FIFA's acting President Issa Hayatou (R) leaves the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich, Switzerland February 24, 2016. REUTERS
CAIRO – 4 June 2018: Cairo Economic Court adjourned the trial of Issa Hayatou, former Confederation of African Football (CAF) president and Hicham el Amrani, former CAF secretary-general, to June 26, over charges of violating Egyptian anti-monopoly rules.
In January 2017, Egyptian authorities referred Hayatou and Amrani to the public prosecutor after the CAF signed a contract with the French Lagredère Sports company in Cairo, by which the company obtained rights to competitions including Africa Cup of Nations from 2017 to 2028.
The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) sued for the suspension of the contract, saying that it violates local anti-monopoly rules, as the CAF secured the broadcast rights to Lagredère Sports, and prevented other companies from obtaining them within the framework of implementing fair competition.
The ECA received a letter of support from the African Union (AU) in April 2017, backing Egypt’s efforts to expose the CAF’s corruption.
In its battle against the CAF strongman, Egypt backed current CAF President Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar, who has been working to review all contracts signed while Hayatou was president of the organization.
The clash was ignited in September 2016 when the broadcasting contract with Lagardere was unveiled. Egyptian Presentation Sports, an advertisement company, claimed their offer was $200 million more than Lagredère’s offer of $1 billion, raising questions over the transparency of the bidding process. This led Egypt to open fire on the suspicious deal.
Lagredère head Hamada Chadi ruled out the possibility of cancelling their contract with CAF over the Egyptian lawsuit. However, a source who requested anonymity as they are not supposed to talk to the press told Egypt Today that the Egyptian government is supporting the ECA’s battle “by all legal means”, asserting their right to fair bidding to give all African countries the chance to enjoy future games.
Egypt has the right to sue the CAF since its offices are based in Cairo.
Additional reporting by Nesma Abdel Azim