, Egypt. The CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad had, in the previous months, changed venues of the AFCON tourney Championship from country to country until it was eventually awarded to Egypt, the city of CAF!

While this change of venue syndrome was going on, I knew that so many African countries were watching with keen interest. Some with bad blood as they couldn’t air their view publicly; some were on the fence taking notice of the entire change game; some watched in their anger and were ready to project their annoyance to the public domain, given what they described of the CAF President rule of the body as autocratic Leadership.

It was as a result of the CAF President strong style of administration that had necessitated an open letter from the continental football ruling body executive committee member, Musa Bility, former President of Liberia Football Association to questioning Ahmad’s authority to making what had apparently been seen as all unilateral decisions on the hosting of the African Cup of Nations, as well as on the ethics surrounding a deal for a new betting sponsorship.

One can readily reason that moving the hosting right from the Cameroons as agreed ab initio to host the CAF 2019 did not really go down well with the francophone country, even with all cited reasons and excuses explained by CAF for shifting the venue from Cameroon. Those were all charade as far as the former CAF President, Issa Hayatou’s country is concerned. They felt embittered, even though the CAF championship version of 2021 has been automatically awarded the country for her to do a proper job completion of all the designated stadia as observed by CAF during their inspection tour of hosting facilities in Cameroon!

By the way, it was also moved to South Africa, although CAF had given other African countries an open window to vie for the hosting right in spite of the fact that the late Nelson Mandela country had been designated by CAF. Just with a “Twist of tongue”, suddenly CAF announced Egypt as the new host of the 2019 cup of Nations few weeks later with no specific reasons given in the case of South Africa.

Methinks that most of these changes being made by CAF had been done personally by the president himself without wide consultations of the administrative working committee of the continental ruling football body. Little wonder Musa Bility came hard on the CAF president for his unilateral decisions in all this! In leadership, no one man is an island that could determine the people’s fate always. Sometimes, it does work; sometimes, there is always a rebound, like this one.

However, having opinionated all this, the United States of America has not come up with any official reason for denying Ahmad Ahmad, the US entry visa to attend a crucial FIFA council meeting in Miami this weekend. Ahmad who is FIFA’s Giani Infantino right hand man has been a very strong voice in the support of Infantino world calendar plans. And that is a high point why Ahmad must be in America!

Whether Ahmad Ahmad succeeds in getting the visa within this limited time to attend the FIFA meeting in the US will become a subject for another day. But the bottom line is that the numero uno administrator of African football has been humiliated in this regard by the US authority for denying the CAF president visa in the first instance of request! Not even the much criticised former CAF henchman, Issa Hayaton, had been handed this sought of derogation by any European or American country in issues relating to global football! A “stitch in time” they say, “saves nine”.

Good Morning Nigeria!

Source: independent.ng