Mmegi Online :: Defiant COSAFA boss dismisses Hayatou
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Last Updated
Wednesday 26 April 2017, 14:59 pm.
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Defiant COSAFA boss dismisses Hayatou

A defiant COSAFA president, Philip Chiyangwa has hit back at Issa Hayatou after the long serving CAF president had demanded answers over what he saw as an illegal meeting of Football Association (FA) presidents in Harare scheduled for February 24, 2017.
By Mqondisi Dube Thu 16 Feb 2017, 15:54 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Defiant COSAFA boss dismisses Hayatou








Hayatou, through CAF’s secretary-general, Hicham El Amrani wrote to Chiyangwa, arguing the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) president had disregarded protocol by convening a meeting in Harare where FA presidents from various African countries and the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino are expected to attend. “The CAF leadership would like to remind you that you do not have any authority to convene such a meeting, without CAF’s knowledge nor without its required approval,” Amrani said.

But, in a five-page response, Chiyangwa appears unfazed and states that the gathering is not a formal meeting but a celebration of his birthday.

“I was taken aback, to say the least, by the tone of your letter and the clear insinuation that such an informal gathering of my family and friends be they presidents of members on the African continent, would be considered outrightly, as an attempt to destabilise CAF,” Chiyangwa wrote to Amrani.           

Chiyangwa said he had not violated any statutes and was well within his right to organise the formal gathering to celebrate his birthday and his ascendancy to the COSAFA top post.

He said he was aware of steps to be followed in convening a formal meeting.

“I accept that I have no power to convene a meeting in terms of both CAF and FIFA statutes neither do I intend to do so. The event

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scheduled for February 24, by any stretch of constructions, cannot be termed or considered a meeting,” Chiyangwa wrote.

He said COSAFA is not obliged to seek permission from CAF to hold “such friendly sessions with FA presidents from outside its zone”.

He said rather than the ‘misconception’ that the Harare gathering sought to destabilise CAF, it in fact, seeks to foster relations among associations. “In these circumstances, considering the clear misapprehension of my noble intentions by CAF, an apology is warranted for the inconvenience caused by the allegations arising from your letter. I shall take the liberty of circulating your letter and my reply thereof to all persons concerned by the contents therein for their information.”

Chiyangwa, sarcastically, concludes the letter by saying, “Kindly convey my warmest regards to our dear president, Mr Issa Hayatou. I wish to thank him for his letter, please let him be assured that we are always acting in compliance with FIFA and CAF statutes and key democratic principles, which form their basis”. COSAFA, under Chiyangwa, has publicly backed Hayatou’s rival, Madagascar Football Association president, Ahmad, which has irked the 71-year-old veteran administrator who has been at the helm of CAF since 1988. However, for the first time, his rule appears under serious threat with elections due on March 16 in Ethiopia.

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