The scale of financial wrongdoing across African football has been unearthed in a financial audit conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers of the continent’s governing body that raises concerns about the legitimacy of millions of dollars of payments to executives and national associations.
The investigation into the Confederation of African Football (Caf) questioned the body's accounting, its governance, and its payments. Amongst other details, the audit, carried out by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), found that (according to BBC):
Caf's accounting was "unreliable and not trustworthy". Some 35 of 40 large payments, totalling $8.3m, were "unusual" or had "little or no supporting documentation"
Caf is "understaffed" with an "overworked" and "demotivated" workforce. Caf's presidential office was "directly involved" in the controversial decision to employ Tactical Steel, a little-known gym equipment manufacturer, to become a key supplier of sportswear.
The audit highlighted transactions totalling more than $20m (£15.4m) which either have "little or no supporting documentation" or were considered "higher risk".
One area the PwC audit suggested further investigating was "the role played" by Caf President Ahmad and his attaché, Loic Gerand, among others, in the deal with French company Tactical Steel. The company's financial dealings with Caf were described as "highly suspicious".
PwC reviewed just under $10m of payments made with money that Fifa gave to Caf to distribute as part of its Fifa Forward programme, which aims to enhance football development in countries across the world. However, only five of the 40 payments "appeared to be aligned to purpose", said the report.
The rest - totalling some $8.3m - either had "little or no supporting documentation" or were considered "unusual/higher risk" with no patterns "identified in terms of the nature or the value of the payments".
Meanwhile, the governing body of the southern African region, Cosafa, was allocated $400,000 to stage an Under-20 game.
The story was largely the same for the annual subvention funds that Caf pays to its 54 member associations, which is currently $200,000 per year - having risen from $50,000 and then $100,000 per year under Mr Ahmad. Of the 66 high-risk payments reviewed, 48 - worth some $11m - had insufficient documentation.
Particularly troubling were three payments of $100,125 each supposedly made for the benefit of the Liberian FA - one of which ended up in Estonia, two of which were sent to a mystery company in Poland.