President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Issa Hayatou, has announced that he will be running for an eighth term in office as the head of the continent’s football governing body.
The 70-year-old Cameroonian has led CAF since 1988. He is widely expected to win the vote which will keep him in office from 2017-2021. He has not had any position in the recent elections but there is one candidate this time round.
His only one rival for this election scheduled for March 16 is Ahmad Ahmad, the president of the Malagasy Federation. According to sources, Hayatou’s competitor would have the support of the president and the general secretary of FIFA, Gianni Infantino and Fatma Samoura.
CAF announced Hayatou’s candidacy on Friday in the Gabonese capital, Libreville. It comes a day to the commencement of the African Cup of Nations 2017 organized in Gabon (from January 14 till February 5).
Issa Hayatou had explained to RFI in October 2016 that he was considering a new candidacy but that he would not be “another twelve years” at the head of the African body.
CAF changed its bylaws in September last year and the maximum number of terms in office will now be limited to three. But this measure does not take effect until the 2017 election and does not prevent Issa Hayatou from running again.
Hayatou assumed the presidency of the International Federation (FIFA) from October 2015 to February 2016 after the suspension of the deposed president Joseph Blatter and until the election of Gianni Infantino.
He was blamed by the IOC in December 2011 after being implicated in a corruption case in connection with FIFA’s former International Sport and Leisure (ISL) marketing agency.