Hayatou’s eighth term ambition threatened by COSAFA meeting
*Sets up structure to intimidate opponents
President Issa Hayatou of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is set to seek for eighth tenure in office desite his failing health, a factor many people thought would have informed him to step aside.
In a move to intimidate countries that are opposed to the re-election of its incumbent weak President from Cameroon, he has warned Cosafa over a planned meeting with other member associations which it says is “an attempt to destabilise” the governing body.
Phillip Chiyangwa, the chairman of Cosafa – the Council of Southern African Football Associations – has called for a meeting with other African FA chairmen in Harare in Zimbabwe on 24th February.
In a letter sent by CAF on behalf of the President, Issa Hayatou, the governing body tells Cosafa “you do not have any authority to convene such a meeting, without CAF knowledge nor without its required approval”.
It adds: “convening a meeting with representatives of many member associations outside Cosafa zone is deemed to represent an attempt to destabilise CAF.
“We draw your attention to the obligation of all zonal unions to respect the authority of CAF, and not to conduct in any activities that undermine the common objectives of CAF, for the benefit of African football development.
“The CAF Executive Committee reserves it rights to sanction any infringement to the CAF statutes.”
CAF’s warning comes shortly after Cosafa announced it had unanimously endorsed Ahmad Ahmad as a presidential candidate in upcoming CAF elections. Ahmad, currently the head of Madagascar’s FA, had already outlined his intention to challenge long-standing CAF life-long leader Hayatou in March’s elections in Ethiopia.
The Cameroonian was born 9th August 1946. He has been the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) since 1988. In 2002, he ran for president of FIFA but was defeated by Joseph Sepp Blatter. He is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
In November 2010 Andrew Jennings, the presenter of FIFA’s Dirty Secrets, an edition of BBC’s flagship current affairs programme Panorama alleged that Hayatou had taken bribes in the 1990s regarding the awarding of contracts for the sale of television rights to the football World Cup. Panorama claimed to have obtained a document from a company called ISL which showed that Hayatou was paid 100,000 French Francs by the company. ISL won the contract to distribute the television rights. Hayatou denied the allegations, saying that the money went not to him but to CAF.
In May 2011, The Sunday Times published claims from a whistle-blower that Hayatou had, along with fellow Executive Committee member Jacques Anouma, accepted $1.5 million bribes from Qatar to secure his support for their bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Following the 2015 FIFA corruption case, Hayatou took charge of FIFA, as the acting president, until 26 February 2016 when Gianni Infantino was elected to the position.