A corner review by BBC Sport Africa and Norway’s Josimar repository can exhibit some of a credentials that led to one of universe football’s many comparison total being questioned by French authorities. He was interviewed, though not incarcerated nor charged, in Paris final week.
At a heart lies a little-known association that Confederation of African Football (Caf) President Ahmad introduced to his organisation. France-based Tactical Steel has turn a pivotal retailer of apparatus to Caf, including for this month’s Africa Cup of Nations, notwithstanding not appearing to offer football apparatus on a website.
Ever given papers leaked progressing this year highlighted a understanding done in 2017 – a year Ahmad took bureau – between Caf and French association Tactical Steel, a Caf president’s purpose has been underneath scrutiny.
The understanding in Dec 2017 was important as Caf cancelled an sequence value 210,217 euros ($248,055; £186,899) with sportswear association Puma to take adult an choice sequence with Tactical Steel for $1,015,313. The Puma understanding enclosed a 60% discount.
Caf had motionless to switch to a opposite sports code though these could not apparently be performed in time from a internal manufacturer, hence a appointment of Tactical Steel.
The switch to a new and unknown retailer captivated attention.
Caf insiders contend it is surprising for a African football physique to buy sports apparatus by a third party, rather than understanding directly with vital sports manufacturers as has happened frequently in a past.
Media reports advise a orders – to yield Caf with footballs and kits for a African Nations Championship (Chan) in Morocco in Jan 2018 – were matching though BBC Sport Africa and a Norwegian co-operator Josimar have been told this was not a case.
Ahmad has told us that a Puma understanding was for 13,378 non-branded apparatus and a Tactical Steel understanding for 35,460 branded items, though papers we’ve seen advise a disproportion between a orders was most smaller: a Puma understanding being for usually over 15,000 and a Tactical Steel one for usually over 22,000.
When asked by BBC Sport Africa if a Fifa vice-president had cancelled a Puma understanding and privately authorized one with Tactical Steel instead, a matter from Ahmad’s open family association said: “These accusations are totally false, antagonistic and defamatory.
“They are partial of a fight being instigated by a former comparison Caf worker opposite Caf and a president.”
Ahmad’s orator pronounced that it was a Caf administration, not Ahmad as president, that defended and negotiated a apparatus prices with Tactical Steel.
They also pronounced a Tactical Steel understanding was widespread opposite several years and “not usually for Chan 2018”.
A member of Caf’s Executive Committee claimed that correct procession has not been followed.
“The initial time a difference Tactical Steel were mentioned during a Executive Committee was by me [in Apr 2019], when we flagged it that there is this company, that we have hired and paid a outrageous sum of income to, and a Executive Committee was positively unaware,” pronounced Musa Bility.
“Other than that, there is zero to uncover that there [is] any display in terms of recommendation from a financial cabinet to a Executive Committee per Tactical Steel,” a Liberian told BBC Sport Africa.
Who are Tactical Steel?
Based in La Seyne-sur-Mer, nearby Toulon, in a south of France, Tactical Steel was purebred with French authorities in 2016 and specialises in creation gym equipment.
No discuss of a Caf partnership is done on a Tactical Steel website whose online emporium does not seem to offer football sportswear nor football equipment.
But when Ahmad was mandated to arrange Chan apparatus in Nov 2017, 7 months after holding office, a association became a pivotal retailer for Fifa’s second-largest confederation.
Ahmad’s attaché and right-hand male Loic Gerand, who was inaugurated a member of Madagascar’s council in 2014, is an aged crony of Romuald Seiller, a Frenchman who owns Tactical Steel (along with his mother Sabine).
The BBC and Josimar have been told that both group served for 5 years together in a French army’s 21st Marine Infantry Regiment.
Despite Gerand’s and Seillier’s long-standing relationship, Ahmad was undeniable when revelation a BBC that there was “quite clearly no dispute of interest” for his organisation.
There is no idea that Ahmad has privately profited from a arrangement, nor Tactical Steel owners Seillier nor Ahmad attaché Gerand.
