Not content that he’s the Confederation of African Soccer’s (CAF) longest serving president, Issa Hayatou is seeking to change his organization’s age limit rule in order to continue at the helm well into the next decade.
The continent sport’s governing body currently requires officials who reach 70 to step down, but a proposal to scrap the age limit is to be placed before the CAF congress in Cairo in April.
It will pave the way for Hayatou, who is 68 and in his seventh term in power, to continue his leadership of African soccer well past 30 years. His current mandate ends in 2017 and he is seeking four more years until at least 2021, when he turns 75.
As it now stands, all candidates nominated to the CAF executive committee must be bona fide members of their national associations and must be under age 70.
That, however, could change if Hayatou gets his way as expected at the upcoming congress.
The change in the rule follows success in recent years in adapting the statutes to limit potential opponents to Hayatou’s rule.
The CAF previously brought in a rule that candidates for its presidency can only come from the ranks of its own executive committee, a tight-knit club closely controlled by Hayatou.
First elected CAF president in 1988, the Cameroon-born sports administrator has been an International Soccer Federation (FIFA) executive committee member since 1990.
Meanwhile, members of the Africa Cup of Nations champions, Ivory Coast, will each receive a house worth almost Can$17,000 and the same amount in cash.
They scored nine straight penalty kicks after missing their first two to defeat West African neighbours Ghana 9-8 and clinch its second crown. The two teams were scoreless after extra time.
Each Ghanaian player will be rewarded with nearly Can$8,000 by the team’s sponsor.
The Ivorians moved up eight places to 20th in the latest FIFA rankings released last week. Host country Equatorial Guinea, which finished fourth in the tournament, cracked the Top 50 for the first time while Ghana jumped 12 places to 25th.
Algeria, which lost 3-1 to Ivory Coast in the quarter-finals, remains Africa’s top-ranked team. The North African country is followed by Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tunisia, Cape Verde, Senegal, Nigeria, Guinea, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
And, Tunisia has filed an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the threat of being banned from the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
The CAF has given Tunisia until March 31 to apologize for accusing the body of cheating or they will be suspended. The North African country made the allegations over a penalty in a 2-1 loss to Equatorial Guinea at the just concluded continental championship.
Eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the competition by the loss, the furious Tunisian team chased the match referee, who was subsequently banned for six months for “poor performance”.
The CAF fined Tunisia nearly Can$20,000.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s sports minister has confirmed his country will not bid to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. That leaves Gabon and Ghana as the remaining candidates seeking to stage the next competition. The host city will be announced on April 8.
Libya, which was originally slated to host the tournament, withdrew because of ongoing political instability.