Achta Mahamat Saleh


Position: In-house Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF)

Type of Occupation: International Business & Sport lawyer

Area of expertise: Football

Member of the month: May, 2021

We are delighted to announce our Member of the Month, Achta Mahamat Saleh .

Achta Mahamat Saleh is a Director of Legal Affairs & Compliance at Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF).

How did you get involved in sports law?

I have started working in CAF in 2006 while finishing my Law studies (I have been studying Business Law). At this time I was in charge of a Development project called “Contract with Africa”. For the completion of my Master degree I had to choose a theme for my thesis. Seeing that there were no Legal Division in CAF, I have chosen the theme “Creation of the Legal Affairs Division of CAF’ for my thesis. That was my first contact with sports law as I had to go in depth to study how to effectively put into place said Legal Division of CAF. In 2008 I joined the FIFA Players Status Department where I worked for 2 years.

 What is your most memorable achievement in the sector?

After spending 2 years in FIFA Players’ Status Department, I went back to Chad. There I founded my own Legal Consultancy firm. We were mainly dealing with business law matters. I was not imagining coming back to the sport sector until in 2018 I joined CAF in the position of Director of Legal Affairs. We actually created the Legal Affairs & Compliance Division of CAF in 2018.

My most memorable achievement is to put effectively into place the Legal Affairs Division, using some inspiration from the thesis I wrote in the frame of my Master 2 degree. Today the Legal Affairs Division, after incredible challenge is fully working and we are handling as November 2019 all Compliance and Integrity matters as well. I humbly think this is a great step for the African football as in today’s world one cannot conduct successfully its work in the sport area without following all good governance rules and standards..

Do you have any advice for someone trying to break in to sports law?

Be prepared! I would say be ready to work hard. Be passionate and opened to learn. It is a great sector and I sincerely love what I do. However it is time consuming and stressful. Therefore being passionate about what you do will help.

What is the greatest challenge that you’ve had to overcome?

The greatest challenge I had to overcome is to convince the different structures of CAF of the need and importance of Legal. Also being a woman, I had to find ways to be directive without being judged “too aggressive”. Today thank God all is working smoothly and the Legal Affairs & Compliance Division has won the consideration of the different structures. We showed our availability and commitment to serve and it worked.


Why did you decide to focus on sports law?

I always loved sports, and working in International OrganizationsWhen joining CAF in 2006 I was really proud to be part of it. And the time spent in FIFA convinced me of my will to work into Sports. However, I was not at ease being so far from family. When in Chad, I acquired an important experience within the business sector, I have been working with National companies (Oil, Water). I also had the chance to have an experience in the political sector as I was appointed as a Constitutional Counselor. I can say today that all these experiences confirmed to me that the best place for me to be is in Africa, and in the Sports area. I am grateful to be able to serve my beloved continent on my position of Director of Legal Affairs and Compliance at CAF.

How have you found being a part of the WISLaw community?

My experience with WISLAW has been amazing! I had the chance to meet many women working into the sports area. Sharing experiences had help me to overcome some challenges that I have been facing. Furthermore, through WISLAW, I could get into touch with African women working into the sports area and this allowed me to have a network here in Africa. I worked already with some of them.

What do you do in your spare time?

I am a single mother of 2 boys aged 5 and 6 years old. When joining CAF they were 4 and 3 years old, therefore I can assure you I don’t have spare time. However, I always try to get some time to practice some self care: sports (I run), and I read (which is my passion).