Chiyangwa sets sight on Caf post

HARARE - After pulling a shocker to land the Cosafa president’s post at the weekend, Philip Chiyangwa says he is now focussed on securing a seat on the influential Caf executive committee.

Chiyangwa, who assumed the Zifa presidency only a year ago, became the first Zimbabwean to ascend to the post of Cosafa president unopposed at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Sun City, South Africa on Saturday.

The Harare businessman took over from Seychelles’ Suketu Patel, who decided not to stand for re-election after completing two terms in office.

Chiyangwa, who was welcomed by scores of people at the Harare International Airport yesterday upon his arrival back from South Africa, said his next stop will be to secure a Caf post.

“When I was voted into office last year, I told people that I would rise up to Fifa and many people thought I was joking,” Chiyangwa told the Daily News.

“I came into football with the aim of achieving great things not for myself but for the country at large and this is the beginning of more good things to come.

“Zimbabwe has been excluded from mainstream football administration for quite a long time and I want to correct that.

“From here, I’m going to Caf and its imminent and not negotiable. I don’t want to take long to reach to Fifa and en route there my next stop is Caf. There is an election coming soon and I am going to make sure Zimbabwe gets there.”

Chiyangwa says he wants to see Zimbabwe football develop and with him in the corridors of power in Cairo and Zurich, it will be possible.

“Zimbabwe must benefit from all those grants that come from Fifa and sometimes you also need to be represented to lobby for our football federation. I want our federation to be awash with all the grants that we are entitled to,” he said.

“Fifa spends billions on federations and we are entitled to that money and essentially we are in the right direction to ensure we get our share.”

Chiyangwa has vowed to transform Cosafa into a big brand during his five-year term.

“This has been acquired through hard work and I want to transform Cosafa into a big brand that people can admire,” he said.

“Cosafa is the premier regional body because it has 14 members and it is my thinking that it can become a huge brand beyond the Sadc region.  By becoming its leader, it brings a lot of positives to the country like tourism among other things.

“And I am not joking because very soon you will see big things happening. Even the big sharks in football very soon they shall start coming to Zimbabwe.”

With the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) countdown continuing, Chiyangwa said Zifa is now working round the clock to ensure the Warriors leave for Ivory Coast probably next Wednesday for their friendly match against the Elephants.

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