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South African Motsepe Set to Become CAF President

South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe is expected to be declared as the new President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as he looks set to stand unopposed at today’s General Assembly in Moroccan capital Rabat.

Ivorian Jacques Anouma, Senegal’s Augustin Senghor and Mauritanian Ahmed Yahya were previously in the running for the top job.

But the trio opted to withdraw and support Motsepe’s candidacy after a deal was struck in Rabat on March 7.

According to reports, Senghor and Yahya are set to take on vice-president positions with Anouma poised to become a special advisor to Motsepe.

Should Motsepe become President, the 59-year-old will succeed Madagascar’s Ahmed who has been banned from all football related activities for two years for financial misconduct.

Tebogo Motlanthe, chief executive of the South African Football Association, expects Motsepe to be confirmed as the new head of African football tomorrow.

“Alone it will not be a question of voting for confirmation,” Motlanthe told Sowetan Live.

“Because once there is confirmation that there is no contender then in terms of the Constitution he is pronounced the incumbent.”

Motsepe has an estimated fortune of $2.1 billion (£1.54 billion/€1.71 billion) and was the first black African on the Forbes rich list.

The South African is the founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals and is non-executive chairman of Harmony Gold, one of the world’s largest gold mining companies.

He is also the owner of the Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club who play in the South African Premier Division.

“Patrice Motsepe is a man of word, principles and high moral standards,” said an unnamed President of a sub-Saharan African football federation in a report by Africa News.

“He (Motsepe) would never be in anyone’s service except for the 54 federations who compose CAF.

“He has a solid plan to bring CAF to the top of the football world.”

Ahmed became CAF President in 2017 and had hoped to stand for re-election before being hit with a five-year ban by the FIFA Ethics Committee last November.  

Following an appeal from Ahmed, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reduced his suspension to two years after clearing him of any wrongdoing concerning Tactical Steel contracts.

A CHF200,000 (£154,000/$220,000/€180,000) fine was also reduced to CHF50,000 (£39,000/$54,000/€45,000).

Ahmed was guilty of “failure to record various financial transactions, acceptance of cash payments, bank transfers of bonuses and indemnities without a contractual or regulatory basis”, the CAS ruled.

The CAS also determined that Ahmad had violated rules concerning distribution of gifts and misappropriation of funds over a pilgrimage to Mecca which was partially funded with CAF money.

A separate appeal filed by Ahmad against the decision of non-eligibility issued by the FIFA Review Committee is pending.

Cameroon’s Seidou Mbombo Njoya and Guinean Mamadou Antonio Souaré have been declared eligible for election to CAF’s Executive Committee after successfully appealing to CAS against a ruling by the CAF Governance Commission.

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