Ahmad Ahmad has returned as the Confederation of African Football president after a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The 61-year-old was banned for five years and handed a $200,000 fine by Fifa in November for contravening the governing body’s code of ethics.
Ahmad was accused of disloyalty, offering and accepting gifts, abuse of office and misappropriation of funds. However, the Malagasy administrator denied the allegations and appealed the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which has now ruled in his favour.
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Cas made the preliminary ruling on Friday, restoring the administrator back to his post, and a final decision will be made before the Caf presidential elections on March 12.
"Due to a risk of irreparable harm for Mr Ahmad if the disciplinary sanction is maintained during the period prior to the Caf elections, the Cas panel has upheld the request to temporarily stay the effects of the [Fifa ban]," Cas, said in a statement.
The court, however, rejected a request from Ahmad to prevent the world football governing body from disallowing him from participating in the Caf elections.
“The arbitral Panel has rejected the request for provisional measures filed by Mr Ahmad seeking that an order be imposed preventing Fifa from taking any decision aimed at preventing Mr Ahmad from participating in, or aimed at making it difficult for him to participate in the election for the Caf presidency scheduled for 12 March 2021.”
Jacques Anouma [Ivory Coast], Patrice Motsepe [South Africa], Augustin Senghor [Senegal] and Ahmed Yahya [Mauritania] have been cleared to contest for the elections, although the reprieve for Ahmad opens the door for the current timescale for the voting process to be altered.
Ahmad secured a landmark victory in the 2017 elections in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to emerge as the Caf president, defeating Issa Hayatou, who had been in the position since 1988.
The Malagasy has overseen the organisation of a number of competitions since becoming the president including the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.