FIFA Council member Mamoutou Touré has shockingly been re-elected unopposed after Wednesday’s election as Malian Football Federation( FEMAFOOT) President, despite charges of embezzling public funds against him.
This follows after three other candidates were deemed ineligible to stand for the polls.
Touré, also known as Bavieux, has been jailed awaiting trial after being accused of infringing public state property and forgery between 2013 and 2019 during his time as a financial and administrative director in the Malian National Assembly.
He and four others are alleged to have embezzled $28 million (£22 million/€26 million) in state funds.
All deny the charges that were brought against them.
Despite the ongoing case, Touré was the only one of the four candidates who passed an eligibility test.
Former Femafoot spokesperson Salaha Baby was initially cleared to stand, but an appeal from Touré against this was upheld which allowed him to secure unopposed re-election with 61 votes from 63 cast at the International Conference Centre of Bamako.
There was one abstention and one vote against Touré.
Touré was first elected as Femafoot President in 2019, and his fresh four-year term runs through to 2027.
Mali’s Sports Minister Abdoul Kassim Ibrahim Fomba had written to outgoing FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura of Senegal earlier this month expressing concern over the electoral process.
Observers from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and FIFA attended the Extraordinary General Assembly to oversee the elections.
Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.
In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.
He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.
Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.
He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.
Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.
Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.