Harry Awurumibe, Head, Abuja Bureau
Efforts by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to resolve the allegations of misapplications of funds contained in the report of the audit firm, Price waterhouse Coopers (PwC) today failed to materialize as the officials of the firm shunned the CAF Executive Committee held in Doha, Qatar.
This much was disclosed today in the press statement made available to the media by CAF after the meeting in Doha. The press statement read in part:
“The CAF Executive Committee at its meeting today (14 February 2020) in Doha, Qatar, devoted the first part of the session to the examination of the report by Price waterhouse Coopers (PwC) on the “CAF Organizational Review” for the period 2015 to 2019, carried out the past three months.
Officials of PwC were invited to the meeting; however they failed to make it.
The CAF Executive Committee disputes unfounded allegations contained in the report, particularly regarding the following points:
– Support for funerals: These are acts of solidarity in support of families of individuals who have served African football, including the family of the late Hussein Swaleh, who passed away in a plane crash.
– FIFA FORWARD funds: The use of these funds is strictly governed by procedures set by FIFA. As a reminder, the periods – 2015, 2016 and 2017- were the subject of a FIFA audit by international firms including PwC.
– Tactical Steel: Regarding this issue, the procedures are before various jurisdictions. CAF is ready to provide the relevant justification for the matter as previously authorised by the CAF Executive Committee.
The second part of the meeting was devoted to the presentation of “Transform CAF 2021”, the roadmap for the period 2020-2021.
The plan is aimed at spearheading the transformation of CAF in two (2) years, and transforming CAF into an organization managed bounded by the best international standards.
This roadmap will focus on structural reforms, some of which started in 2019, whilst others have already yielded dividends.
“Transform 2021” is based on 4 main pillars. These are organization and governance, competitions, referring, and infrastructure development. These 4 pillars will be implemented though 122 measures of which 17 have been deemed of the highest urgency and should be completed by June 2020.
The roadmap will be governed by a steering committee at the Executive Committee level and monitoring committee at the administration level. A dedicated “Project Management organization” (PMO) unit has been put in place to coordinate all the efforts and ensure the roadmap follow-up.
A quarterly “Transform CAF 2021” progress report will be published on the CAF website starting in June 2020. In addition, dedicated press conferences will be held every 6 months starting June 2020. Finally, a seminar will be organized in the last quarter of 2020 to share the “competitions” and “infrastructure” Ad-hoc committees’ recommendations.
In parallel, the Executive Committee will share the Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) audit report pertaining to 7 areas of financial management with the CAF Governance Committee. The CAF finance department is also preparing a report with tangible clarification elements that will complement the results of the audit that was initially demanded by the Executive Committee on April 11th, 2019. The CAF Governance Committee prerogatives are set in Article 44 of the CAF Statutes. This committee will then recommend, no later than June 2020, the actions that need to be taken after analyzing the PwC audit and the finance department report.
The Executive Committee has reiterated its pledge to transform CAF. The systematic, inclusive, and transparent “Transform 2021” approach will ensure the success of this ambitious roadmap. All expertise and goodwill will be called upon to contribute to the development of this new CAF which will meet the legitimate expectations of African football fans around the world”.