A little more than ten days before the election of the president of CAF, the game is over. Behind the scenes, FIFA President Gianni Infantino managed to dismiss all candidates in favor of South African Motsepe, his Trojan horse within CAF.
Si the African Football Confederation (CAF) was under the supervision of FIFA in recent years, this will be more the case after March 12th. The ballot to appoint the new president of the institution will only be a sham election. While five candidates applied for the presidency of the Confederation, Gianni Infantino, the boss of FIFA, arrived at his ends, this Sunday, February 28 at the end of a lobbying which shows how much he pulls the strings of African football.
Small arrangements with friends
After one meeting organized in Rabat, Moroccan officials reportedly went to Dakar at the weekend to get the Senegalese authorities to sign an agreement and thus convince the most resistant candidate to the idea of withdrawing his candidacy. Finally, against the first vice-presidency of CAF, the country's candidate, Augustin Senghor, agreed not to participate in the presidential race and to support his now ex-rival, the South African Patrice Motsepe. Supported by Gianni Infantino, President Cyril Ramaphosa's brother-in-law no longer suffers from any competition ...
Gianni Infantino has indeed cleared the ground, now virgin, for his foal. With Ahmed Yahya, the FIFA boss did not have to worry about. The Mauritanian has indeed been in Infantino's little papers for a long time. The trip of the President of the International Football Federation to Mauritania, on the occasion of the U20 Africa Cup of Nations in early February, was only a formality. As a result, Yahya obtained a post of second vice-president of CAF against his support for Motsepe. The post of third vice-president should be awarded to Djibouti Souleymane Waberi.
Braked by Ouattara, Infantino threatens Ivory Coast
It remained for Infantino to convince Jacques Anouma. The Ivorian candidate seemed to refuse to withdraw from the race for the presidency of CAF. According to the very informed Francis Gaitho, the FIFA boss wanted to make Jacques Anouma sign a document stipulating that he was also withdrawing in favor of Motsepe. Faced with his refusal and Alassane Ouattara's refusal to receive him, Infantino would then have threatened to withdraw the organization of CAN 2023 from Côte d'Ivoire.
Finally, after many discussions and the threat of an election whose leitmotif would be "anything but Anouma", Infantino managed to convince the Ivorian to give way to Motsepe. According to our information, Jacques Anouma should obtain the post of special adviser to the future president of the African Football Confederation. An astonishing turnaround when you consider the means deployed by Côte d'Ivoire during the campaign. Several ministers have indeed made many trips to encourage the various federations to vote for Anouma.
FIFA colonialism has a bright future ahead of it
These agreements show how FIFA has a very strong hold over CAF. And for this hold to be total, Infantino needed one of his soldiers at the head of the institution. Ahmad Ahmad out, Motsepe is the man for the job: businessman and president of the Mamelodi Sundows FC club, the South African will not be able to devote himself 100% to CAF. Ideal for Infantino, who will be able to continue his influence operation within the African Football Confederation. And Motsepe's inexperience is a good plus for the FIFA boss.
A FIFA which, after these agreements with each other, will be able to continue to control CAF. There is no doubt that Infantino will try to unilaterally implement its proposals, such as a change in the frequency of the CAN or the maintenance of Fatma Samoura in her post of secretary general of CAF, without African football coming out as a winner. A supervision which enters into a general policy of FIFA, which tries to control the various world confederations. In Africa, it is through promises of subsidies to the various federations that Infantino keeps control over African football.
This policy of placing under guardianship must above all serve the interests of… Gianni Infantino. In 2023, FIFA will also vote for its president. There is no doubt that Italo-Switzerland will be a candidate for his own succession. However, each of the 211 members of FIFA having a vote in the congress electing the president, Infantino has every interest in putting the 54 African votes in his pocket as the current president of FIFA, who has had some setbacks with the justice system. in the FIFAGate affair, there is a risk of lacking support in Europe.