Story from George Aluo, Addis Ababa
Issa Hayatou, the ultimate of the outdated technology leaders in world soccer, faces a uncommon and decided challenge when he bids for an eighth term as head of the Confederation of African soccer (CAF) in today’s election.
Ahmad Ahmad, head of the Madagascar soccer affiliation, in step with Agence France-Presse perceived to have picked up key votes with his calls for “change” in opposition to the 70-12 months-outdated Hayatou.
though, the Cameroonian authentic remains a favourite but many African federations had been retaining their option to their chests.
“Issa has never confronted a problem like this and he has needed to name in some favours,” one CAF govt member stated in advance of the vote at the congress right here in Addis Ababa.
Hayatou has headed CAF for the reason that 1988 and is a senior vice-president of Fifa. He has been credited with growing the choice of African groups on the World Cup and bringing in additional finance for the continent’s competitions.
however he has also confronted controversy, accused by means of a British newspaper of receiving $ 1.5-million to vote for Qatar when it used to be awarded the 2022 World Cup seven years in the past.
In 2011, Hayatou was reprimanded by the international Olympic Committee over cash he acquired from scandal-tainted sports activities advertising company ISL in 1995.
He has at all times insisted the money went to CAF and has always strongly denied any wrongdoing.
Ahmad (fifty seven) has also been implicated within the 2022 World Cup bribe-taking. The Sunday occasions mentioned he acquired between $ 30 000 and $ a hundred 000 for his vote. The Madagascar soccer chief has known as the allegations unfounded.
“If folks want trade there’s no other possibility. handiest i will be able to dare (to problem Hayatou),” Ahmad said at the Madagascar soccer Federation workplaces in Antananarivo.
“My programme is the reform of the administration of CAF to steer clear of the involvement of politics within the organization,” he delivered.
Ahmad is already a member of the CAF govt and he has been promised the support of the 14-member Council of Southern African football Associations (Cosafa).
In a sign of the livid lobbying going on, the influential vote of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and a football powerhouse, regarded doubtful. Nigerian football Federation president, Amaju Pinnick had wished to vote for Ahmad. but the executive has known as for a vote for Hayatou.
Fifa leader, Gianni Infantino visited Africa ultimate month and met with Chiyangwa, who is viewed as probably the most leaders of the anti-Hayatou camp.
Infantino has launched into reforms of the sector physique, looking for to redeem its picture after the scandals that forced out previous president Sepp Blatter and his one time ally Michel Platini. while many suspected he favours Ahmad, Infantino has not mentioned publicly who he supports in the election battle.