The appeal by Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Ahmad against his five-year ban from football by Fifa has begun at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) in Switzerland.
Ahmad is hoping to overturn the ban in a bid to be registered for next week’s Caf presidential elections.
African football rumour mill goes into over-drive as CAF presidential elections get closer. Incumbent president, Ahmad Ahmad awaits a CAS decision that is expected today to see if he can stand for re-election. The elections are scheduled for March 12 in Rabat, Morocco.
— DiskiAfrika (@DiskiAfrika) March 2, 2021
Ahmad was dramatically restored to the Caf presidency three months into his ban after Cas effectively said the possibility of his winning his appeal should not prevent him from being able to campaign for the elections, issuing a preliminary ruling.
Despite being legally returned to his position as both Caf president and Fifa vice-president, Ahmad has not yet been classified an eligible candidate for the elections as the Zurich-based world body awaits a definitive ruling.
Cas – whose hearing is expected to last one day, possibly two – has said it will “render a final award shortly after the hearing, i.e. before 12 March 2021”.
A reduced sentence, which may still rule Ahmad out of the elections, is considered a likely outcome in the trial, for which Fifa recently bolstered its legal team.