LAUSANNE: The African confederation’s controversial move to further cement the presidential power of long-term leader Issa Hayatou is being challenge in the Court of Arbitration for Sport writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Back in September an extraordinary general assembly of CAF in the Seychelles ratified proposals to outlaw any candidacies for the presidency from African football leaders who were not members of the governing executive committee.
The rule change was proposed by by Algerian federation president Mohamed Raouraoua and was voted through 44 to six. It was to take effect on December 3, well ahead of the next election congress on March 10 at which Cameroon’s Hayatou is now expected to extend his command which began in 1987.
The new amendment to CAF’s statutes stipulates that “all candidates for election to the presidency of CAF, in addition to necessary competence, must be or have been a member of the Executive Committee of CAF.”
Anouma, a 58-year-old accountant from the Ivory Coast, was considered a danger but has never a direct member of CAF’s ruling elite although he is an African representative on the FIFA executive committee.
Ivory Coast sports minister Philippe Legre described the amendment as a “political ruse;” Senegal federation president August Senghor charged that it was a setback for democracy; and former Cameroon international goalkeeper Joseph Antoine Bell said it was “misleading and a shame.”
FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who was present in Seychelles, said later – in response to questioning – that, as far as he was concerned, the vote had been undertaken in a correct and transparent manner and he had no problem with it.
Last year FIFA was forced to withdraw its appointment of Hayatou as chairman of the organising committee of the London Olympics football tournament because he was being investigated by an independent ethics commission of the International Olympic Committee for corruption.
Hayatou had been accused in a BBC documentary of accepting kickbacks from sports marketing company ISL. Subsequently he was reprimanded by the IOC after he admitted receiving payments, which according to minutes of a 1998 CAF meeting and a 2011 certificate of the group’s finance director, were used to fund CAF 40th anniversary celebrations.
Now a statement from CAS has it says registered two appeals filed by the Liberia Football Association against CAF over the statutes amendment and its consequences. The LFA wants CAS to make a provisional ruling to freeze the change to statutes pending a full appeal hearing.