We have consistently asked on this forum, why FIFA has been quite damant about the takeover of CAF and the installation of its SG Fatma Samoura as a General Delegate.
FIFA were obviously concerned about the breach of financial rules by CAF because for some reason it (CAF) had not provided the approved audited financial statements as per statutes since the election of Ahmad Ahmad to the Presidency.
Despite this anomaly, FIFA continues to send financial subvention (grants) to both the CAF and to its zonal Unions annually despite the flouting of the eligibility criteria that is normally applied to National FAs.
So we asked, why was FIFA so intent in having Fatma Samoura oversee the so-called reforms of CAF, where she reportedly relocated with half the staff from the FIFA offices.
Fatma also carried along the FIFA Auditors PwC to conduct a forensic audit of CAF books.
Remember that early in the year and in response to growing concerns that the CAF Finance committee was non-committal about presenting draft audit accounts for the year 2017 – 2018, members pressed for a forensic audit of the finances and processes in the organization.
We now have definitive proof that something sinister was certainly afoot, with a double-payment to CAF for in excess of $50 million wired over two days in July 2018.
Apparently, FIFA was sending the annual subventions to CAF of $24.5million (probably combined grants for 2017 & 2018) plus a $1million for CECAFA.
However, something happened and CAF apparently got two tranches of the money on the 11th and 12th of July 2018.
Despite FIFA Christoph Suppiger, Group Leader Financial Governance Programme for the Member Associations Division acknowledging the error, there doesn’t seem to be an urgency on the part of FIFA to have the money returned.
It actually seems as though the sacked CAF Finance Director Mohammed Sherei was the one who was emphatic about the double-payment and pressing for it to be returned to FIFA.
We have it on good authority that this money was diverted to another bank account, away from CAF, and once there was shared out by FIFA and CAF mandarins.
We understand that this remains one of the reasons that Infantino has been anal about having Fatma and PwC here to execute their abracadabra on the books to sanitize and purge them.
However, even PwC ought to know the impossibility of erasing an audit trail.
With a PwC financial report at hand, FIFA wanted to lean on the already pliable CAF Exco to pass the accounts before the CAF General Assembly did the same, thereby giving the cooked books a veneer of acceptability.
Nothing raises the antennae of any forensic investigator than the fact the two payments seem to have been passed through two separate and different intermediary bank accounts in the USA namely, Citibank and Bank of New York Mellon.
If this was an error of commission, the funds would have come from a single account.
However, it would seem that FIFA and its President Gianni Infantino has found a fertile ground of unscrupulous CAF officials to become his accomplices in the pilfering of FIFA funds.
For an organization the size and financial complexity of FIFA, the misappropriation of $25 million would easily get lost to auditors. However, when CAF Exco officials starting making noises about the books of accounts, they had to be silenced.
In that case, Musa Hassan Bility had to be neutered with a bogus Ethics committee ruling for his opposition to the coming of Fatma Samoura to window-dress the crime scene.
Remember too that auditors are not book-keepers thus they simply survey a few transactions and confirm it with systems used for the utilization of funds. In this case, as long as the FIFA congress approved the expenditure and it seemed that the money did go to the confederation, then the auditors normally don’t look any further.
Our worst fears have been confirmed that PwC was brought on board because they have the ability to organize the books of CAF, in order to retain the FIFA account, one of the most lucrative in the World.
Didn’t we see another of the Big 5 audit firms –KPMG – get caught up in the Guptas scandal in South Africa recently?
Why would it so far-fetched to draw a conclusion of collusion to whitewash the sins committed by FIFA and CAF by these audit firms, especially because this audit firm was not properly brought on board by the General Assembly of CAF.
Hasn’t Infantino learnt anything from the FIFAgate scandal of 2015, that you don’t want to mess with American financial system (or the French as Ahmad learnt recently) for such money-laundering schemes?
Errors of $25 million don’t just occur, FIFA would have system upon system of counter-checking before approval of funds is executed.
The mass sackings at CAF indicate an elaborate cover-up of the financial indiscretions by its President Ahmad, his kitchen cabinet of Fouzi Lekjaa and Constant Omari who would certainly be the signatories of these bank accounts.
Didn’t we see them all together again just two weeks ago in Lubumbashi, DRC for the 80th anniversary celebrations of the giant club TP Mazembe?
The giant jig-saw puzzle of CAF hostile takeover, the Bility take-down and the ruthless sackings of CAF staff in Cairo has finally started to fall in place.
Just a few more pieces and we can look at it in wonderment…