Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Issa Hayatou sealed his re-election to the post on Sunday, as the organisation’s congress returned previously banned FIFA Executive Committee member Amadou Diakite to the halls of football administration.
Hayatou was re-elected unopposed to another four-year term in office, with the 66-year-old having led African football since 1987. The path to the Cameroonian’s re-election was cleared earlier last week after the latest attempt to prevent him having a free run at the position was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The CAF election process has proved a contentious one in African football circles following a controversial amendment to the Confederation’s statutes in September. CAF member nations voted to introduce a measure that permitted only executive committee officials to run for the organisation’s presidency leading to unsuccessful challenges to CAS from Ivory Coast Football Federation (FIF) president Jacques Anouma and the Liberia Football Association.
Former FIFA referees committee member Diakite was in November 2010 suspended by FIFA from all football duty through October 2012 following evidence provided by British newspaper The Sunday Times. The Malian, along with former Tongan Football Association chief executive Ahongalu Fusimalohi, advised undercover reporters posing as lobbyists how to bribe FIFA officials with US$1 million during the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. The newspaper’s findings rocked world football’s governing body when they were uncovered just months before the vote for the two editions of the World Cup. However, the CAF electorate returned Diakite to its executive committee with an overwhelming majority.
In other news from the election process, South African Football Association (SAFA) vice-president Danny Jordaan again failed in his attempt to secure a place on the CAF executive committee. Jordaan’s tenure as CEO of the local organising committee for South Africa’s 2010 World Cup gained him substantial credit on the world stage, but this has not translated into influence in his home continent. He has previously failed with bids for the presidency of the Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) and an attempt to secure one of Africa’s seats on FIFA’s executive committee.