A dark cloud hang over the football federation of Mali as petitions are flying over ahead of scheduled elections. Sekou Diogo Keita, a former vice-president of Femafoot has become the second Malian to write to FIFA General Secretary, Fatima Samoura on 15 August, after Mali’s Sports Minister Abdoul Kassim Ibrahim Fomba also wrote to the Senegalese to ask for help overseeing the elections, citing a “real urgence”.
“The candidates have identified specific points of violations of the texts, which, according to our reading, are likely to call into question the whole process and make us relive a new crisis in football,” Fomba wrote.
Fomba was mindful not to be seen as interfering in the federation’s affairs, given that Fifa set up a Normalisation Committee to run Femafoot in 2017 to revise statutes and conduct elections after it banned Mali following government interference in the running of its football.
The threat of a further Fifa ban for governmental interference has also prevented Keita from filing a lawsuit against those running Femafoot – and how they have used funds, including those received in annual grants from Fifa – in the Malian courts.
“We did not go to the civil court because Femafoot always tells everyone that as this is money from Fifa, no one can interfere with how it is spent – even the state,” he told BBC Sport Africa. “They use this argument every time.”
In response to the indictment against Toure, a Femafoot statement on 10 August said his arrest was ‘fuelled by Toure’s opponents’ while stressing the ‘presumption of innocence’.
Meanwhile, it is unknown how long Toure will be in jail pending trial, with one Malian journalist telling L’Equipe this month that “pre-trial detentions in Mali can last a long time – there are cases of people suspected of corruption who have been in prison for two-three years as they await trail”.
On the pitch, Mali are preparing for January’s Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast while its Under-23 team will contest the Paris Olympics this time next year.