CAF executive committee is meeting today in Kigali, Rwanda on the side-lines of the African Championship tournament. The four FIFA presidential hopefuls, except for Prince Ali will be in attendance at the CAF meeting, trying for the last time to swing 54 African votes their way.
The African continent has in recent times being elevated and revered as the kingmaker with its 54 votes going into February 26 election. At this stage CAF is the only confederation which hasn’t pronounced on its preferred candidate. UEFA have unanimously given full support to their current secretary general Gianni Infantino to go all the way.
Prince Ali had previously raised concerns over the pact signed by CAF and the Asian football confederation, citing a ploy for both confederations to solicit support for Sheikh Salman and ultimately vote as a bloc in the presidential elections.
CAF president Issa Hayatou, who is also FIFA acting president, came out with guns blazing slamming Prince Ali over his utterances regarding the timing of an alliance between CAF and AFC.
“We are free to support who we want,” said the former Olympian.
“The last time we were behind Blatter and UEFA supported Ali. He said nothing at the time. But who is Prince Ali? If he wants to bark then that’s his problem.
“We will vote for whoever we want. If today we decide to support Salman, is it a crime? Who can prevent us from doing that?”
Hayatou’s ranting effectively means that Prince Ali’s quest to the throne is dead and buried; he might as well not make the trip to Zurich.
On the flipside CAF is facing a conundrum of its own, whether to look elsewhere for a candidate to support or to fully rally behind South Africa’s Tokyo Sexwale the only African on the race. As it seems the former political prisoner Sexwale doesn’t enjoy support from his own association. Two days ago Sexwale was informed by SAFA bosses that he should pull out of the race, as he doesn’t have the numbers to back him.
It must have been a painful situation for Sexwale going into today’s meeting knowing well that even his homeboys cannot come out clearly to support him. Unfortunately SAFA would have to wait for their masters to pull the plug on Sexwale’s bid. History will surely judge us harshly should we leave our only African compatriot at the altar of world football. Africa has never come so close in assuming the powers of global football…….
“The African comics are meeting today, history will not be erased. We will not be surprised nor shocked; they won’t support the African man. But I know exactly where the powerbase is, FIFA will eventually come home to Africa” said a good friend of mine
All eyes are on Mr Issa Hayatou to pronounce the decision on which horse CAF is betting on, for the FIFA chief position.