Tuesday Feb 14, 2017. 14:30
The News Day in Zimbabwe reports that CAF President Issa Hayatou is agitated with FIFA President Gianni Infantino's planned visit to Zimbabwe.
It is revealed that Infantino is invited by COSAFA and ZIFA President, Philip Chiyangwa to visit him in Harare on February 24, but CAF wants Chiyangwa to seek their approval.
The FIFA boss has since confirmed he will be coming to Zimbabwe following Chiyangwa’s invitation despite CAF being irked by the “meeting”.
Chiyangwa insisted that the gathering was simply to celebrate both his birthday as well as triumph in the COSAFA where he was elected president last year.
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Hayatou is running for the CAF presidency where he will be pitted against Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad in an election that will be held on March 16 in Ethiopia.
COSAFA have since thrown their weight behind Hayatou's opponent as a candidate to succeed the Cameroonian administrator.
It is reported that CAF secretary-general, Hicham El Amrani, wrote to Chiyangwa last Saturday expressing reservations about the gathering in Harare, warning that it could attract sanctions.
“The president of CAF, Issa Hayatou, directs me to send you this letter in relation to the above-mentioned subject (convening of presidents of member associations in Harare, Zimbabwe, on February 24, 2017),” reads the letter in part.
“The CAF leadership has been informed that a meeting is convened by yourself in your capacity as COSAFA chairman, in Harare, Zimbabwe on February 24, 2017, right after the Fifa executive summit planned in Johannesburg on February 21, 2017.
“Such a meeting would not include only presidents of many member associations outside the zonal union of COSAFA. 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.”
In his response, Chiyangwa insisted that he will support Hayatou’s rival at the Caf election and doesn't understand why Caf is irked by the meeting in Harare.
“We, as Zimbabwe, have a position and our position is that we will support everything that is in tandem with Cosafa resolutions,” he is quoted.
“I do not understand why people are agitated about this gathering, which is only to celebrate my birthday, as well my ascendancy to the COSAFA presidency.
“When people begin to have an interest in such gatherings, it only means they are scared of the election that is coming.”