Patrice Motsepe (Photo by Phill Magakoe / AFP)
South African likely to be sole candidate for top jobSouth African billionaire businessman, Patrice Motsepe, is as good as becoming the new Confederation of African Football (CAF) President following his endorsement by the last of his expected challengers, Jacques Anouma of Cote d’Ivoire. At the beginning of the race to succeed Ahmad Ahmad as the helmsman of African football, four candidates, including Jacques Anouma, Patrice Motsepe, Augustin Senghor and Ahmed Yahya threw their hats into the ring. But at a ceremony of African unity held at the Palais des Congrès in Nouakchott, Mauritania at the weekend, the four proposed a new direction for CAF and African football for the future.
In the presence of FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, several FIFA Council and CAF Executive Committee members, as well as more than 20 presidents of African member associations, the four leaders reiterated that what unites them is much stronger than what could potentially divide them. They, therefore, decided to join forces and form a team under the leadership of Patrice Motsepe in the lead up to the March 12 CAF presidential elections scheduled to hold in Rabat, Morocco.
According to a document made available to The Guardian, the quartet agreed on a common programme inspired by their initial manifestos, but includes contributions of all African member associations and stakeholders in a participatory and inclusive process.
Speaking at the event, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, said, “I am delighted that FIFA has been able to contribute, even if just a little, to this crucial moment for football on this great continent.
“The agreement reached by the candidates is a strong signal for Africa, and also for the world. Africa is present and is a key player for the future of global football. This is also a sign of unity and commitment in bringing African football to the very top level where it should be. A united Africa behind a concrete vision and project is stronger. United we are stronger. “This is what we were hearing from the African member associations in the last weeks, so I am sure they are also very happy at this moment. There are some great challenges ahead, but also great opportunities, and I guarantee FIFA’s support and encouragement to fulfil them, especially in line with FIFA Forward objectives related to infrastructure investment, good governance, development and competitions.”