Confederation of African Football president Ahmad has been refused a visa to travel to the US to attend the crucial FIFA Council meetings in Miami at the end of this week, according to African sources.
The Malagasy is a key ally of FIFA president Gianni Infantino and would have been one of the important voices of support for Infantino’s global calendar plans.
The reasons for the denial of Ahmad’s visa by US authorities are unknown. There are no US government-issued travel bans to the US on Malagasy citizens. Madagascar is not part of the US’s ESTA Visa waiver programme.
The denial of a US visa is particularly unusual for such a high ranking official attending an important meeting in the country. It is not clear whether he will be able to appeal the decision in time to attend or whether higher US government forces will intervene on his behalf – much would obviously depend on the reasons for the visa denial.
The US is taking the lead in hosting the 2026 World Cup and travel policy will once again come under scrutiny after the latest development.