The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced that South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, had pledged his full support to incumbent president Issa Hayatou ahead of African football’s upcoming elections.
It followed a meeting on Saturday morning when President Zuma received Hayatou at his residence in Pretoria.
The meeting came just six days after the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) announced it was endorsing Hayatou’s rival Ahmad Ahmad as a Caf presidential candidate.
South African Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, South African Football Association (Safa) President Danny Jordaan and Mamelodi Sundowns President Patrice Motsepe were also present at Saturday’s meeting with President Zuma.
Issa Hayatou, who has presided over African football since 1988, will be seeking an eighth term in office when he stands in the elections in March to be held in Ethiopia.
Ahmad Ahmad’s campaign to replace Issa Hayatou as President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has been given the support of a key Member Association as he claims the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has agreed to back him in next month’s election.
Ahmad, the head of the Madagascar Football Association (MFA), told Brillia FM that NFF President Amaju Pinnick “is a close ally and he supports my bid to head the CAF”.
Ahmad believes he has enough support to topple the Cameroonian, who continues to suffer with health issues, at the Presidential election in Addis Ababa on March 16.
The MFA chief recently received the backing of the Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA), who remain at loggerheads with the CAF.