Audit uncovers massive financial mess at CAF
Audit uncovers massive financial mess at CAF
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Audit uncovers massive financial mess at CAF

An investigation at Confederation of African Football (CAF) has uncovered massive financial irregularities pointing to possible loss of millions of dollars.

In May last year, CAF agreed to an independent review of its operations, administrative and governance structure after accusations of financial impropriety emerged. Tne CAF president Ahmad is also under ethics inquiry by FIFA and French authorities. 

A 55-page report by the accountancy firm PWC paints a bleak picture at the Cairo headquarters. The auditors found problems with financial systems at CAF including how millions of dollars of football development funds sent by FIFA were spent and disbursed.

No sufficient documentation

According to a media report in The New York Times, which saw the PwC report, the audit outlined troubling information that bordered on “potential elements of mismanagement and possible abuse of power were found in key areas of finance and operations of C.A.F.”

The report said that of the $51 million sent to CAF by FIFA, only $24 million has been disbursed to African football federations. It further revealed that in a total of 40 payments worth $10 million, only five payments totalling to just $1.6 million had sufficient documentation. The rest lacked any documentation and the beneficiaries were unknown.

The revelations would not make the matter better for Ahmad who has been accused of irregularly paying sums of money to a French sports equipment linked to a close ally. He has also been accused of sexual harassment by former employees. He has denied these allegations.

Tax evasion

The details of those payments have also been captured in the audit report. PWC flagged the flow of money between CAF and the equipment company called Tactical Steel as “highly suspicious” and “may potentially indicate a kickback arrangement between parties involved or a case of tax evasion through offshore payments.” Tactical Steel has denied any wrongdoing. 

This month, FIFA and C.A.F. announced a joint action plan to take significant power away from the African organization’s board, which is composed of soccer leaders from across the continent. The audit revealed that many of those same officials had received thousands of dollars in cash payments without a justifiable business case.

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