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Governing Bodies

Malian Football Federation elects a president in prison

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Imprisoned FIFA Council member Mamoutou Touré has been re-elected as Mali FA President

FIFA Council member Mamoutou Touré has been re-elected unopposed as Malian Football Federation (Femafoot) President, despite being detained on charges of embezzling public funds, after three other candidates were deemed ineligible to stand.

Touré, also known as Bavieux, has been jailed awaiting trial after being accused of infringing public state property and forgery between 2013 and 2019 during his time as a financial and administrative director in the Malian National Assembly.

He and four others are alleged to have embezzled $28 million (£22 million/€26 million) in state funds.

All deny the charges.

Mamoutou Touré received 61 of the 63 votes at the Femafoot Extraordinary General Assembly after he was the only one of the four candidates who passed an eligibility test ©Femafoot

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Despite the ongoing case, Touré was the only one of the four candidates who passed an eligibility test.

Former Femafoot spokesperson Salaha Baby was initially cleared to stand, but an appeal from Touré against this was upheld which allowed him to secure unopposed re-election with 61 votes from 63 cast at the International Conference Centre of Bamako.

There was one abstention and one vote against Touré.

Touré was first elected as Femafoot President in 2019, and his fresh four-year term runs through to 2027.

Mali’s Sports Minister Abdoul Kassim Ibrahim Fomba had written to outgoing FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura of Senegal earlier this month expressing concern over the electoral process.

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Observers from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and FIFA attended the Extraordinary General Assembly to oversee the elections.

Observers from the CAF and FIFA attended the Femafoot Extraordinary General Assembly in Bamako ©Femafoot

The 66-year-old Touré is also a member of the CAF Executive Committee and FIFA Council.

FIFA Council membership provides an annual salary of $250,000 (£198,000/€230,000) plus expenses.

The BBC has reported an audit of Femafoot’s finances of 2022 by the Pyramis group showed the national governing body did not pay any taxes to the Malian state from deductions from staff salaries, nearly $50,000 (£39,600/€46,000) was awarded to “other parties” without a reason or approval from the Femafoot Board, and no financial report has been provided to the Femafoot General Assembly for the last three years.

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Femafoot claimed Touré’s plans for his renewed four-year term include construction of infrastructure, reorganising local competitions and upgrading subsidies to local football bodies under its umbrella.

insidethegames has asked FIFA for a comment on Touré re-election.

Femafoot was suspended for six weeks by FIFA in 2017 for Government interference.

Mali has never qualified for the men’s or Women’s World Cup.

It is set to compete in the men’s Olympic football tournament at Paris 2024 for the first time since Athens 2004 after finishing third at the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations.

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Following Touré’s arrest, Femafoot insisted “the presumption of innocence which must at all times benefit any accused person” should apply and claimed it had been “fuelled by his opponents”.

A military council led by Colonel Assimi Goïta seized power in Mali in August 2020, and he has served as Interim President since May 2021.

There are concerns over a lack of opposition in Mali and widespread jihadist insurgency in the north and east of the country.

-insidethegames

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Governing Bodies

CAF Executive Committee to meet on Friday

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CAF President Motsepe Fails To Confirm Dates For 2025 AFCON -

Plunged with myriad of issues especially concerning regular fixtures of the Africa Cup of Nations 2025 as well as the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations 2024 both of which are to be held in Morocco, the  Confédération Africaine de Football CAF Executive Committee  will hold a virtual meeting on Friday.

It is expected that the congested fixtures occasioned by the women’s football event of the Paris 2024 Olympics as well as the enlarged FIFA Club World Cup 2025 will be discussed.

Till now,neither hosts nor period has been allocated for the Women’s Club Champions League which is supposed to be an annual event.

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Governing Bodies

Samuel Eto’o apologises and reinstates Cameroon coach Brys

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Former Cameroonian star forward and now football federation president Samuel Eto’o apologised Thursday to national team coach Marc Brys, with whom he had been involved in a heated exchange this week.

The ex-Barcelona striker also confirmed Brys would remain in his position after it was announced the Belgian was to be replaced as head coach of Cameroon on Wednesday.

“I apologise because during our first unfortunate meeting, there was a lot of emotion… but the Cameroonian people are more important than us, and it is for them that we must work,” said Eto’o at a press conference.

Eto’o was referring to an incident captured on video during his first meeting with Brys, which was widely shared on social media Tuesday.

The pair were seen to engage in a heated argument, before Brys left abruptly.

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“Your mission is not an easy one, despite your qualities and experience, but you should know that you will have our support,” added the two-time Africa Cup of Nations winner.

Brys was appointed to the role in April by Cameroon’s sport ministry, much to the astonishment of the country’s football federation (Fecafoot) and its president Eto’o wrote to the ministry to denounce its “illegal” appointment of the 62-year-old.

Fecafoot said it regretted not being involved “closely, nor remotely” in the selection process for the new coach and his staff.

Belgian Brys will now oversee Cameroon’s next two crucial matches in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, against Cape Verde on June 8 and Angola three days later.

-AFP

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Governing Bodies

Footballers warn FIFA of looming strike

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FIFA Completely Opposed To 'blue Cards' -

Players have warned world soccer’s governing body FIFA that they are ready to go on strike over concerns the playing calendar is overloaded, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) said.

Maheta Molango, who has been calling for change since February, believes players have reached a breaking point. He says football’s packed schedule endangers players’ health and diminishes the quality of the sport.

“I can tell you a situation not 10 days ago where I went into a dressing room that was directly affected and said: ‘I’m happy to be here and bark a bit, but ultimately it’s up to you. How far do you want to go?” Molango told the BBC.

“Some of them said: ‘I’m not having it, we might as well go on strike. Some said: ‘What’s the point? Yes, I’m a millionaire, but I don’t even have time to spend the money’.

Demands on players have increased in recent years, as tournaments expanded and new competitions emerged, with players and managers criticising that the calendar demanded too many matches.

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“It was not even the union that said it, it was Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. We have reached a point where we cannot rule out any action,” Molango said.

Global players’ union FIFPRO, along with the PFA and the World Leagues Association (WLA), have threatened to take legal action if FIFA continues in this direction.

In a letter addressed to FIFA President Gianni Infantino and General Secretary Mattias Grafstrom, they expressed their concerns over the expansion of the new 32-team Club World Cup.

In response, FIFA denied their claims it had taken unilateral decisions to favour its competitions in the international calendar and would not consider rescheduling the tournament.

“Some of the changes in England with the domestic calendar have been forced by what FIFA and UEFA have done. What has happened is further confirmation that something needs to be done,” Molango said

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“We will always try to exhaust all diplomatic avenues, we have sent a letter, we have received a reply, but unfortunately time is against us. Sometimes between grown-up people, despite trying very hard to find solutions you need a third party to decide, maybe an arbitrator or a tribunal,” he said.

-Reuters

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