Zimbabwe: Philip Chiyangwa, the man who plotted Issa Hayatou's fall from CAF

Harare, Zimbabwe (PANA) - The Zimbabwean Football Association (ZIFA) president, Philip Chiyangwa, says he is FIFA's axe man who does the hatchet job in assisting FIFA remove unpopular football leaders.

He was campaign manager for Madagascar Football Association president, Ahmad Ahmad, who beat Hayatou 34-20 to land the top CAF post.

In his words: “This is how it works. I wait to get clearance from FIFA on whom to fight, whether to keep somebody or to deal with them. And so with this one [Hayatou’s ouster], I had been given the green light to deal with him and I did it, but it’s a very long story,” Chiyangwa said on Friday shortly after arriving at the Harare International Airport.

He said the ouster of Hayatou meant “things will begin to happen in Zimbabwe which was not possible in the past”.

“I can’t announce now at the moment, just know there are plenty of things that are going to happen which are good for Zimbabwean football,” he said. “I think that Zimbabwe is now being regarded at the top in football politics because it’s us who crown kings or remove them.”

Chiyangwa, who doubles as the Cosafa boss, enjoys a close relationship with FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who was in Harare last month for Chiyangwa’s 58th birthday celebrations, attended by several African football federation bosses in a bid to shore up support for Ahmad ahead of the election.

The function drew the ire of the Hayatou-led CAF leadership, which said it was an attempt to “destabilise” the African football body.

CAF said at the time, Chiyangwa’s actions and statements appeared to “attack the honour of the confederation, its president and the members of the executive committee”.

Hayatou’s CAF decided to proceed with the case against Chiyangwa at its executive committee meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last Tuesday — two days before the election.

However, there are strong indications that the new CAF leadership will drop the disciplinary case against Chiyangwa following Hayatou’s exit.

And with Ahmad and Infantino in his corner, Chiyangwa now has very powerful allies in world football in a move that could spell doom for the businessman’s domestic rivals.
-0- PANA VAO 19March2017

19 march 2017 11:10:43

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