By Sports Reporter
THE Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) president Philip Chiyangwa says all the members of the regional body have resolved to back South African billionaire and Mamelodi Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe for the coveted CAF presidency.
Initially, Chiyangwa backed Ahmad Ahmad’s bid to get re-elected but the incumbent’s campaign suffered a major blow after he was banned from the sport for five years for financial misconduct by FIFA and subsequently barred from seeking re-election.
With Motsepe having announced his intention to run for the March 2021 CAF elections and now having been given the all-clear by FIFA’s ethics committee Tuesday, COSAFA’s leadership convened a virtual meeting Wednesday after which they resolved to back the South African businessman.
COSAFA, which is the biggest zonal grouping under CAF with 14-member countries, said in a statement: “At a meeting of COSAFA’s executive committee on Wednesday, it was unanimously resolved that Dr Patrice Motsepe is the only candidate endorsed by the 14-member regional body to run for the CAF Presidency in March this year.
“The COSAFA executive reiterated a decision taken in 2017 that the zone should always support one of its own, in this case Dr Motsepe. In 2017, COSAFA was the first bloc to endorse eventual winner Ahmad from Madagascar. The executive has now resolved that member associates will back Dr Motsepe for the CAF presidency,’’ read part of the statement.”
Chiyangwa, who spearheaded Ahmad’s campaign when he swept into power on March 16, 2017, deposing then strongman Issa Hayatou, expressed confidence their various member associations would support the COSAFA executive’s decision.
“We are confident that once we take a unanimous decision to back one of our own, other members who want real change in CAF will join the winning party. In Dr Motsepe we have a candidate who will usher in a new era for African football,” said Chiyangwa who has previously served as ZIFA boss.
FIFA has cleared four candidates to run for the elections who include Motsepe (SA), Ahmed Yahya (Mauritania), Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast) and Senegal FA president Augustin Senghor.
The CAF elections will take place in the Moroccan capital Rabat in March, with the victor serving a four-year term.