CAF election: Why Nigeria will not vote against Issa Hayatou - Dalung

Thursday, March 16's election in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, saw Hayatou, who was in charge for almost three decades defeated.

A controversial rule that allows only members of the CAF executive committee to be eligible for the presidency was brought to block the possible path to power of Jacques Anouma of the Ivory Coast‚ who briefly enjoyed the patronage of Sepp Blatter some 10 years ago‚ during the then Federation Internationale de Football Association president's rivalry with Hayatou‚ before the two Goliaths made up and consigned Anouma to the sidelines.

"If people want change, there is no other choice".

The CAF presidency will be decided on Thursday when elections for the next president of Africa's soccer governing body will take place at the CAF Congress in Addis Ababa.

"I'm not a candidate who will serve his personal interests".

Expressions of support have been forthcoming from CAF member countries, including Nigeria and the 14 southern African countries under the banner of the Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA).

The emergence of Ahmad as the standard bearer of those seeking change took many involved in African football by surprise.

Hayatou is seeking an 8 term in office while Ahmad is seeking to become the first man to defat the Cameroonian since 1988.

"The CAF Executive Committee unanimously recommended the CAF Disciplinary Board to proceed with the case of COSAFA President, also President of the Federation of Zimbabwe, Mr. Philip Chiyangwa who has multiplied actions and statements recently that appears to attack the honour of the CAF, its president and the members of the Executive Committee", a CAF statement read.

In 2000, he beat Angola's Armando Machado by 47-4 votes and four years later he defeated Ismail Bhamjee of Botswana by 46-6 votes.

"This is an argument to try and defeat me, but look at the presidents of the Asian and North-Central American confederations - they are from Bahrain and Canada".

Last January, CAF withdrew the organisation of the Africa U-17 Cup of Nations from Madagascar and gave it to Gabon.

  • Julie Sanders