Mamelodi Sundowns president Patrice Motsepe has started canvassing for support to ensure he takes over as president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) next year. Motsepe is amongst four candidates vying for the hot seat. The much-awaited CAF presidential elections will be held on the 12th of March 2021 in Morocco.
Patrice Motsepe’s candidacy for the CAF presidency was endorsed by the South African Football Association (SAFA) last month. The 58-year-old Motsepe has already been officially endorsed by several countries including Zimbabwe, Botswana, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. But he will need more votes to win the race, alongside three other strong candidates. They are Jacques Anouma from Ivory Coast, president of Senegal Football Association Augustin Senghor, and president of Mauritius Football Association, who is the 2017 CAF football administrator of the year, Ahmed Yahya.
All four candidates will, nonetheless, have to be cleared by FIFA’s ethics committee o be eligible to stand for elections.
“On the 12th of January FIFA and CAF will submit the final list of candidates who pass the integrity test. Anyone who does not pass the integrity test will also be taken off. So he (Motsepe) said I want to know who I’m up against and who has gone through the integrity test so I know,” says SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan.
Jordaan says with just three months before the CAF elections – Motsepe has already visited several African countries. He also invited several influential figures to the Sundowns’ 50th anniversary celebrations in Johannesburg last weekend.
“In the mean tune, he has been to Egypt twice. Last Thursday he met with the executive of CAF. He has been to other North African countries. We had 14 presidents present here, and 18 other presidents submitting apologies. They couldn’t come and it’s very difficult to travel now. Before you travel, you must have a test and every 72 hours you must have another test,” adds Jordaan.
Patrice Motsepe canvassing for CAF presidency:
Jordaan says Motsepe enjoys the much-needed support from the COSAFA region, which has 14 members.
“Of the 14 presidents, 10 of them came from COSAFA and o9thers made apologies and two other countries their airports are on lockdown, so they couldn’t come. Of course, we also had presidents from Guinea-Bissau, Benin, Equitorial Guinea, Nigeria was also here.”
With current CAF president, who is also from the COSAFA region suspended by FIFA, Motsepe stands a good chance. The 60-year-old Ahmad Ahmad who intended to run for a second term has since been suspended from all football activities for five years after breaching various articles of the FIFA Code of Ethics. But for Motsepe to realise his dream, his campaign will need to be spread far and wide, says Jordaan.
“Virtually every president from Southern Africa was here. Two countries Mauritius and Seychelles. He is flying out to Qatar. There is an Asian Champions League final and he is going to visit at least three other African countries.”