Two weeks ago, the Atlantic publication in the US released a declassified recording of a 1971 telephone call between then US President Richard Nixon and then California Governor (later 2-term US President) Ronald Reagan.
The phone call captures Reagan uttering some of the most uncharacteristically racist sentiments you would ever hear from someone whom the entire World thought to be progressive and cultured.
This is the man who in 1987 asked Soviet Communist Leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” in reference to the Berlin Wall, whose eventual demolition in 1989 signified the end of the decades-long “cold war” and the East-West dichotomy.
The racist comment was directed at the African diplomats at the United Nations who had voted against the United States, a vote which allowed the Peoples Republic of China to take up a seat at the UN, in place of Taiwan (which was supported by the US).
So the next morning, Reagan called Nixon where he complained bitterly about the outcome of the UN vote and underscored his own racism by saying “To see those, those monkeys from those African countries—damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!”
The recorded racist phone conversation between Reagan and Nixon in 1971
It was the Tanzanian delegation in particular, that seemed to irk Reagan the most, considering that they broke into song and dance in the Assembly hall immediately after the vote, in celebration and also probably to gloat and rub the USs’ face in it…
These comments are certainly insulting and dehumanizing, meant to allude to the Africans lack of evolution in tandem with the rest of the World. It makes one wonder why the Africans, through their own actions and efforts (or lack thereof) seem to be working feverishly towards reinforcing this stereotype.
Take CAF for instance, which has been in existence for over 62 years, yet African football has remained in the morass for that period of time. Things have become so bad that the failed leadership of CAF have voluntarily given the organization to FIFA to administer.
The CAF President, a former minister in Madagascar, has been arrested by the Anti-corruption and money-laundering authority in France for financial malfeasance, while simultaneously being investigated elsewhere for sexual harassment of female CAF employees and outside contractors.
In any other Confederation, the tainted leader(s) would have stepped aside to allow for independent investigations and forensic audits.
But not in CAF, where the impossible is possible, and what is evident for all to see is referred to as an illusion. And still some continue to cluelessly wonder why Africans are likened to Monkeys..?
When CAF President Ahmad first approached FRMF (Royal Moroccan Football Association) President Fouzi Lekjaa in late 2015 with a proposal to finance FIFA Presidential candidate Gianni Infantino, Lekjaa was at a bit of a loss as to how to leverage the entire scenario, granted of course that the resources needed for this caper were available.
However, Ahmad spoke with supreme certainty of several things, the most critical being his ability to leverage both the Islamic voters and those from the francophone countries.
Ahmad also came with a whispered reputation, one of a Casanova and extremely partial to a flashy existence. Such a man could surely be useful every now and then.
Most importantly, Ahmad convinced Lekjaa that Infantino had agreed to give the role of FIFA SG to his (Ahmad’s) longtime lover and business partner, the Senegalese Fatma Samoura. In so doing, both Ahmad and Lekjaa would have covered their flanks by having the two most powerful people in World football, beholden to them.
Infantino had apparently told Ahmad that the position of FIFA SG would soon be falling vacant, as its then holder Jerome Valcke would be edged out by the FIFA Ethics committee.
Infantino knew this because of his membership of the FIFA Reforms Committee which had an inside track on all the happenings at FIFA following the fifagate scandal of 2015.Meanwhile, Bahraini aspirant for the FIFA Presidency Prince Salman was banking on then CAF President Issa Hayatou’s iron grip on the voters of the African Confederation. Previously, no one had ever challenged this supposed absolute grip on the African voters, which emboldened Hayatou to the extent that he pocketed the money given to him by Prince Salman to buy the African FA Presidents votes.
Ahmad therefore systematically spread the information among the FA Presidents that Hayatou had received substantial cash from Prince Salman to buy their votes, but had instead lined his own pockets.
From this point onward, majority of FA Presidents became disillusioned by both Hayatou and Sheikh Salman, automatically becoming amenable to receiving Infantino’s cash, which was in actual fact being funded by Morocco through its FA President Fouzi Lekjaa.
Lekjaa made a point to ensure that every single FA President who accepted the bribe knew that it had come from him.
Even the cock-sure Islamic voting bloc which would have been expected to side automatically with a candidate from the Middle East on the basis of religious ties, was compromised at the ballot in favor of a European.
