Zimbabwe Football Association (FA) chair Philip Chiyangwa has threatened to sue the president and secretary general of Africa’s football body Confederation of African Football (CAF), according to reports in Africa.
Chiyangwa received warnings from the continental football agency not to host a party in Harare as he proposed to. CAF claimed the gathering is an attempt to rattle the body but Chiyangwa went on to do so.
“They shouldn’t dare me with silly innuendos – making nefarious allegations. My legal team is preparing to go into battle against President Issa Hayatou and Secretary General Hicham El Amrani. If necessary following any deliberations that are prejudicial to my interests and standing, I will be taking legal recourse to the extent that Hayatou and El Amrani will be held personally liable for defamation,” a statement credited to the COSAFA chief reads.
The Executive Committee of CAF is set to convene in Ethiopia on March 14, two days before the presidential election where Hayatou would compete against Ahmad, the head of Madagascar’s FA. Chiyangwa is the campaign manager of Hayatou’s sole competition to unseat him in CAF, hence the altercations.
Hayatou has been the president of CAF since 1988 – making him the longest-serving CAF president. He is campaigning to remain in office amidst record level of dissatisfaction of his rule and long term.
The CAF leaders had asked Chiyangwa not to hold the party – as he wanted to celebrate his election victory in December and his birthday in early February – as he would gather representatives of FAs outside his region, which could allow them form an opinion ahead of the election.
CAF argued that Chiyangwa used personal and COSAFA letterheads to invite different FA presidents, hence the meeting does not qualify as informal. In a letter sent to him, the body said the matter would be discussed during the forthcoming Executive Committee meeting.
Hayatou is facing serious competition, which could lead to his eviction from office. He has been challenged just two times but he recorded huge margins against them.