FIFA vice president Ahmad Ahmad has been arrested in France, the football governing body confirmed on Thursday.
According to reports, the 59-year-old was arrested at his hotel in Paris, where global chiefs have gathered this week for FIFA’s annual congress and the start of the Women’s World Cup.
A former sports minister and current senator in Madagascar, Ahmad was elected president of the Confederation of African Football in 2017, a position which gave him a seat on FIFA’s ruling council as a vice president.
His time in charge of the Egyptian-based organisation, however, has been dogged by controversy and he is already the subject of a FIFA ethics committee investigation.
Thursday’s arrest is understood to relate to bribery allegations linked to the 2017 switch CAF made from its German kit supplier Puma to French company Tactical Steel.
In a statement, FIFA said it “has taken note of the alleged events concerning Mr Ahmad Ahmad, who is being questioned by the French authorities in relation to allegations related to his mandate while president of CAF”.
It continues by saying it is unaware of the details surrounding this investigation and therefore cannot make any specific comment.
But it adds that FIFA has asked the French for “any information that might be relevant to investigations taking place within its ethics committee”.
Having noted that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, the statement concludes.