Immediately Ahmad rose to the CAF Presidency in March 2017, the first order of unofficial business for Fouzi Lekjaa was assisting him with his addiction for women by creating a personal private penthouse in Casablanca to which Ahmad had 24-hour access.
That’s exactly what good friends do, instead of helping you access psycho-social assistance, they ease your access to the object of your addiction. What a guy, Lekjaa!
Lekjaa then arranged with Said Naciri, the President of football club Wydad de Casablanca and a luxury car dealer to ensure that Ahmad had a vehicle befitting his continental status at all times he was in the country.
It has been a poorly kept secret within CAF than anytime Ahmad could not be found either at the Cairo HQs of CAF or his satellite office in Madagascar, he was usually entertaining a female guest in the Casablanca guesthouse.
Wydad President Said Naciri would later be placed at the epicenter of CAF when Lekjaa nominated him to the all-powerful Inter-club competitions committee, where he exercised full discretionary delegated powers on competitions like the CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup, which also allowed him certain leeway to get the committee to make decisions that favored Moroccan clubs in these competitions.
The diabolical nature of this nomination became evident during the stand-off surrounding the aborted Champions League 2nd Leg final between Wydad and Esperance, which dispute went all the way to the Court Of Arbitration for Sports.
In order to neutralize any opposition within the Inter-Clubs committee, Lekjaa engineered the removal of committee Chairman Tarek Bouchamoui during the CAF “night of the long knives” which took place on 18th July 2018. Bouchamoui is apparently an implacable Tunisian who had stood his ground in the Wydad vs Esperance fiasco.
The Tunisian FA and its delegates boycotted the CAF General Assembly of 18th July 2019 in Cairo to protest the harassment of its clubs and officials by CAF.
The next step for the Ahmad-Lekjaa duo would be to reward the Muslim FA Presidents of CAF for their unequivocal support during the FIFA and CAF elections.
It was therefore arranged for all these Presidents to be invited for an all-expense paid trip to Saudi Arabia where they would take part in a deeply personal and spiritual Umrah in 2018.
Documents made available by former employees of CAF indicate that not only were flights and accommodation for the entourage fully paid for by CAF, but an unbelievably generous allowance per pilgrim was paid to them.
For some inexplicable reason, FIFA SG Fatma Samoura appears in the list of those making the Umrah trip to Saudi Arabia including hotel accomodation at the Mariott Hotel in Cairo from where the entire delegation left. Also on the same list is Samuel Eto’o and the Chairman of the CAF Disciplinary committee Raymond Hack who was accomodated at the Marriot within this same period.
Ahmad and Lekjaa, now the undisputed overlords at CAF were apparently not done yet, during the Extraordinary General Assembly held in Sharm Al Sheikh in September 2018, it was proposed to the Assembly, that CAF should pay each FA President a stipend of $20,000 annually directly into their bank accounts, on the pretext of defraying expenses incurred by these “highly active” FA Presidents.
And just like that afternoon in 1971 at the UN, CAF delegates broke out in song and dance (after voting to accept the stipend noisily by acclamation) hailing the wisdom and sagacity of Ahmad and his Lieutenant Lekjaa.
The wiser FA Presidents declined to hand over their personal bank details for CAF to effect the transfers, because they saw this payment exactly for what it was. The $20,000 annually was a fixed bribe by the CAF high command to its Member Associations, ostensibly to procure their silence and blindness, in what we have all since come to learn is the systemic looting of CAF coffers.
The impunity with which Ahmad and Lekjaa dove into the CAF reserves defies logic, so brazen was it that Egyptian employees started to feel really uncomfortable being accomplices to the plunder. They found it a better proposition to lose their jobs than wrap their consciences around this spiritual aberration.
And yes, to loot in this manner, you must have the heart and blood of a Moroccan Goumier, whose actions in the 2nd World War remain a sad reminder of the depravity of men.
In the CAF Exco whatsapp group, when Liberian Musa Hassan Bility raised questions about accountability and financial probity, he was attacked viciously and with extreme prejudice by the Congolese member Constant Omari.
Omari, previously viewed as a key lieutenant to Issa Hayatou, had a lot of lost ground to cover in this new Ahmad-Lekjaa dispensation. He did it by showing mindless partisanship to the duo. He wanted no mistake to be made about where his absolute loyalties lay.
