The President of the Malian Football Federation Mamotou Touré has been arrested, a move the organisation branded "astonishing" ©FEMAFOOT

FIFA Council member and Malian Football Federation President Mamoutou Touré has been arrested on suspicion of embezzlement of public funds.

Touré was remanded in custody by the Economic and Financial Pole of Mali yesterday, as reported by Sport News Africa.

Touré is accused of infringing public state property and forgery, with the charges against him dating between 2013 and 2019.

Touré has been the President of the Malian Football Federation for six years, with an election for the post scheduled to take place later this month.

In a statement issued on its Facebook page the Malian Football Federation said: "The federation learned with astonishment, this morning, of the arrest warrant issued against its President, Mr. Mamoutou Touré, for facts that go back to his previous functions as administrative and finance director of the National Assembly.

"The federation notes that this arrest follows rumours circulating on social networks for more than a month and fuelled by his opponents.

"The federation, faithful to the democratic principles that encourage him, recalls his attachment to the principle of the presumption of innocence which must at all times benefit any accused person and, in this case, to Mr Touré.

"The federation will continue its work in the interest of Malian football and its players, as the ongoing case has no impact on its operation.

"The federation will follow up with particular interest the consequences of this case.

The Malian Football Federation branded allegations against its President
The Malian Football Federation branded allegations against its President "astonishing", with an election for the role due to take place later this month but already surrounded in controversy ©Getty Images

"Finally, the members of the Executive Committee of the federation want to show their unanimous support for Mr Touré."

The build-up to the election has already been controversial, with four candidates for the role received and examined by the Electoral Commission of First Instance, with only two selected in Touré and Salaha Baby.

Baby’s candidacy was subsequently invalidated by the Appeals Electoral Commission, following an appeal by Touré.

An appeal lodged by Baby against his rival’s integrity questionnaire was rejected by the same Commission, as was an appeal by Sekouba Diogo Keita, a former vice-president of the Malian Football Federation in charge of administration.

Baby has appealed the decision of the Commission to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Issiaka Sidibé, a former President of Mali Premier League club AS Real de Bamako, the Mali Football Federation’s general secretary Modibo Sidibé and a former accountant are also in custody on charges of offences against public property, forgery and complicity.

In March 2017, the Malian Football Federation received a suspension by FIFA for Government interference, which was subsequently lifted after six weeks.