South Africa’s Patrice Motsepe is the favourite to become the next President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as reports emerge that the other candidates have agreed to step aside from the election.
Reports claim that Mauritania’s Ahmed Yahya and Senegal’s Augustin Senghor have both agreed to step down and withdraw their candidacy from the CAF Presidential elections.
Both are reported to back Motsepe and in turn gain vice presidency for the CAF.
Kenyan journalist Francis Gaitho reported that a meeting was held in Rabat, Morocco on February 27 and 28, which was attended by Senghor, Yahya and Jacques Anouma, the Honorary President of the Ivorian Football Federation.
All 3 of them are currently contesting the election for CAF President but Gaitho reported that the meeting involved representatives of FIFA and discussions were held over the candidates supporting Motsepe’s candidacy.
It was during this meeting that both Senghor and Yahya claimed that they had been offered the Vice President roles if Motsepe was awarded with Presidency. The third Vice President spot is likely to be claimed by Souleymane Waberi from Djibouti, as per a confidential MoU.
BREAKING: @FIFAcom President Gianni Infantino has brokered an agreement which will see Senegal’s Augustin Senghor & Mauritania’s Ahmad Yahya step down in support of Patrice Motsepe. They’ve been offered 1st & 2nd VP slots at @CAF_Online respectively. pic.twitter.com/eu4lmLfRZy
— Francis Gaitho (@Kenyafootball) February 28, 2021
According to Abdoulaye Thiam (the President of the Senegalese Sports Press Association), Jacques Anouma will be named as an advisor to Motsepe.
This reported agreement comes days after FIFA President Gianni Infantino completed his trip to Africa to discuss the growth of football in the continent.
He visited Mauritania, Senegal, Central African Republic and Rwanda, last year. This year, he made trips to Sudan, Morocco, Mali and Benin, and also ended up meeting all 4 of the candidates for the CAF Presidency.
Infantino has continually stressed on the importance of unity and that FIFA’s member associations in Africa need to all work together to improve and develop the sport much more than how it currently is.
The 14 members of the Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) have vowed to support Motsepe in the CAF Presidential election.
If the rumours are true then Motsepe will stand uncontested and will become the next President of the CAF.
He is the current owner of the South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) club Mamelodi Sundowns who are the current champions of the league and also won the CAF Champions League back in 2016.
Current CAF President Ahmad Ahmad will be ruled out of contention if this agreement does go through and will not be presiding over a second term.
Ahmad was banned from all football activity for five years by FIFA in November 2020 after he was found guilty of committing four breaches of the ethics code.
His ban was temporarily suspended by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last month as Ahmad appealed against the FIFA sanctions but is still not eligible to stand for the CAF elections.
The election will be held on 12th March in Rabat, Morocco.