Seven candidates for new African places on FIFA council

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – Seven candidates, including two Confederation of African Football (CAF) vice presidents, are standing for election to be the continent’s two new representatives on the reformed FIFA Council next month, CAF said on Saturday.
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Africa is to get two additional seats on FIFA’s cabinet, which has been significantly expanded as part of reforms introduced by the new president of world soccer’s governing body, Gianni Infantino. The pair will be decided in a vote in Cairo on Sept. 29.

CAF’s first vice president Suketu Patel from the Seychelles and second vice president Almamy Kabele Camara of Guinea have been nominated as well as two other members of CAF’s executive committee — the Ghana Football Association president Kwesi Nyantakyi and his counterpart from Madagascar, Ahmad.

The three other candidates are the heads of the football associations in Niger, Senegal and South Sudan — Hamidou Djibrilla, Augustin Senghor and Chabur Goc Alei.

All seven face integrity checks, conducted by FIFA, before their names will be confirmed for the ballot at CAF’s extraordinary general meeting.

The meeting was called to vote for the two new members and also to pass a new set of statutes as part of the FIFA reform process.

The 36-member FIFA Council will hold its first meeting in Zurich on Oct. 13-14 as it replaces the tarnished 24-member executive committee and takes responsibility for setting the overall strategic direction of world football’s governing body.

FIFA has been in turmoil after a wave of indictments of football officials in the United States last year, including former members of its executive committee, on corruption-related charges.

Such an expansive field of candidates for just two seats is a departure from previous contests to decide Africa’s representation on the all-powerful FIFA executive.

In the past, the contests have been painstakingly choreographed by long-standing CAF president Issa Hayatou.

This time, however, with Hayatou’s own future uncertain after almost three decades at the helm of African football, he appears to have allowed his lieutenants to battle it out among themselves for the posts.

The newly-elected members will only sit on the council until March next year when another round of elections will be held at the 2017 CAF Congress in Addis Ababa on March 17.

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