The latest attempt to prevent Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Issa Hayatou having a free run at re-election has been rejected after FIFA Executive Committee member Jacques Anouma failed in his bid to win an interim ruling at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Anouma has fought a long-running battle for the right to run against Hayatou, but the CAS on Thursday said that it had rejected his provisional request as his national federation, the Ivory Coast, also needed to join the case. “Only national associations have the power to propose candidates for the presidential election,” said the CAS in a statement. “In this case, the Ivory Coast Football Federation (FIF) did not challenge CAF’s decision and has not filed an appeal to CAS to support the position of Mr. Anouma.”
The Court’s latest decision comes just days after it threw out an appeal lodged by the Liberia Football Association (LFA) over a controversial amendment to the CAF’s statutes. CAF member nations voted in September to introduce a measure that permits only executive committee officials to run for the organisation’s presidency. The measure was announced at the CAF Congress in the Seychelles and seemingly put paid to officials such as Anouma’s hopes of running against Hayatou at the Confederation’s general assembly in Morocco in March. FIF president Anouma formalised his intention to run for the presidency in July, but the new CAF rule stipulates that anyone seeking the presidency must be a voting member of the CAF executive committee. Anouma is a member of CAF’s executive committee only because he serves as one of the continent’s representatives on FIFA’s Executive Committee. As such he does not have any voting rights in CAF matters.
CAF last month confirmed that Hayatou will be unchallenged for re-election in a statement following an Executive Committee meeting in Cairo. The 66-year-old has led African football since 1987 and Anouma has previously stated that African football cannot continue to be “run like a fiefdom controlled by a village chief.” Hope has not been completely extinguished for Anouma as CAS stated that it will create a panel for the main hearing into his appeal.