Caf politics overshadow launch of Fifa regional office

Tuesday February 23 2021
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Fufa’s Moses Magogo

By Fred Mwambu

The Council of East and Central African Football Association will have a final decision on who to support for Caf presidency during their Executive Committee and general meeting next month in Rabat, Morocco.

The meeting was initially slated to take place at the weekend in Kigali, Rwanda, but a source told Daily Monitor that the heads decided to push to next month just before the Caf general and elective assembly set for March 12.

“Some of the presidents from the [Cecafa] region appeared in Rwanda but they did not hold any formal meeting,” the source told this reporter

“They pushed it to March in Morocco since all of them will be available. Right now most federation heads are not yet decided and don’t want to be seen around campaigners of certain candidates for obvious reasons.”

However, five presidents, including Fufa’s Moses Magogo and Cecafa’s Wallace Karia, were in Kigali as Fifa president Gianni Infantino presided over the opening of the regional development office.

The office, one of the three in Africa, was transferred from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, after Fifa reached an agreement with the Rwandan government. 

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Other presidents from Cecafa present included the host Brig Gen (Rtd) Jean Damascene Sekamana, Kenya’s Nick Mwendwa and Said Arab from Somalia.

Caf campaign hots up
Infantino, who has been touring around the continent, is believed to be campaigning secretly for a candidate or two to succeed embattled Ahmad Ahmad as Caf president. 

Also present in Rwanda was South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe, who largely avoided the cameras, though his chief campaigner Pinnick Amaju, president of the Nigerian Football Federation, was present at all events.

Ivorian Jacques Anouma, one of the four eligible candidates for the Caf presidency, appeared to aim a dig at Infantino’s partiality during his manifesto launch. 

Anouma, in his speech that was broadcast on social media, welcomed the Fifa president to Ivory Coast, insinuating that the Infantino was moving with particular candidates and attending their functions discriminatively. 

Infantino was expected to attend the Cosafa (Southern Africa football body) Annual General Meeting on Sunday. 

Motsepe was flanked by Cosafa president Philip Chiyangwa during a brief news conference but Infantino did not attend.
The other candidates in the race are Ahmed Yahya (Mauritania) and Augustine Senghor (Senegal). 
editorial@ ug. nationmedia.com
 

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