The president of Caf has stated that it is his responsibility to secure the release of the president of Femafoot, who is currently imprisoned for alleged embezzlement of public funds and forgery. This information has been uncovered by the Guardian.
Patrice Motsepe remarked that he and CAF are continuously in communication with officials in Mali to find a solution for releasing Mamatou Touré, while also acknowledging that his comments may potentially violate Fifa’s ethical code.
Touré, a member of the influential Fifa council, is currently being held in custody in Bamako. He was denied bail last week after public prosecutors appealed. On August 9, the Malian government indicted him and accused him of embezzling approximately $28 million from the state during his tenure as a financial and administrative director in Mali’s national assembly. Touré has denied these allegations and was re-elected as president of Femafoot for a second term in September, despite being incarcerated.
Motsepe, the wealthy mining tycoon from South Africa who has held the position of president of Caf since 2021, expressed his backing for Touré during a press conference on October 13th in Abidjan at the announcement of the draw for the upcoming African Cup of Nations.
Motsepe expressed his well wishes for our brother, who is currently on the minds of everyone at Caf. The 66-year-old is not only a member of the executive committee but also holds a special place in our hearts. We are actively working to secure his release from jail through ethical and legal means, as it is our responsibility as members of Caf.
The representative for Caf stated that the organization adheres to the laws and legal procedures in all African countries. They also support the use of proper legal measures that align with international standards. Dr Motsepe, the president of Caf, emphasized their dedication to ethical and lawful processes. After reviewing the press conference, there is no evidence to support the allegation of “interference.”
According to Fifa’s ethical guidelines, officials must maintain political neutrality when interacting with government institutions, national and international organizations, associations, and groups. They should also align with Fifa’s principles and objectives, as well as those of the confederations, associations, leagues, and clubs, and conduct themselves with integrity in their role. When approached by the Guardian for comment, Fifa declined to respond.
In September of last year, Motsepe faced backlash from alleged victims and Fifpro for publicly standing by the president of Gabon’s football federation during his visit to him in prison. The president, Pierre-Alain Mounguengui, is currently awaiting trial for allegedly failing to report incidents of sexual abuse by coaches in Gabon, which were initially reported by the Guardian. It should be noted that Mounguengui himself has not been accused of any sexual abuse and has not addressed the charges.