Thursday, May 26, 2011

CAF divided ahead of the Zurich-FIFA polls


The Pan-African Football Body, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has been divided with regards to the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) presidency contest.
FIFA President Joseph Sepp Blatter and Vice President Mohammed Bin Hammam will go head to head on June 1, 2011 at the FIFA Headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. Both candidates have launched their campaigns for votes since.
At its meeting on May 16, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt, following a secret ballot, the CAF Executive Committee voted in majority to support the incumbent Joseph Sepp Blatter.
It was not made public, how many voted for or against the candidacy of Mr. Blatter, however, it is clear that he may not earn all Africa votes in June. 
During a press briefing at the end of the WAFU Meeting in Banjul, The Gambia on April 9, 2011, the newly elected Interim President of the West African Football Union (WAFU) Kwesi Nyantakyi played down talks that the Union is fully behind Mohammed Bin Hammam.
Bin Hammam was in Banjul to seek for WAFU votes in the forthcoming FIFA elections.
In fact, the President of Liberia Football Association Mr. Hassan A. Bility, Niger’s Colonel Djibriua Hima, and Ghana’s former Sports Minister Abdul Rashid, all openly showed their support to the candidacy of the Qatari, Bin Hammam.
“We in WAFU are in support of Bin Hammam because we want to move from being followers to become leaders. We will need to demand for more money to support our football,” the Liberian FA Boss declared.
But Mr. Nyantakyi, the Ghana Football Association President, said WAFU cannot influence any member to vote for the Qatari. Football Associations are independent and have the final say as to who to vote for, but the Union cannot influence its members to vote for Bin Hammam.
However, in its communiqué, the WAFU General Assembly noted the attendance of Mr. Mohammed Bin Hammam at the meeting and wishes him well in his bid to become President of FIFA.
Blatter has made major strides in football, including the introduction of youth football, bringing the World Cup to Africa amongst others, even his rival Bin Hammam admitted this.
He said: “The current FIFA President has made significant contributions in the history of football worldwide, but I believe that there is always a time limit for everything. The time now is for new faces, new blood, and new air to FIFA.”
The world football body, FIFA has been engulfed in too many corruption allegations over the years, most notable among them are allegations of receiving bribes by FIFA executive members during last year’s world cup bidding votes.
“I will write to the current FIFA President to congratulate him for putting his name forward for a fourth term. I will let him know that I see this election as an opportunity for us to prove that FIFA is not corrupt and that the organisation is open and democratic,” Bin Hammam said.

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