South Africa’s Patrice Motsepe is considered favourite to be elected Confederation of African Football (Caf) president ahead of the continental body’s elections in March, Nairobi News understands.
Caf will vote in a new boss on March 12 in Morocco amid uncertainty over whether incumbent Ahmad Ahmad will be cleared to contest for a second-four year term.
Motsepe’s strong candidature was felt over the past week when he reportedly accompanied Fifa president Gianni Infantino to Rwanda.
Infantino was in the East African country to officially open Fifa’s regional office and even though Motsepe, a renowned businessman and owner of Mamelodi Sundowns football club, was present, he preferred to stay off the limelight. Also present at the event was Nigeria football boss Amaju Pinnick, considered Motsepe’s right hand man.
Five presidents from the Confederation of Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) region namely Uganda’s Moses Magogo, Kenya’s Nick Mwendwa, Tanzania’s Wallace Karia, Somalia’s Said Arab and Rwanda’s Brig Gen (Rtd) Jean Damascene Sekamana were present.
They are among the 54 Africa football bosses who will vote in the next boss.
Infantino, who wields considerable influence in African football thanks in large to the millions of dollars in grant his body advances to all African countries each year, is said to have attended a Council of Southern Africa Football Associaitions (Cosafa) meeting where the 14 member bloc unanimously resolved to back Motsepe.
Besides Motsepe, Ivorian Jacques Anouma, Ahmed Yahya from Mauritius and Senegal’s Augustine Senghor. The Caf president wields considerable influence. He is in charge of a budget worth millions of dollars, and also chairs meeting with the 54 African bosses on competitions and football development.
He also automatically becomes Fifa’s vice-president.