African countries snub Al Khaifa, vote for Infantino

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 01 March 2016   |   By Othusitse Tlhobogang
BFA president, Tebogo Sebego BFA president, Tebogo Sebego

Following Gianni Infantino’s election as FIFA’s new president in last week’s elections, it has emerged that some African countries went against Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) resolution to support and vote for Shaikh Al Khaifa. Addressing a press conference this week, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) president Tebogo Sebego indicated that despite the collective decision to support the Asian representative Al Khaifa, it was very clear at the end of the first round that something was wrong with the Africa – Asia coalition.    

He said it has always been CAF’s stance to back Al Khaifa and the resolution was made unanimously by all representatives. He CAF executives felt that Africa and Asia share similar problems in relation to football development. “As a result, CAF saw the election of Al Khaifa as an opportunity to elect a president able to unite all continents for the development of the world football, while preserving the interests of Africa,” he explained. However, the final results at the FIFA Extraordinary congress suggested that some African countries snubbed CAF’s resolution. Sebego said CAF has always voted as a block. He, however, revealed that member countries remained at liberty to vote, according to their preferences. “This is why each country is represented otherwise only one person could have been chosen to cast the vote for all of them,” said Sebego.   

The BFA president, however, said Infantino’s triumph is welcome by CAF as he was one of the candidates they have also eyed in the build up to the congress. Sebego said Infantino has a great wealth of football administration skills, having demonstrated this at UEFA where he is the Chief Executive Officer. He said the only concern that CAF had with him was whether he would be fair and even handed in dealing with all continents. “He made a pledge to be a president for all the continents and we will be looking forward to seeing him executing his pledges,” he said.