By Jafferson Ndhlovu,
Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) President Dr. Philip Chiyangwa has reportedly written to CAF asking the federation to rescind the decision on who hosts the 2019, 2021 and 2023 AFCON tournaments. These tournament are scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Guinea respectively.
The qualifiers for the Cameroon tournament infact started on the weekend of 9th to 11th June, 2017.
Dr. Chiyangwa who also doubles as President of Council of Southern Africa Football Association (COSAFA) has been an outspoken critic of how football is governed on the continent of Africa since winning his election to become ZIFA President.
He fought bitterly in a race to oust one of the longest serving football administrators in Issa Hayatou, by openly declaring his strategic campaigning for the current CAF President Ahmad Ahmad. Which they successfully achieved in the elections held in Ethiopia early this year. Chiyangwa was Ahmad campaign manager.
With Hayatou gone, Chiyangwa has now set eyes on dismantling the programmes that were setout under the previous regime led Hayatou, amongst these are the rights to the next three AFCON and he is just short of calling them as “corruptly awarded”.
But he chose a more subtle phrase calling it “politically influenced”
He has without fear accused the West African region on the Continent of overly benefiting from the Presidency of Issa Hayatou at CAF.
“They were politically aggressively awarded to those countries. Only one region is benefiting,” Chiyangwa charged.
“There must be an inquiry and we are going to protest.” He added.
SAFA President Danny Jordan who recently won a seat on the CAF Executive Committee, a position that has never been held by non Francophone member since the time CAF was started.
“Out of 290 members serving on CAF committees only 29 came from COSAFA,” Jordaan was quoted as saying on the fringes of this week’s COSAFA meeting.
Dr. Chiyangwa has practically sighed a new lease of life into African football by openly speaking against certain things. It was more like a taboo during the past 29 years or so, in the era of CAF administrative hardman Cameroonian Issa Hayatou.
“You may have seen the AFCON 2015 was in Equatorial Guinea‚ 2017 in Gabon‚ 2019 (will be) in Cameroon‚ 2021 Ivory Coast and 2023 Guinea. All of those have been allocated to a particular region on the continent (West Africa). Even the junior competitions have been allocated on that basis.”
With these statements seemingly battle lines could be drawn as those countries who won the hosting of tournaments won’t sit idle.
By such statements its obvious the Cosafa President is accusing Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Guinea of being corrupt.
But what about the other nations that were given hosting rights during Hayatou’s tenure like the two Cosafa members in South Africa, hosting more than once, in 1996 and 2013, and Angola in 2010.
Where these members genuinely allocated. Maybe the inquiry should start from way back as early 1992 or 1994.