The FIFA Ethics Committee will investigate Issa Hayatou over a television and marketing rights deal even though the Cameroonian lost Thursday’s CAF Presidential election.
Hayatou has been referred to the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee over a multi-million dollar deal with sports agency Lagardere.
This means Hayatou will have some rocky months ahead even though the 70-year-old failed in his bid to be re-elected for an eighth term in office as the leader of Africa’s governing body.
Hayatou was seeking an eighth term in office but was defeated by his sole challenger, Ahmad, who goes by one name and who heads up Madagascar’s FA.
Egyptian sports marketing firm Presentation reported Hayatou to FIFA’s Review Committee seeking to stop the Cameroonian from standing the election in Addis Ababa, saying he violated anti-monopoly rules by handing the deal to Lagardere.
FIFA’s Review Committee chairman Miguel Poisares Maduro declined to investigate Hayatou on the eligibility test citing the proximity of Thursday’s election.
However, Maduro has refered the matter to the investigatory chamber of Ethics Committee to investigate the matter and decide on an appropriate line of action.
“We kindly inform you that due to the extreme proximity of the elections taking place at the CAF Congress and the complex nature of the allegations raised in your correspondences, it is not possible anymore for the Review Committee to reopen the eligibility process without infringing on Issa Hayatou’s right to be heard and to a fair procedure,” Maduro wrote in his response to the lawyers of Presentation.
“Therefore the Review Committee will forward your correspondences including its annexes to the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee.”
This means Hayatou will be investigated by the ruthless Ethics Committee which has shown the backbone in banning several officials over corrupt and suspicious deals.
Egypt’s general prosecution has also referred Hayatou to the country’s Economic Court on charges of violating local anti-monopoly rules over the deal to Lagardere in June 2015.
CAF has firmly rejected accusations it committed any wrongdoing when signing a multi-million dollar deal with the France-based sports agency.
The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) started to investigate the Lagardere deal in June 2016, prior to asserting – in January 2017 – that Caf had engaged in monopolistic practices that infringed local laws.
The deal gives Lagardere rights to a variety of African football competitions, including the flagship Africa Cup of Nations, from 2017 until 2028.
Hayatou stressed that the allegations accusing it of selling rights without opening them for due tender are incorrect.
The organisation, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this week, maintains it did not sell any broadcasting rights to Lagardere – merely appointing the French company as its marketing and media agent instead.
Lagardere paid USD one billion to Caf for the privilege and while it then undertakes responsibility for negotiating deals across the globe.