By Albert Akota
Africa’s football governing body, Confederation of Africa Football, CAF, has backed FIFA’s incumbent President, Gianni Infantino, for relection ahead of June 2019 elections.
CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad disclosed this over the weekend on Sunday after a special meeting of the CAF Executive Committee, which Infantino attended, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
Infantino, a former deputy head of UEFA, was first elected in 2016 to succeed Sepp Blatter, when the scandal that engulfed the governing body of world football was at its height.
The next presidential election will be held in Paris in June 2019 and Infantino has said he will stand.
Infantino expressed his gratitude for the African backing.
“It means a lot to me. Since long before my election, I had said, and since I have done everything, to make sure that the future really is Africa,” the Swiss said.
Infantino is believed to have supported Ahmad when he ousted the long-time CAF president Issa Hayatou in March 2017.
Infantino described the election as a “vote of change”.
“It’s about taking football forward, it’s about making progress together,” Infantino told CAF delegates, calling for “a real impact.”
According to reports, Infantino was investigated by the FIFA ethics committee for interfering in the CAF election when he removed leading members of the committee. He later sacked the chairman and members of the ethics committee, effectively ending the probe.
Ahmad said that despite the failure of African nations during the World Cup in Russia, where none of the five African nations made it to the last 16, the continent needed “regular and increased” participation.
“Deep analysis” makes it possible to “see more clearly the various problems that undermine African football,” he said.
Ahmad said that participation (in the World Cup) “stabilises some of the national teams of our continent… and gives them experience.”