Zim football will benefit - Chiyangwa

HARARE - Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa says Zimbabwe has a lot to benefit after Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar was voted as the Confederation of African Football (Caf) new president in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia yesterday.

Ahmad ended former Caf president Issa Hayatou’s 28-year reign after receiving 34 votes against the Cameroonian’s 20 during yesterday’s election.

Chiyangwa, who was Ahmad’s campaign manager and had attracted the wrath of Hayatou, is convinced this is a good development or Zimbabwean football.

“I’m very elated and boosted. Now Zimbabwe can say we are part of Africa and the world,” Chiyangwa said from Addis Ababa yesterday.

“This man (Hayatou) and his cabal had ensured that we (Zimbabwe) could not be heard but he got the lesson of his life after the Caf football family bought into the vision of change.

“I and like-minded colleagues from Cosafa launched this calculated move without hesitating that we needed this man out, when others took me for a joke. History has been made.”

Chiyangwa and the rest of the Cosafa region had been at loggerheads with Hayatou since they publicly declared their support for Ahmad back in February.

Hayatou tried to silence Chiyangwa and even threatened him not to host his birthday celebrations in Harare last month where Fifa president Gianni Infantino and other various African football leaders had been invited.

The Cameroonian, who had been in charge of African football since 1988, even pushed for the Caf Executive Committee to open disciplinary proceedings against Chiyangwa on Tuesday.

However, Hayatou’s attempt to win an eighth term was brought to a spectacular end in Addis Ababa yesterday when the majority of the African football leaders took the cue from Chiyangwa.

Liberia Football Association chairperson Musa Bility, who had long opposed Hayatou’s rule, was also elated by the result yesterday.

“Africa has made a decision, we are moving forward with football and we have chosen change over the last leadership,” Bility told the BBC.

“Ahmad is crying for all of us. I have been though struggle - I have been suspended. Today I am very proud of the effort and I want to thank all of my colleagues for making this possible.

“We have proved to the world that we are ready for the change that is blowing in football across the world.

“We believed, we are human, we have seen changes in Europe and in Fifa... everywhere in football in the last 18 months there have been changes. We could not allow ourselves to be left behind. We want to be on that train of change.

“Africa has made an emphatic position that we are going for change and a candidate that has given us a plan. We have chosen a plan over no plan.

“Everything is going to change. Football is going to be governed by the association presidents, we are the real power - power will be restored to the football associations and we will make decisions, Fifa-style, Gianni-style.”

Sierra Leone Football Association president Isha Johansen, who’s the only female football head on the continent, welcomed the change which was long overdue.

“I'm happy, elated, it is great. This is the change we were talking about, it is good for African football,” Johansen said.

“I want people to understand that this was not a campaign against personalities, this was about changing the face and image of the African continent through football - and changing African football for the better.

“I always felt that Ahmad would get the ticket. Celebrations will happen but then he needs to start working, there is a lot to be done but we are all here to support him.

“I'm sure Hayatou will be on hand to give advice. He is an elder and we Africans depend on our elders for advice and support. I'm hoping we will have him on board as an adviser.

“I think there will be more transparency in Caf, I think there will be more changes to women's football and youth football as well.”

Comments (6)

Well done Mr Chiyangwa it seems you don't like people who are ditactors and overstays in their jobs like Hayatou,can you help us on making sure that we remove your uncle Bob in next year elections because we are no longer interested on him as he represents the past,showing true signs of fatigue on his body and not in touch with reality facing stressed zimbabweans as he recently donated snacks to people who lost everything from floods, and remember you are a Zifa president for two terms no matter how good you might be.

msongelwa.. - 17 March 2017

Firipi you promised that you will leave the Zifa Presidency in 2018.Toda kuona kuti hauzoda kupfurikidza here because thats the reason why the Zifa councillors voted for you.

Janana wa Bikaz - 17 March 2017

Iwe Fidza chirega kuita kunge Trump kkk. Elections are now over, you should be the one talking the wayIsha Johnsen did. Don't be like Mugabe.

selele - 17 March 2017

It's pretty crass to gloat like this in victory, zero class. I applaud the change that has come to CAF but Phil you must not get carried away. You couldn't even take ownership of the failure of the Warriors at AFCON but instead you fired the coach. The team never had a chance because you failed to organise a decent training camp for them. Everyone knows that you bought votes to get the ZIFA presidency.

Rasta! - 17 March 2017

My friend Enoch Ziyalula where are you,remember what I told you long back in 1992 that Issa will not go beyond 2017 because of his iron fist.And becuase of his regionalism.Southern,eastern and central Africa will always get a raw deal under this cruel man.Thank you chiremba Chiyangwa for assisting in removing this monster

Canaan Zandonda - 17 March 2017

I would be much happier if Africans opened their eyes to changing the political landscape as well, by fighting against dictatorship. Soccer does not operate in isolation.

Sagitarr - 20 March 2017

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.