CAF gets diplomatic status in Egypt

CAF gets diplomatic status in Egypt
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has signed a headquarters agreement with the Egyptian government, granting the continental soccer governing body diplomatic status in the country.

The agreement recognises the international legal personality of CAF as an international non-governmental sports organisation.

The ten-year deal will also see CAF and its staff benefit from a number of advantages, immunities and privileges in Egypt, similar to those granted to other international organisations and diplomatic missions. This includes immunity from taxes paid by foreign companies in the country.

In addition, now that work permits will be easier to obtain, the contract takes CAF President Ahmad Ahmad a step closer to fulfilling his promise of a making a 50-50 staff spilt as part of an effort to hire nationals from other parts of Africa.

Such a commitment had initially riled the Egyptian government, who also feared CAF would relocate from its Cairo headquarters. The organisation had been operating without a headquarters agreement since 2017.

Despite the tie-up, CAF continues to be dogged by finance and governance issues. A recent audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) described the governing body as 'unreliable and not trustworthy', highlighting transactions in excess of US$20 million which either have 'little or no supporting documentation' or are considered 'higher risk.'

PwC also recommended further investigating  the role played by Ahmad and his attaché, Loic Gerand, in the deal with French company Tactical Steel, some of whose financial dealings with CAF it described as 'highly suspicious'.

Ahmad has denied any wrongdoing with regards to the case.

It follows a decision by CAF earlier this month not to renew the mandate of FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samoura, having ceded control of the running of the organisation to soccer’s global governing body for the past six months.

At the time, FIFA said its mission in Africa had been ‘successfully completed’ with the delivery of a ‘set of findings, recommendations and proposals’.

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