Liberia’s Bility blasts Infantino for ‘influencing’ Caf polls
Former Confederation of African Football (CAF) Executive Committee member Musa Hassan Bility is accusing FIFA President Gianni Infantino of subverting democracy and attempting to influence the outcome of the forthcoming Caf elections by imposing candidates.
In a terse statement released on Sunday, the Liberian who is currently serving a 10-year ban on football activities imposed on him by Fifa even likened Infantino to the Belgian King Leopold II, who touted himself as the absolute owner and ruler of the Congo Free State from 1885 to 1908.
“Today, Infantino has curved out the 80 African and Caribbean voting members of FIFA and kept them safely in his coat pocket, where they are supervised by his appointed prefect, Congolese Veron Mosengo –Omba,” wrote Bility.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has merged Africa and the Caribbean into one geographical department, previously headed by Veron Mosengo-Omba, despite the regions belonging to separate confederations. While Africa is under CAF, the Caribbean region is under CONCACAF.
Bility spoke amid reports three CAF presidential candidates have stepped down in favor of one, further fueling speculation that Gianni Infantino was behind the move to impose a particular candidate.
Senegal’s Augustin Senghor, Ivory Coast’s Jacques Anouma and Mauritania’s Ahmad Yahya, released statements on Friday evening, stepping down from contesting for the CAF Presidency, and throwing their weight behind South African mining magnate and boss of Mamelodi Sundowns football club Patrice Motsepe.
Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad is still serving as CAF President after a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling sensationally reinstated him into office in February, following an appeal against a ban by the FIFA Ethics Committee, handed out in November, barely a few days after he had received 46 endorsement letters from out of the 54 member countries in Africa.
He was banned for amongst other crimes, hosting a delegation of 19 FA Presidents for a religious trip to Mecca for the Umrah, which was cited as a gross abuse of office and bribery by way of gifts and inducements.
Ahmad’s appeal ruling is set to be delivered on Monday 8th March, where the outcome of it may alter the political landscape of CAF’s electoral process.
“The opportunity for African football stakeholders to show the World that they had acknowledged their previous electoral mistake and that they were now willing to rectify it using democratic means, has been stolen from them” continues Musa Hassan Bility.
Caf elections will be held on March 12 an exercise that has coincided with Infantino’s continuous visit to several African countries including South Africa, Rwanda, and Mauritania in recent weeks.