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Confederation of African Football (CAF) presidential candidates unite behind Motsepe

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What initially started as the fiercest race for the presidency of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has evolved into a peace treaty between the candidates vying for the post.

This should lead to unity between the rivals and the improvement of the beautiful game in the largest confederation affiliated to the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA).

The race which initially appeared between four candidates could thus lead to the emergence of the South African businessman and club owner, Patrice Motsepe, as the new president of CAF.

The presidential elections are set in Rabat, Morocco, on March 12.

Coincidentally, the Moroccan capital was the scene of a peace treaty among contenders in the race to succeed disgraced Madagascan Ahmad Ahmad as CAF president.

Besides Motsepe, the owner of Mamelodi Sundowns, other aspirants are Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast), the Senegalese Augustin Senghor and Ahmad Yahya from Mauritania.

Fouzi Lekjaa, the president of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF), negotiated the agreement between the contenders.

He recently invited all four candidates and encouraged them to commit to unity instead of further expanding the divisions sparked by the battle for the votes.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino also preached unity among football leaders during his tour of several African countries.

The president of CAF is automatically deputy of the leader of FIFA.

Sources close to the CAF presidential race have confirmed that an agreement has been reached and a document signed that the other candidates will support Motsepe.

Senghor and Yahya would be his deputies while Anouma would be the presidential adviser.

This arrangement would be unprecedented.

Sources said Motsepe had become the FIFA favorite due to his untouched record and the fact that he had no connection with the former CAF leadership.

“Patrice Motsepe is a man of his word, of principles and of high moral values,” said a president of a sub-Saharan African football federation.

“He (Motsepe) would never be at the service of anyone except the 54 federations that make up CAF. He has a solid plan to bring CAF to the top of the football world, ”said the president of the federation.

It is also believed that since he (Motsepe) is already rich, the billionaire businessman of Tswana origin does not aim to enrich himself through the presidency of CAF.

“He’s decided to devote his time and effort to this when he doesn’t need the money or the recognition. He does it out of pure love for football and Africa, ”the senior official said.

A president of a North African federation is said to have said that the presence of Senghor and Yahya as vice-presidents ensured that a truly pan-African vision was taken into account.

“They have the experience and were inside the CAF, so (they) know what needs to be changed quickly in order to get us on the right track,” said the federation leader.

Last week, Motsepe launched his ten-point action plan manifesto, entitled Building African football to be the best in the world.

He said investing in the development and growth of football in each African country and building partnerships and sponsorships with the private sector as well as other potential partners formed the basis of his plan.

CAJ News

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