Tunisian security forces arrested the President of the Tunisian Football Federation, Wadie Jary, on charges related to financial corruption today, Thursday. Jary is known to be close to the Brotherhood.
This arrest comes after a legal complaint filed by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Kamel Deguiche, in February 2023 against Wadie Jary.
The official spokesperson of the Tunisian Court of First Instance, Mohamed Zitouna, confirmed on Thursday the arrest of Wadie Jary, the President of the Tunisian Football Federation.
He explained that Jary was detained last night after a warrant was issued against him by an investigating judge.
Wadie Jary has held the position of President of the Tunisian Football Federation since 2012 and was re-elected in 2020 for a new four-year term. He was also a member of the executive committee of the International Football Federation and served as the President of the Arab Football Federation for a brief period from 2014 to 2018.
Jary is considered to be close to the Ennahdha Islamist movement and was in constant contact with Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of the movement, according to security sources. He was also part of the election campaign of the former Prime Minister Youssef Chahed in 2019.
Before the participation of the Tunisian Eagles in the recent World Cup hosted by Qatar, differences between the President of the Football Federation and the Tunisian Minister of Sports surfaced, with the latter threatening to dissolve the federation, despite FIFA regulations that prohibit government interference in football.
The organization “I Watch” (independent) previously stated in a report published in October 2020 that Wadie Jary managed to establish significant connections since taking over the presidency of the Tunisian Football Federation in 2012, which allowed him to enjoy a certain degree of immunity, despite multiple suspicions surrounding him.
The organization explained this by stating that he was supported by the Ennahdha and Nidaa Tounes parties, which jointly governed the country for a decade.
It further stated, “In reviewing his tenure in managing the federation, we find that he faced numerous controversies that drew public attention, all of which revolved around allegations of misconduct and squandering public funds, until we reached the supervisory report, which provides convincing evidence and proof of the seriousness of these allegations, which have been referred to the judiciary, and it is hoped that necessary investigations will be expedited in his case.”