Wednesday Mar 03, 2021. 16:00
Confederation of African Football (CAF) presidential candidate Jacques Anouma has responded to a query from FIFA and insists that he has not received any funding for his campaign from the Ivory Coast government.
As per Inside World Football, FIFA Governance Committee Mukul Mukdal wrote to Anouma over media reports that the candidate had received campaign funding of €15.3 million from the Ivorian authorities.
In response, Anouma’s campaign have denied any wrongdoing: “It should be noted that the candidate does not receive funding from the Ivorian authorities, the latter having undertaken, through the press release sanctioning the Council of Ministers of January 20, 2021, to carry out diplomatic and relational actions for the promotion of the candidacy.”
Inside World Football adds that FIFA has attempted to “broker a deal amongst the candidates that would see Senegal’s Agustin Senghor and Mauritania’s Ahmad Yahya withdraw from the presidential race and support South African candidate Patrice Motsepe. Senghor and Yahya were instead offered CAF first and second vice presidencies.”
Anouma, meanwhile, was reportedly offered a ‘special advisor’ role if he stood down. The Ivorian is the only candidate with previous experience on the FIFA Council and CAF Executive Committee, and holds a strong influence on football dealings through the Francophone regions of Africa.
FIFA is playing an increasingly influential role in the course of the CAF presidential elections, which will see one of Anouma, Senghor, Yahya or Motsepe succeed Ahmad Ahmad, who was stripped of his position due to corruption (though later reinstated by the Court of Arbitration for Sport while he appeals a five-year ban).
It should also be noted that the winner of the CAF presidency automatically assumes the second-in-command role at FIFA, behind only current boss Gianni Infantino.
The elections will be held in Rabat, Morocco on Friday 12 March.