The BBC and Josimar requested criticism in late May from both Seillier and Gerand, though have nonetheless to hear back.
Why are French authorities involved?
The BBC and Josimar have seen emails that seem to prove that an associate association of Tactical Steel, set adult in Mar 2018, was also concerned in provision Caf and that some payments from Caf were sent to a bank criticism in Dubai used by a associate and subsequently reimbursed to a unchanging bank in France.
As Ahmad attended a Fifa association final week in France, where both Tactical Steel and a dependent association are based, internal authorities acted and took a boss in for questioning.
Prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux, from a French city of Marseille, described a talk as “part of a examine into corruption, crack of trust and forgery”.
“President [Ahmad], questioned in Paris on Jun 6th by a Central Office for a Fight opposite Corruption and Financial and Fiscal Offences (OCLCIFF), was expelled from military control but charges,” Mr Tarabeux announced on Friday.
Ahmad is now believed to be behind home in Madasgascar, where a former senator and fisheries apportion formerly ran a internal FA.
What are a questions over Ahmad’s involvement?
In response to questions from a BBC, Ahmad’s PR group wrote that a president, who campaigned on a height of financial transparency, brought in Tactical Steel overdue to an apparent deficiency of an alternative.
“The Caf President, who was confronting a really formidable conditions given it was usually week’s (sic) divided from a initial vital contest given being allocated President on 16 Mar 2017, motionless to urgently keep a services of Tactical Steel, a French association specialising in a resale of sports apparatus and materials,” review a matter antiquated 3 June.
“The Caf President usually introduced a association Tactical Steel since of a apparent deficiency of any other alternative,” combined a statement, citing Toulon’s vicinity to Morocco “to safeguard quick … ride of a equipment”, “the brief notice period” and “end-of-year holiday constraints”.
A Caf email seen by a BBC and Josimar indicates that Puma had progressing been deliberate to be a usually sportswear association a connection had contacted who could do a order.
Nonetheless, this understanding was cancelled as Caf motionless to use a opposite sportswear supplier.
Internal Caf emails from a time review as follows:
- 18 Dec 2017: Caf emissary ubiquitous secretary to afterwards Caf ubiquitous secretary Amr Fahmy: “I endorse that this has been a president’s ask to cancel this [Puma] sequence and to cruise a new proposal”
- 19 Dec 2017: Caf’s afterwards financial executive interjection Tactical Steel owners Seillier for his quote “which has been authorized by a President of CAF”.
- 20 Dec 2017: Seillier writes to Ahmad’s personal email, while duplicating in other Caf staff, to appreciate him “for a certainty we have shown in us”.
Ahmad has blamed former ubiquitous secretary Fahmy for a disaster to arrange Chan apparatus on time (despite a Egyptian holding adult his purpose in Nov 2017) and has discharged all a allegations opposite him as “false”.
Fahmy declined to criticism when approached by a BBC.
Ahmad’s PR group also told us that a understanding sealed in 2017 “covers mixed tournaments such as [the] Africa Cup of Nations”, that starts on 21 Jun in Egypt.
In early 2018, shortly after a Chan, papers seen by a BBC and Josimar prove that Caf also incited to Tactical Steel for an sequence of 60,000 hand-stitched footballs with Caf logos to be distributed to a confederation’s 54 members.
This new understanding cost some $1,770,320 – scarcely $30 a round on normal – as shown in an check antiquated 19 Apr 2018, whose terms were concluded by Caf shortly after.
Shipping costs combined an additional $738,671 to a deal.
What subsequent for Ahmad?
BBC and Josimar trust a Tactical Steel couple has been brought to a courtesy of Fifa’s Ethics Committee’s Investigative Chamber, that is accepted to have non-stop an review into a governance of African football.
“Fifa is seeking a French authorities for any information that competence be applicable to investigations holding place within a Ethics Committee,” review a matter by football’s universe ruling body.
Later this month, a Malagasy will manage his initial Nations Cup – Caf’s flagship eventuality – as boss of an organization now underneath heated scrutiny.