Cairo: FIFA president Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter raised suspicions of doping violations by Egyptian champions Ahly when he said that the world football governing body has discovered two positive cases during their African Champions League campaign.
Blatter, speaking at a press conference in Paris on Friday, revealed that FIFA has found out two more cases than the case of Amr Fathi Samaka that was previously announced.
We have just discovered in an African Champions League match that two out of three players in the Egyptian team (Ahly,) who won the tournament, tested positive, Blatter said.
We requested immediate information about this subject. We must intervene, he was quoted as saying by French sports publications L Equipe and France Football.
Samaka has already been handed a six-month ban for failing a doping test after his side s 2-0 victory over JS Kabylie of Algeria in Cairo in the group stage of the tournament.
Blatter s comments triggered widespread reactions at Tunisian club Sfaxien, who claimed that Mohamed Aboutrika and Emad Meteb tested positive after the tournament s final which they lost 1-0 to Ahly.
Sfaxien said in a statement carried on their official website that they discovered the incident one week after the final that took place on November 11th but couldn t reveal it due to lack of proofs.
Only today, this declaration by Blatter turns things upside down as it gives us the proof that we waited for so long time, Sfaxien said.
Finally, we can reveal to the public that Sfaxien lost the final against a doped opponent.
According to the Tunisian statement, Sfaxien s Tarak Ziadi, Abdelkrim Nafti and Joetex Frimpong passed the doping test after the final in Tunisia while Ahly s duo Meteb and Aboutrikatested positive.
Sfaxien said that this result was confirmed when the pair s samples were retested in Cologne, Germany but hinted that it was deliberately covered by CAF.
If Mr. Blatter says that he has just discovered this information, this means it was hidden from him, the statement said.
If these allegations proved to be true, Ahly could be stripped of their title and banned for three years from participating in any CAF-organized competition.
According to the African Champions League regulations, CAF shall conduct an immediate inquiry into any fraud allegations within three months of any match played within the framework of the competition.
If the fraud has been committed during the final match by the club which has been awarded the trophy, read article 24-3 of the regulations, which are published by cafonline.com.
The club shall be asked to return the trophy which will be awarded to the runner-up.
The guilty team shall be suspended for 3 years from all CAF competitions, the article adds.