By Kgomotso Mokoena
Mamelodi Sundowns president Patrice Motsepe will face stiff competition for the CAF presidency after four other candidates raised their hands and submitted their nominations before the November 12 deadline.
He will stand against Augustin Senghor of Senegal, the incumbent Ahmad Ahmad, Jacques Anouma of Ivory Coast and Ahmad Yahya of Mauritania. But Motsepe could get the upper hand on technicalities that could rule out certain individuals.
It is believed that Senghor submitted his nomination late and that could rule him out of the running. The incumbent, Ahmad of Madagascar, is alleged to be pulling out of the race and may not be in the final race in March next year.
Safa reckons that Motsepe, being a successful businessman and also his club Sundowns having entrenched themselves as a giant on the continent, will make an excellent candidate.
They are convinced he will go all the way and win the elections. Some senior Safa staffers also believe Motsepe can even contest for the Fifa presidency.
“We are confident that Patrice will do well because we have spoken to other African countries that will support Patrice’s candidature such as Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Botswana and Zimbabwe,” said Safa president Danny Jordaan.
“We are convinced that his business acumen, his strict following of corporate governance, his legal background, his global business network and contact base and his passion for African football make him an automatic choice to lead the continent,” said Jordaan.
However, in what will hurt millions of Sundowns supporters, should Motsepe win the CAF elections, he will have to step down as president of the PSL defending champions because there will be a conflict of interest if a club owner is president of the confederation.
Meanwhile, CAF reported on Friday that Ahmad had been prescribed a convalescence period of at least 20 days. “This unavailability temporarily makes it impossible to conduct the normal duties linked to a function which requires good health. In this situation, the first vice-president Omari Constant will take the interim lead of the CAF executive until 30 November.”