The attack was so uncharacteristic of this supposedly elite group of African football leaders that CAF President Ahmad exited quietly, always unable to offer leadership to his troops in times of crisis but quick to take sides behind closed doors.
Everyone else followed suit and left the group, which eventually died a natural death.
So what did Infantino do when things at CAF started to sour?
He threw his weight behind embattled CAF President Ahmad by asking the FIFA Ethics committee investigatory chamber to sit on the file which had been opened following the formal complaint by CAF SG/CEO, Amr Fahmy in March 2019.
In fact, FIFA only acknowledged the presence of such an investigation file when Ahmad was arrested in Paris on 5th June 2019, by which time any self-respecting Ethics body would have dispensed with the matter.
This was not the first time that Infantino had requested the Ethics committee to slow down on an investigation related to Ahmad, already an investigation into Ahmad receiving bribes from Mohammed Bin Hamman has been suppressed since Ahmad came into office.
One of the first acts by Infantino upon assumption of office of FIFA President was (as reported by Der Spiegel) to personally amend the FIFA code of Ethics, by creating (where none existed) or reducing (where the time was lengthy) the time when a crime or breach of the Ethics code could be viable (statute of limitations).
Currently, for the FIFA Ethics investigation into the Bin Hamman bribery scandal of 2009, Ahmad is about to be handed a get-out-of-jail-free card, with the expiry of the 10-year limitation during which he could successfully be charged and sanctioned.
The new accusations against Ahmad that have even led to his arrest in Paris by National authorities for corruption and money-laundering, have apparently not moved Infantino.
Instead of demanding the resignation of Ahmad and Lekjaa, as would happen in all other sane jurisdictions, Infantino has concocted a most diabolical plan to save Ahmad and Lekjaa by compelling African FA Presidents to accept a deal where FIFA takes over the running of CAF for a renewable 6-month period.
Infantino must really take Africans for Monkeys!
Lekjaa took the floor during the CAF Ordinary General Assembly on 18th July 2019 in Cairo as the Chairman of the Finance committee, where he projected some of the books of accounts of CAF off a PowerPoint presentation.
Forget the fact that these accounts had never been circulated to Delegates at least 30-days prior to the General Assembly as stipulated in the CAF statutes, they were read in the presence of FIFA President Gianni Infantino, thereby giving them the veneer of credibility in the eyes of assembled FA Presidents.
Remember, CAF financial cycle commences 1st July and ends 30th June the following year.
Lekjaa presented the accounts for the financial year 2018 -2019! This is especially suspicious because CAF just happened to be in the middle of an AFCON when the financial year came to a close. It also implies that the “auditors” completed their audit and report within 2 weeks of the year-end ready for presentation on 18th July 2019.
Ominously missing was any mention of the CAF accounts for the previous cycle 2017-2018 which no one has ever laid eyes on.
Everyone however, knows that to ask for these accounts would be tantamount to courting death because the period in question relates to the time when Ahmad – Lekjaa – Infantino pried open the CAF reserves and looted it with reckless abandon.
It is the reason why Infantino cannot allow anyone else other than the conflicted and tainted Fatma Samoura to come anywhere near a forensic audit of these accounts as authorized by the CAF Exco, predictably for fear of what the audit would unearth and the likelihood of incriminating him personally.
Obviously, the issue of the validity of these accounts is central to the case filed at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) by Musa Hassan Bility, which challenges the validity of every decision taken at the CAF General Assembly of 18th July 2018.
The question begs itself as to how it is possible for the accounts for the year ending June 30th 2019 can be available, when those of the year ending June 30th 2018 have never been seen or adopted?
Lekjaa used his PowerPoint presentation of the accounts on the floor of the CAF General Assembly last month to flag to the CAF delegates, the fact that CAF was in the financial RED. He brought the argument home by giving the comparative that should CAF not shore up its revenues, it will be technically insolvent in a few years.
Europeans just love their Africans irredeemably corrupt but this time, its their arses in a sling too..!
From approximately $150 million in reserves only two years ago, to being in the financial doldrums today, without the benefit of a rational explanation?
To accept this without question or vigorous inquiry is what would make African Football delegates of CAF, monkeys.