You are here
Home > Sports > CAF refers COSAFA chief Chiyangwa to Disciplinary Board over illegal meeting, election tension heightens.

CAF refers COSAFA chief Chiyangwa to Disciplinary Board over illegal meeting, election tension heightens.

Zimbabwe FA president Philip Chiyangwa has been referred to the Disciplinary Committee of Confederation of African Football (CAF) for defying president Issa Hayatou and going ahead with a meeting with other FA chiefs heightening tensions ahead of Thursday’s election.

In what is seen as an action to muscle opposition following the COSAFA chief’s decision to back Hayatou’s challenger Ahmad Ahmad in Thursday’s election, Chiyangwa was accused by the CAF Executive Committee of insulting Hayatou.

Chiyangwa was also accused of attacking the honour of CAF and the members of the Executive Committee after a recent stand-off.

He was referred to the Disciplinary Board of CAF on Tuesday following the meeting heightening tensions ahead of Thursday’s Presidential election.

“The CAF Executive Committee unanimously recommended the CAF Disciplinary Board to proceed with the case of COSAFA President, also President of the Federation of Zimbabwe, Mr. Philip Chiyangwa who has multiplied actions and statements recently that appears to attack the honour of the CAF, its president and the members of the Executive Committee,” the CAF statement read on Tuesday.

The executive committee met in Ethiopia today March 14, two days ahead of a presidential election which pits Hayatou against his sole challenger Ahmad, who is head of Madagascar’s FA.

Chiyangwa is campaign manager for the bid by Ahmad (who uses only one name) to unseat the Cameroonian, who is the longest-serving president in Caf history after assuming office in 1988.

This conflict of interest provides the backdrop for the recent exchanges between the two parties.

Chiyangwa claims his party last month was both to celebrate his election as president of the Southern African football region Cosafa in December as well as his birthday in early February.

Chiyangwa, elected the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) president in December, has been at loggerheads with Hayatou after last month’s decision by the regional body to publicly back Ahmad in the race for the CAF presidency next month.

The Zifa boss is also Ahmad’s campaign manager and has been rallying support around the continent in the first serious sign of dissent that Hayatou has faced since he became president in 1988.

Last week Chiyangwa hit back at CAF over accusations he is trying to “destabilise the continental football mother body” after his decision to invite football leaders, including Fifa boss Gianni Infantino, as well as African football association presidents to Harare this week.

While Chiyangwa says the meeting was to celebrate his ascendancy to the Cosafa presidency, CAF viewed it as a ploy against Hayatou’s leadership in a move that is likely to put Zimbabwe’s football under spotlight.

Chiyangwa claims his party last month was both to celebrate his election as president of the Southern African football region Cosafa in December as well as his birthday in early February.

However, he was advised on February 11 that the event would breach Caf guidelines since it would include not only presidents of Cosafa member associations, but also those outside the region.

“The president of Caf, Issa Hayatou, directs me to send you this,” began the letter written by Morocco’s El Amrani.

“While it would be acceptable to convene a meeting of the leaders of your zonal union, convening a meeting with representatives of many member associations outside the Cosafa zone is deemed to represent an attempt to destabilise Caf.”

Chiyangwa says the meeting was two-fold.

On February 23, he hosted a party that was ultimately attended by seven FA presidents from the Cosafa zone as well as five others from across the continent (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Liberia and Nigeria).

Fifa president Gianni Infantino was also in attendance.

On the day of the party, Caf contested Chiyangwa’s claim that the gathering was an “informal” meeting.

The Cairo-based organisation queried why Chiyangwa used a personal letterhead to invite the Zambian FA president to a celebration of both his Cosafa election and birthday, yet a Cosafa letterhead was used to invite Mali’s FA president to just a celebration of his election.

Top