CAF Presidency: three out of four aspirants renounce candidacy for “common interest of African football

By Diacounda Sene – AIPS Young Reporter – Senegal

DAKAR, March 9, 2021 – There will be only one candidate for the presidency of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on March 12 after three others renounced their candidacy for the position, starting with the president of the Senegalese Football Federation, Augustin Senghor.

“After consultation with the Senegalese authorities during discussions in Rabat and the endorsement of the emergency committee of the Senegalese Football Federation during its meeting on March 2nd, which takes into account the particular context of this campaign, we have decided to accept the consensual proposal submitted to us by FIFA, Morocco and Egypt on behalf of the interest of African football that we have put forward in our profession of faith,” Senghor said in a statement issued last Friday.

The Senegalese candidate was followed by the Mauritanian Ahmet Yaya and the Ivorian Jaques Anouma, who also claimed that the collective interest of African football prompted his decision to withdraw his candidacy.

“After much reflection and consultations, inspired by the values of understanding and unity that Ivory cost has always promoted on the continent, and convinced that it is now preferable to create the conditions for a gathering of the best intelligences in order to make the collective interest of African football triumph, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy,” wrote the former president of the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) in a statement.

The decisions follow an agreement reached by FIFA and recorded this weekend in Nouakchott. Indeed, during the various meetings held in Rabat on Saturday, February 27 and Sunday February 28, 2021, the four candidates reached an agreement for a collegial management of the supreme body of African football, with an agreement in principle comprising two points.

“The first is a programmatic axis consisting of agreeing on a common management programme resulting from the synthesis of the manifestos of the four candidates, and which should be widely shared later with all member associations and stakeholders in African football, in a participatory and inclusive approach of collective ownership,” revealed Mr. Senghor in his statement.

The second is “an axis of collegial and concerted governance based on the consensual distribution of functions within the executive committee board between the candidates in contention, namely Patrice Motsepe, Augustin Senghor, Ahmed Yahya and Jacques Anouma, with well-defined and complementary attributions”.

For the president of the Senegalese Football Federation, ”This is the best decision we can take after a lucid analysis of the current situation of CAF and the imperative need to focus on a synergy of actions of all skills to redress it: a team (…) to raise African football.”

It should be remembered that during his short stay in Senegal at the end of February, the president of FIFA had called on Africans to unite for the development of African football.

“The achievement of the goal of a strong united, more efficient and more attractive CAF is worth all the sacrifices even that of renouncing legitimate personal ambitions in favour of a collective and participatory leadership, the only guarantee of a rebirth of CAF expected by all Africans,” Senghor said.

For his part, Anouma believes that “by achieving this sacred union of the best African wills around CAF, with a common agenda, we can contribute together to its recovery”.

The agreement in favour of which the Senegalese, Ivorian and Mauritanian candidates have renounced the presidency of CAF was concluded last Saturday in Noackchott on the sidelines of the final of the U20 African Cup of Nations won by Ghana. The scheme proposed in the Rabat agreement should make Augustin Senghor the first vice-president of CAF behind Metsepe and Ahmed Yahya the second vice-president. An advisory position should go to Jacques Anouma.

The election of the new board of CAF is scheduled for March 12, 2021 in Rabat Marocco.

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