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Monday, March 8, 2021


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By Fanta Mady Swaaray There is every indication that long term Caf President Issa Hayatou’s reign is seriously threatened with an unprecedented enthusiasm among many African FA presidents to see his back. A crucial Caf election is slated for March 16 in Addis Ababa and the plot against Hayatou is ticking by the day. A recent meeting in Harare, without him, attended by Fifa President Gianni Infantino and football presidents of Southern Africa has already proved that dissent is against Hayatou’s ambition for reelection. The man aiming to unseat him is the President of the Madagascar football Association Ahmad Ahmad, less known and until now least fancied for the top job as head of African football. But like the Gambian situation where a David versus Goliath election ended in an upset, Adama Barrow defeating the untouchable Jammeh- there is a possibility of a shock result. Issa Hayatou who governed African football for more than three decades with a tight grip is known for his high handedness is crushing any opposition against him along the way. Always resolutely determined to cross any candidate yearning to dethrone him, Hayatou has been accused by his new challengers of effectively and sadly ruining the African game through alleged questionable deals widely reported all over the world. Although the Cameroonian has successfully implemented football development programs through support from FIFA and sponsorship deals in recent times, he remains haunted by the ghosts of the FIFA scandal revealed by a British tabloid. That saga engulfed Hayatou along with some African football presidents and top personalities. All of them of course denied the allegations but the fact remains they including Hayatou’s tattered reputation, and in his case boring longevity in power, makes him unlikely to be reelected. In this vein the Football Federation (GFF) through its President or secretary general are being cautioned that they must not lead or be part of any efforts to prolong the reign of this 70 year old man. The Gambian delegation to the congress should trade carefully and avoid repetition of the public embarrassment of announcing their support to an eventual loser as was the case in the Shiekh Salman Bin Khalifa versus Gianni Infantino during the last FIFA elective congress. With old wounds out in the open and the current meetings in South Africa and the subsequent tour of African nations by the current FIFA boss, the GFF should endeavor to avoid an own goal and follow the wing of change which is mushrooming towards the election of Ahmad Ahmad as the new president of the confederation of African (CAF).It is common knowledge that element in the GFF have close ties with Hayatou but they should be aware of the fact that change is coming to African football and Mr. Hayatou’s days be numbered. Instead our delegation to Addis Ababa should come on board with equal commitment, dedication and hard work to ensure that the right man for job is elected to serve African football. “Its one step small step for a man, but a giant leap for mankind”. Neil Armstrong 1996. I will return]]>

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