The perfect storm

The temperature is rising ahead of the Caf presidential election. Five candidates have emerged, and a billionaire businessman is the front runner. A former Caf exco member, Musa Bility, is accusing Gianni Infantino of undermining Caf’s independence for his own benefit.

By Pål Ødegård

Musa Hassan Bility, a Liberian politician and former member of Caf’s executive committee, and now banned by Fifa for 10 years, has sent an open letter to one of the favourites among the five candidates running to be elected as the president of Caf for the next four years, the South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe. The election takes place in March 2021 in Rabat, Morocco, but the deadline to present a candidate passed the 12th this month. Motsepe, the brother-in-law of the country’s president Cyrille Ramaphosa, has been rumoured to have been hand-picked by Fifa president Gianni Infantino to run. A handful of other Caf member associations have already officially endorsed him, most notably Nigeria’s football federation, which is led by the influential Amaju Pinninck, the former vice president of Caf.

Bility’s letter congratulates Motsepe for running, and emphasises he thinks he is the right candidate for the job. Yet, he gives a stark warning not to collaborate with Infantino, accusing the Fifa president of having meddled in vital Caf affairs by illegal means, leaving it dependent on handouts from Fifa for survival in return for political loyalty: 

Allow me to draw your attention to the fact that you will be seeking to take over at helm of CAF following the chaotic one term of an incumbent who dangerously bungled the administration of the organization, having been given carte blanche to do so by FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

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