December 10, 2022

CAF election: Nigeria’ll vote for Hayatou —Dalung

March 15, 2017

THE Federal Government of Nigeria has thrown its weight behind the incumbent CAF president, Issa Hayatou, for re-election at the African football-ruling body’s 39th Ordinary General Congress, holding in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, tomorrow.

Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday, Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, said categorically that the country was with Cameroon and its candidate Hayatou, who is being challenged by Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar.

The minister’s statement thus confirms Tribunesport’s exclusive story published on Sunday about Nigeria’s decision to support Hayatou, as against Ahmad, whom the president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, had earlier said would be supported by Nigeria.

According to Dalung, “When I invited them [the NFF board], I told them that Nigeria’s position is to vote in favour of our national interest. And not too long ago, the Federal Government made it categorically clear, our position and the position of the Federal Government of Nigeria is that, in view of the fact that Cameroon has been a major key player in the war against insurgency and the involvement of Cameroon in fighting for the stability of Nigeria, it will be out of the foreign policy context of Nigeria to abandon Cameroon.”

Dalung added: “The acting president [then] directed and I have communicated appropriately that if it is only one vote that will come to Hayatou, then it must come from Nigeria. Nigeria stand with Hayatou.”

Meanwhile, Egypt’s general prosecution has referred CAF president Hayatou to the country’s Economic Court on charges of violating local anti-monopoly rules.

Caf Secretary General Hicham El Amrani has also been charged.

A lawyer representing both parties attended a hearing in on Monday.

With Caf based in Cairo, Egyptian authorities maintain it is governed by local laws.

The African football body firmly rejects accusations it committed any wrongdoing when signing a multi-million dollar deal with sports agency Lagardere in June 2015.

“Caf categorically asserts that all claims against it are groundless and without merit,” a statement read.

“Caf will vigorously defend its position, its right and reputation using all legal means available under international law.”

The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) started to investigate the Lagardere deal in June 2016, prior to asserting – in January 2017 – that Caf had engaged in monopolistic practices that infringed local laws.

The deal gives Lagardere rights to a variety of African football competitions, including the flagship Africa Cup of Nations, from 2017 until 2028.

“As a result, the board voted in favour of (referring) Hayatou and El Amrani for criminal prosecution,” said the ECA in a statement dated 8 March.

Caf stresses that the allegations accusing it of selling rights without opening them for due tender are incorrect.

The organisation, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this week, maintains it did not sell any broadcasting rights to Lagardere – merely appointing the French company as its marketing and media agent instead.

%d bloggers like this: