Caf, Chiyangwa feud

Zifa president, Philip Chiyangwa, has crossed swords with Confederation of African Football (Caf) boss, Issa Hayatou, over his invitation of Fifa president, Gianni Infantino, as well as FA presidents of other countries.

BY Kevin Mapasure

Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa
Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa

Infantino has confirmed he will be coming to Zimbabwe following Chiyangwa’s invitation.

The Caf leadership has been agitated by the “meeting”, which, according the continental body, is set to be held in Harare on February 24.

Chiyangwa insisted yesterday that the gathering was simply to celebrate both his birthday, as well as triumph in the Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa), where he was elected president of the regional body last year.

Hayatou is running for the Caf presidency, where he will be pitted against Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad in an election that will be held on March 16 in Ethiopia.

Cosafa members held a meeting at the weekend, where they threw their weight behind Ahmad’s candidature.

Last Saturday, Caf secretary-general, Hicham El Amrani, wrote to Chiyangwa expressing reservations about the gathering in Harare, warning that it could attract sanctions.

The letter reads in part: “The president of Caf, Issa Hayatou, directs me to send you this letter in relation to the above-mentioned subject (convening of presidents of member associations in Harare, Zimbabwe, on February 24, 2017).

“The Caf leadership has been informed that a meeting is convened by yourself in your capacity as Cosafa chairman, in Harare, Zimbabwe on February 24, 2017, right after the Fifa executive summit planned in Johannesburg on February 21, 2017. Such a meeting would not include only presidents of many member associations outside the zonal union of Cosafa. The Caf leadership would like to remind you that you do not have any authority to convene such a meeting, without Caf’s knowledge nor without its required approval.”

Caf suggested that convening such gathering would undermine the continental body’s authority.

“We draw your attention, therefore, to the obligation of all zonal unions to respect the authority of Caf and not to conduct in any activities that undermine the common objectives of Caf for the benefit of African football development. We are keen, therefore, to receive further details of this meeting and we hope that Caf statutes and directives will be fully complied with at all times. The Caf executive committee reserves its rights to sanction any infringement to the Caf statutes.”

Yesterday, Chiyangwa confirmed that Infantino was on the guest list at the gathering, where Hayatou was not invited.

He was clear that he would support Hayatou’s rival at the Caf election.

“We, as Zimbabwe, have a position and our position is that we will support everything that is in tandem with Cosafa resolutions,” he said.

“I do not understand why people are agitated about this gathering, which is only to celebrate my birthday, as well my ascendancy to the Cosafa presidency. When people begin to have an interest in such gatherings, it only means they are scared of the election that is coming.”

Chiyangwa said a lot has been happening and said he snubbed the Africa Cup of Nations finals because he was under Caf surveillance.

Last month, Guinea Bissau Football Association boss, Opes Manuel Nascimento, accused Infantino of dividing Africa, saying the Fifa boss had done nothing for the continent.

“We have elections for the Confederation of African Football coming on March 16 and can you imagine a whole Fifa president is meeting people separately because he wants a change in Africa,” he said.

Chiyangwa leapt to Infantino’s defence, saying: “I listened to an interview granted by Nascimento, where he threw decorum, caution and dignity into the air by not only casting aspersions, but directly throwing tantrums at the personality of the symbol of global football, Infantino,” he said.

“Indeed, the majority of presidents of various federations in Africa hold a radically contrary view and I am constrained to respond on their behalf. We are indeed very proud of him and would continue to pledge our unflinching support and loyalty.”

Hayatou, who has held the Caf top post since 1988, was against the Infantino’s election to the top football post and had said the continent would back Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim al Khalifa.

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31 Comments

  1. zvasangana mbavha nemuroi ..issa naPhidza

    1. True Hayatou has overstayed but Infantino is also divisive.

  2. Hayatou should now go. He has served for long enough. Caf needs a new broom! especially with the links he had with Sepp Blatter etc he should have resigned! then his know hate for southern African teams!

  3. Hayatou on record is an enemy of Zim Football. He stole the right to host AFCON on flimsy reasons soley because Leo had pledged support to Bhamjee from Botswana not him and we have never been looked at since and some have hosted for the 2nd time. I am sorry on this one I will stand by Blah Fidza even though I sometimes do not trust him. The chickens are coming home to roost Hayatou you will soon realise that Southern Africa is part of Africa

    1. pamberi neFidza… Pasi naHayatou

  4. Hayatou should have the dignity to step aside. What else does he want to achieve in another term which he couldnt deliver in the past 29 years?

    Time for new ideas and that can only come from a new person.

  5. mr hayatou its a birthday party and you are not invited.period.

    1. true

  6. Whatever the reasons of the meeting called by Phidza…the fact remains that Issa has overstayed and must step aside..

  7. Hayatou asangana natsuro magen’a ………..hameno iko

  8. Hayoute who are you. Leave Phidza alone and go hang you are a disgrace in the game of soccer. Your days are numbered old man. Hauone kufamba wakakotama urikuti unosvikepi

  9. Iye Fidza anoda kubvisa a long running Caf president achitadza kubvisa a long running Zim president sei?

    1. These are two completely different issues my friend…asi u are confused with the word “President”? OK let me educate u a little.. One is a President of a country the other of football…!!!

    2. The watcher please stop acting misguided…seperate politics from football.wadii kumubvisa “long running Zim president” wacho iwewe.usade kungoitirwa zvinhu nevamwe varume

  10. Urikumberi Fidza!!!

  11. @ the watcher, thats a good observation. G40 is now extending it tentacles in to Africa. Phidza charity begins at home. Issa got into office in 1988 when your ancestor had already been there for 8yrs, so who should go…. icho

  12. Haaaa maZimbos, Issa ndiye wamadheereraka… heh heh overstayed heh heh what more can he contribute that he has not done so in 29 year. kkkkkk ini hangu zzzzzz.

    #GreatZimbabweRuined

  13. Phidza is just one ambitious guy and i just believe we should give him all the support he needs….bhora panaFidza….he’s smart enough to realize he’s got no space in politics hence he’s venturing into untapped territories…..Football!!

  14. fidza usa dhererwe……

  15. Tsholotsho declaration in the making; hokoyo !!!

  16. Tanga na Robert Gabbie Mugabe then wozoenda kuna Issa true that kuti charity begins at home

  17. show them phil how a true number 9 scores off the field

  18. Just shows us that this soccer business is nothing but mafia.

  19. Haiyatou shld leave now. He has stayed to long..all he wants is to benefit west and east African football and the southern region is totally forgotten.

  20. Bhora kuna Fidza. Keep it up.

  21. Fidza afunga kurova bag , just watch and see

    1. “wait and see” kwete watch and see

  22. Bhla Fidza, from day one I have been in your corner. I even predicted during the time you won the elections that your ascendancy to the ZIFA post was a stepping stone to Caf and Fifa. You are spot on, fearless, we will support you this Hayatou chap has dictatorial habits and his time is up. All the best.

  23. Apo FIDZABOY Hayattou arohwa deya Keep it up Phidza Southern Africa here comes the blue eyes boy .its time we do things right .tabatirirwa nguva refu

  24. Unzo wekwa Zvimba

    KKKKKKKKK , hahahahah tantrums of a dictator , ndinzwireiwo

    “The Caf leadership would like to remind you that you do not have any authority to convene such a meeting, without Caf’s knowledge nor without its required approval.”

    Caf suggested that convening such gathering would undermine the continental body’s authority…..Zvaiwana mbimbindoga Hayatou .Captain Fiasco , Bla Phidza deal with this moron once and for all

  25. Have a hunch Chinyangwa wants a big position in this football organisation!

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