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Feature:Who should lead CAF?

August 28, 2020

first_imgWhen Issa Hayatou finally ends his reign as Confederation of African Football (CAF) president in 2017, only four African leaders would have been in charge of countries for longer than he has controlled the continent’s football body. For three decades, Hayatou has ruled and he is guaranteed a final term, which will begin on Sunday.Hayatou has no challengers at the body’s election. The only man who was due to stand against him, Jacques Anouma, was prevented from competing, first by a change in the CAF statues and then when the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) dismissed his appeal.Immediate reaction is uproar. Hayatou has been called the same name as the quartet of men mentioned above: a dictator. But the intricacies of the matter are seldom explored. Was Anouma’s bid valid? Were the moves to keep him out acceptable? And is he the right man to take African football forward anyway? Football Africa explores.In September last year, CAF held a meeting in the Seychelles where they overwhelmingly approved an amendment of their statutes to declare that only voting members of the executive committee could run for president. Anouma is on the committee, because he is one of the continent’s FIFA representatives, but does not have voting powers.The timing of the change in decree has led many to believe that Hayatou deliberately forced it through when he learnt of Anouma’s plans to run for president. Anouma criticised the move as soon as it was made. He called it “manoeuvres which belong to a past era,” an “undemocratic act,” and a “decision which doesn’t honour African football or the confederation responsible for governing it.”Anouma even suggested other members had been intimidated into passing the statues. “The executive committee does not have the right to make themselves the only people that can contest the presidency of CAF. But the pressure that people were under, and the other things that I have heard happened, may be responsible for this,” he said. Although suspicious, the actions of CAF are not illegal.Anouma appealed immediately but the CAS found there was nothing wrong with the procedure CAF followed and so, they had the right to refuse his bid for presidency. “The CAS Panel in charge of the case…decided to dismiss the appeal of Jacques Anouma, broadly following the reasoning of the CAF Executive Committee, whose jurisdiction to decide the contested decision was recognised by CAS,” their verdict read.“It was confirmed that the CAF Statutes adopted in September 2012 were applicable in assessing the validity of the candidates in the presidential election and Anouma did not meet these criteria because he had never been a member of the CAF executive committee.”last_img

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