Motsepe set to become CAF President today
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President Amaju Pinnick hopes to pick not less than 40 votes out of the 53 in today’s FIFA Council election in Rabat, Morocco, if the projection by NFF Secretary General, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, is anything to go by.
The 43rd Ordinary General Assembly of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) holds today with 14 candidates contesting for six seats allocated to the continent in the FIFA Council. There are 37 members in the exalted chamber of football’s world governing body.
The Guardian learnt yesterday that two candidates out of five in the Anglophone zone stepped down for the Nigerian candidate, Pinnick, yesterday. The five countries are Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi and The Gambia.
“I can tell you that two candidates have officially stepped down for Pinnick, and the third one might also step down before the end of our campaign today (yesterday). From the way things are going, I can confidently say that Pinnick will get over 40 votes out of 53 in this election. He has worked hard, and he is the toast of everybody here,” a confident Sanusi told The Guardian from the campaign ground in Morocco.
The identities of the candidates that stepped down for Pinnick were not disclosed yesterday. If Pinnick, who has the backing of President Muhammadu Buhari succeeds in the venture, he will be the third Nigerian to occupy the post after the Late Etubom Oyo Orok Oyo and Dr. Amos Adamu.
MEANWHILE, South African billionaire, Patrice Motsepe, is expected to be elected as CAF president with rival candidates, Senegal’s Augustin Senghor, Ahmed Yahya (Mauritania) and Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast) assuming two vice-presidential roles and a special advisor role respectively.
Motsepe, whose business acumen means he is worth over two billion dollars, owns South African club, Mamelodi Sundowns, which he guided to African Champions League success in 2016.
The 59-year-old, who has said he is keen to build partnerships and sponsorship within the private sector to boost CAF, outlined his 10-point manifesto in Johannesburg last week.
Motsepe’s programme, which is based around 10 objectives, include introducing video assistant referees, better TV broadcasting of African matches and building at least one stadium according to FIFA standards in each country. He stated that he would prefer to hold the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) every two years, and has pledged not to move the CAF headquarters from Cairo to Johannesburg.
Motsepe, who does business in 40 African countries, also insists on being seen as a unifying candidate who values fair play. If he is elected CAF president today, Motsepe is expected to withdraw from Mamelodi Sundowns to devote his body and soul to his new position.