Africa still to announce Fifa candidates

The future of suspended Fifa official Amos Adamu remained unclear on Saturday with African football’s ruling body still to announce the continent’s candidates for election to FIFA’s executive committee, three days after the deadline for submissions.

Adamu was suspended from all football for three years by Fifa’s ethics committee this month for allegedly agreeing to take bribes from undercover reporters, but has announced his intention to appeal. If successful, Adamu could still stand for re-election for another four-year term with Fifa.

“The list of bona fide candidates will be released in due time,” CAF said in a statement after confirming those wishing to stand in elections at the 33rd CAF general assembly in Sudan early next year must have submitted forms by November 24.

Two out of Africa’s four places on football’s top committee are up for re-election in February 2011, including the seat held by Nigeria’s Adamu. The other is occupied by the Côte d’Ivoire’s Jacques Anouma.

However, the 57-year-old former Nigeria sports minister’s position was further complicated this week when the Nigerian Football Federation endorsed Ibrahim Galadima, a former NFF chairperson, as the country’s candidate for Adamu’s place on CAF’s executive committee.

It would leave Adamu without the backing of his national federation should he stand for re-election at the General Assembly in Khartoum on February 23.

Six of the 12 positions on CAF’s executive committee are also to be voted on, according to CAF.

Successful appeal?
However, any participation by Adamu depends on a successful appeal against his punishment, which prevents him from taking part in any football-related activity.

Adamu said he was “profoundly disappointed” with the decision when his suspension was announced on November 18 and would launch an appeal when Fifa provides reasons for the ruling.

“I am innocent of all the charges leveled against me by the ethics committee and I completely refute the decision they have made,” Adamu said at the time.

Adamu and fellow suspended Fifa executive committee member Reynald Temarii of Tahiti will not take part in Thursday’s vote on the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts.

So far, South Africa’s 2010 World Cup chief organiser Danny Jordaan, Ghana Football Association president Kwesi Nyantakyi, Galadima and Anouma have said they will contest elections.
Anouma will seek a second term.

Jordaan delivered a successful first World Cup in Africa and also served on Fifa’s World Cup host country inspection committee this year. He will put himself forward for a place on both the CAF and Fifa executive committees.

The 59-year-old Jordaan will next week be voted back on to the South African Football Association as a vice-president unopposed, according to Safa, thereby fulfilling a requirement to be able to serve on CAF’s executive committee.

Nyantakyi, head of the GFA since 2005, has presided over the best period for Ghanaian football. Ghana qualified for its first World Cup in 2006, won the 2009 under-20 World Cup, made the final of the 2010 African Cup of Nations and provided Africa’s best performance by reaching the quarterfinals of this year’s World Cup.

Galadima served as chairperson of the Nigerian Football Federation before being forced out in 2006. Anouma has been on Fifa’s executive committee since 2007 and president of the Côte d’Ivoire federation since 2002.

Algeria’s Mohamed Raouraoua, a member of Fifa’s legal and strategic committees, is also thought to have submitted an application.

String of scandals
2010 was meant to be a landmark year for the progress of African football with the World Cup in South Africa.

However, away from South Africa’s successful hosting of the tournament, there have been a string of scandals.

The national federations of prominent football countries Nigeria and Togo have spent periods suspended from world football by Fifa. Zimbabwe’s federation chief executive is facing match-fixing charges after national players admitted taking money to lose games on tours to Asia.

Tunisian lawyer Slim Aloulou, who chairs Fifa’s disputes panel, Fifa referees committee member Amadou Diakite of Mali and Botswana’s Ismail Bhamjee were all suspended for between two and four years after they allegedly advised how to bribe Fifa officials and how much to pay. - Sapa-AP

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