Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
The United States late on Thursday granted a visa to the President of the Confederation of African Football, Ahmad Ahmad.
The visa was finally granted after Africa reacted in shock and disbelief over reports of him being denied.
A photo of Ahmad’s visa was released reportedly by CAF to prove he had been granted.
[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]
The three-month visa was issued by the U.S. embassy in Cairo with the issuance date being March 14 and the expiration date reading June 12.
A Department of State official on Thursday had commented on reports of him being denied a visa.
CAF is the administrative and controlling body for African association football headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.
Following an inquiry by TODAY NEWS AFRICA forwarded to the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, a Department of State official said visa records were confidential.
“Visa records are confidential under U.S. law; therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases,” the official told TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington DC.
Ahmad Ahmad, who is from Madagascar, was elected on 16 March 2017, after defeating Issa Hayatou, a Cameroonian football administrator.
Born on 30 December 1959, the Malagasy football administrator became a politician after being both a football player and coach in his younger days.
From February 2003, he served as the president of Malagasy Football Federation for three terms before moving to CAF.
With previous reports of his visa rejection, Ahmad Ahmad would have been unable to attend World Cup meetings scheduled in Miami, USA, from 14 to 15 March.
Newspapers described the reported visa denial as a humiliation, noting that it was the first time a senior football official in Africa was denied a U.S. visa.
But the United States had granted visas to six other Africans, including Nsekera Lydia from Burundi, Constant Omari from Congo, Bouchamaou Tarek from Tunisia, Abo Rida Hany from Egypt, Camara Kabele from Guinea and Nyamilandu Walter from Malawi.