The turn of the screw

African football will long remember 24 May 2021. Early that day, over a dozen CAF employees, many of them senior executives, learnt that they had lost their positions. No warning had been given. No explanation was provided. 

By Philippe Auclair

This sweeping purge, which was executed by the confederation's new Secretary General, long-time Infantino ally Véron Mosengo-Omba, came on the heels of a confidential report into the Confederation's administration by the PwC consultancy, which Josimar has seen, which listed numerous failings and advocated radical change. This report, however, is riddled with glaring factual errors, to the point that it can be accused of bias, and calls into question the motivation behind what was dubbed CAF's 'Night of the Long Knives'.

As soon as it had become clear that Fifa-backed Patrice Motsepe would replace disgraced Ahmad Ahmad and become CAF's new president, everyone in Cairo and beyond knew that there would be many substantial changes within the administration of the world's second-largest confederation. It was not unexpected and it might even have been necessary. Nobody denies that CAF was a right mess.

But not like this. Not to that extent. Not so brutally. Not so cruelly, even.

Early in the morning of Monday 24 May (some say as early at 3 a.m.), emails written and signed by CAF Secretary-General Véron Mosengo-Omba landed in the inboxes of seventeen of CAF's most senior administrators, informing them that their contracts had been terminated with immediate effect. CAF's Chief of Staff and Heads of IT, Legal Affairs and Compliance, Finance, and Human Resources, among others, had been told that their...

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