Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Ahmad has responded publicly for the first time to the criticism levelled at him by Caf Executive Committee (ExCo) member Musa Bility of Liberia.
Earlier this month, Bility resigned from two positions within African football’s ruling body, saying he could no longer work under a president who Bility claimed was ‘leading this noble organisation in the wrong direction’.
Bility followed up his resignation by calling for an urgent ExCo meeting.
Ahmad, speaking in French, broke his media silence on the eve of the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations final in Niger on Saturday, telling journalists, “We have 23 ExCo members, but it’s only one or two of them who are talking.
“You never heard from the other members. The inclusive nature of running football was the reason behind our meetings, but no one has raised any major concerns,” Ahmad said.
Bility had written to his fellow Caf ExCo members, urging them to assess Ahmad’s decisions to redistribute the 2021, 2023 and 2025 Africa Cup of Nations. Ahmad insists Caf made the right decisions to reallocate the hosting rights of the three tournaments.
“Much has been said about the decisions regarding the allocation of Afcon, but can people talk about it today?
“Who was right except the Caf with the support of our Heads of State, with our African culture based on wisdom, conciliation and solidarity?”
Bility also questioned how Caf was able to sign a commercial deal without ExCo approval. Ahmad said Caf no longer has the right to market its own rights, and he again maintained that the Executive Committee is consulted on a regular basis.
“The statutes of the Caf oblige me (Caf President) to organise two Executive Committee meetings every year but we organise three or four since I assumed the reins.
“Regarding meetings of the emergency committee held in between meetings of the Executive Committee, there is a statutory requirement for the president to organise such meetings.
“At least every two months, there is a meeting of the Emergency Committee. How can we meet and the members of the emergency committee not be able to make decisions?” said Ahmad.
Bility’s recent statements indicate divisions among those leading the African game, which Ahmad refutes.
“You can ask other members of Caf. It is only the President that has a mandate to represent Caf. No other person got that mandate. I have nothing to answer to him [Bility].
“What is important is to carry on with my administration. The Caf I want to put in place is one of a united African football family. The plan is to continue in that way.
“The difference is perhaps I am more of a politician who see things differently. I don’t create any division in my management. Up till this moment everything I have on my agenda to develop football is on track.”