For the sake of African football, Hayatou had to go – Mbidi

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-Despite losing out on a seat on the newly elected Confederation of African Football (CAF) Executive Committee, NFA president Frans Mbidi is content with his role in the ousting of Issa Hayatou, saying it was important for the growth of African football.

The ambitious Mbidi last week narrowly lost out on a position on the CAF Executive Committee as the two Cosafa positions on the CAF executive went to South Africa’s Danny Jordaan and Angola’s Rui da Costa, but the man who took over the Namibia Football Association (NFA) presidency in December 2014 says he will forever cherish his role in toppling the long-serving CAF president Issa Hayatou, whose tenure spanned over 29 years.

“Things are certainly heading for a permanent change in as far as we run football on the continent. I lost a chance to be on the executive but surely I won big in affecting change in the way our football is administered,” Mbidi says.

Mbidi reveals that Cosafa started the bid to oust Hayatou in September last year and their drive was given more motivation after newly elected CAF president Ahmad Ahmad lost out on the FIFA Council seat earlier on, thanks to Hayatou’ s influence.

“Ahmad was in the running for a FIFA Council seat but Issa was instrumental in upsetting his chances and so as Cosafa we decided to aggressively push for a regime change at CAF.”

He explains that the removal of Suketu Patel as Cosafa president was the right step for the region as he was too loyal to Hayatou and thus the Cameroonian influence on the region was extinguished. Patel lost out to Zimbabwe’s Phillip Chiyangwa.

“We went back to the drawing board and carefully mapped out a plan, and it started with voting out Patel, which effectively killed off Hayatou’s influence in the region. We then embarked upon gunning for support from other CAF zones to have enough votes to defeat Hayatou and this worked out well. In the end we got more than what we expected for the votes, and we can all now say things are heading for a permanent change on the continent,” said Mbidi.

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