The CAF president, who comes from Madagascar, was attending a Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Council meeting in Miami set for Friday, March 15, 2019.
The reasons for the refusal of Ahmad’s visa by the US authorities are unknown. The United States government does not prohibit travel by Malagasy citizens.
The refusal of such visas is particularly unusual for a senior official attending a major meeting in the country.
It is unclear whether he will be able to appeal the decision in time to attend or whether higher US government forces will intervene on his behalf. However, if he decides to appeal, much will depend on the reasons for the visa denial.
The US to host 2026 World Cup
The United States is set to host the World Cup in 2026 alongside Mexico and Canada.
The possible expansion of the 2022 World Cup is poised to dominate discussions.
The current president of FIFA, Giovanni Vincenzo "Gianni" Infantino wants to increase the number of teams due to take part in the footballing showpiece from 32 to 48, bringing forward by four years an expansion which has already been set for the 2026 finals.
Ahmad is a key ally of FIFA president Infantino and would have been one of the important voices of support for Infantino’s global calendar plans.
But he could not attend the meeting due to the refusal of the visa.