Ghana will vote for Sepp Blatter in next year’s Fifa presidential election after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) decided to throw its weight behind the Swiss administrator who is widely seen as a keen supporter of Africa football.
CAF unanimously voted on Saturday at the meeting of its executive committee in Addis Ababa to support Blatter, who is a massive supporter of the development of African football.
It is a symbolic boost for the 78-year-old Swiss incumbent, who announced earlier this month he would be standing for a fifth term in a reversal of a previous promise to retire at the end of his current term.
“Africa will offer unanimous support to FA president Sepp Blatter at the next elective assembly,” CAF general secretary Hicham el Amrani announced at a press conference. But the decision is not binding on the 54 members of CAF, who have previously defied CAF president Issa Hayatou.
However, the continent tends to vote in favour of what CAF orders, which means Ghana will fall in line to get the Swiss to stay in office for another term.
The decision is a massive boost for Blatter as the candidate who gets the support of Africa normally coasts to victory.
And while Africa is facing a big onslaught from Europeans particularly Michel Platini, UEFA chief, who has recently fought for a raft of changes in the international football calendar which will negatively affect African countries.
If Blatter stays in office, it will prevent Europeans from having their way in forcing through further changes which will negatively affect football.
Ironically, Blatter became Fifa president in 1998 when African associations ignored the instructions of Hayatou, who had an alliance with the Uefa president Lennart Johansson, who lost to Blatter.
In next May’s election, Blatter could come up against the 56-year-old Jerome Champagne, who this week announced his intention to run against Blatter.
The former French diplomat used to be a special advisor to Blatter before leaving world football’s governing body in 2010.
But he must still find a minimum of five countries to nominate him.