CAF under-pressure as PWC question finances & payments
Confederation of African Football (CAF) auditors, Price Waterhouse Cooper believe there is a potential elements of mismanagement and possible abuse of power at the outfit.
The report, which covers 2017 to 2019, may well heap further pressure on CAF President Ahmad Ahmad, less than a week after FIFA ended their six-month supervision period of African football’s governing body, which was a consequence of a series of corruption scandals.
While Gianni Infantino may believe that the continent’s reform has been completed successfully, the 55-page PWC report has shed further light on the nature of CAF’s financial management during Ahmad’s tenure.
“The accounting records of CAF are unreliable and not trustworthy,” the report began, as per Reuters.
“Based upon the procedures performed and documents reviewed, several red flags, potential elements of mismanagement and possible abuse of power were found in key areas of finance and operations of CAF.
“Given the serious nature of certain findings and red flags identified from the preliminary due-diligence, we cannot rule out the possibility of potential irregularities.”
The audit, which has reportedly been available for just under three months, will raise questions about why Fifa’s ethics committee did not suspend Ahmad following an investigation into the relationship between CAF and French-based company Tactical Steel.
The Malagasy administrator was also detained and questioned by French police in mid-2019, ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, as part of a corruption investigation.
There were specific concerns within the report of the volume of cash transactions which were undertaken without the appropriate documental support.
“Large numbers of payments were made in cash, typically involving CAF issuing a “cheque to cash”, which is then spent by a CAF Staff,” the report continued. “The use of cash for business expenses in this manner results in little or no audit trail to verify if the cash has been spent legitimately or not.
“These disbursements are often high value round sum amounts. (e.g. $215,000 spent in cash during General Assembly meeting in Ethiopia in March 2017).”
According to Reuters, PWC have also recommended that CAF examine, in detail, the broadcast deal signed with French sports marketing company Lagardere.