SPORTS: African Soccer Head Criticized By Executive Committee Member, As Liberia’s Musa Bility Denounces CAF President

March 16, 2017 file photo, new president of the African soccer confederation Ahmad of Madagascar speaks at a press conference after being chosen at the general assembly of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Musa Bility, a Liberian member of the Confederation of African Football executive committee, has quit two other senior positions in a protest against Ahmad taking the governing in the “wrong direction” two years into his presidency. (AP Photo/File)

Concerns about the leadership of the African Football Confederation have burst into the open with the president sharply denounced by a member of his ruling executive for taking the governing body in the “wrong direction.”

Liberian official Musa Bility denounced CAF President Ahmad in a letter resigning from two senior positions within the confederation, citing concerns the organization risks becoming the “subject of ridicule around the world.”

Attacking the Madagascan’s leadership style since his 2017 election, Bility claimed Ahmad has told him, “I’m the president and I do as I want.”

“I believe we are worse than we were two years ago,” Bility wrote in the letter to Ahmad and fellow members of the executive committee which was obtained on Saturday by The Associated Press. “Our situation is such that today the president has demonstrated brazen disregard for the Executive Committee but chooses to run CAF with close associates he feels comfortable around and carries a certain degree of respect for.”

Bility beat Issa Hayatou in a vote to end the Cameroonian’s 29-year rule, and also take his position as a vice president of FIFA.

“Unfortunately, he has simply forgotten that it took men and women of courage who toiled days and nights, throwing everything into the rings to ensure that he emerges as President,” Bility wrote. “I know that members of this august body are keeping quiet not out of fear and cowardice, but to keep the sanctity of this Noble Institution that means so much to all and sundry. I just cannot hold back any longer as this may lead to bigger problems in the near future.”

Bility resigned from CAF’s emergency committee and as president of the African Nations Championship standing committees.

“I can no longer summon the courage to work in these posts at the whims and caprices of the President who I believe is heading this Noble Organization in the wrong direction,” Bility wrote.

Bility, a former head of the Liberian soccer federation, said he was not invited to the last meeting of CAF’s seven-member emergency committee after going public with concerns about the 2021 African Cup being handed to Cameroon after being stripped of the 2019 edition.

“He knows that I have questions that will require answers at this meeting,” Bility said. “He knows that I would have objected to the appointment of a ‘General Coordinator of CAF.’ A position that is not statutory and is totally uncalled for.”

Bility also quit as president of the African Nations Championship citing Ahmad’s “disrespectful attitude” for not discussing the purpose of a recent meeting of the agenda in advance.

“As he loudly proclaimed in our last meeting, ‘I am the President of CAF, I am the president of every committee,'” Bility wrote.

Such an outburst, according to Bility, conflicts with Ahmad’s responsibilities “to supervise or counter check or review the performances of others.” Bility is remaining on the CAF executive committee.

CAF and Ahmad did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday.

Bility sought the FIFA presidency but he was blocked from standing in the 2016 election after failing an integrity check.

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About Cholo Brooks 10866 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.