South African billionaire Motsepe to contest leadership of African football

South African magnate billionaire Patrice Motsepe has been nominated by four leading football associations to contest for the presidency of the Confederation of African Football as the race for the leadership post in African soccer gathers momentum.

The 58 year-old mining magnate became the third candidate ahead of Thursday’s deadline for nominations after his candidacy was announced by the South African Football Association, with support from Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Botswana.

“His business acumen makes him a revolutionary choice to change the landscape of African football and make the game on the continent more profitable,” said SAFA president Danny Jordaan.

Motsepe will contest the position alongside two other candidates, Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar and Jacqyes Anouma, an Ivorian who served as a former FIFA executive committee member.

The billionaire owns South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns and has invested millions into making the club the dominant force in domestic competition and regular contenders for continental championships. In 2015, they shocked the continent in clinching the African Champions League.

Ahmad, a former Madagascan minister, surprisingly won the CAF Presidency elections in 2017’s election by deposing long-standing incumbent Issa Hayatou of Cameroon.

However, his tenure has been littered with allegations of corruptions and sacking of whistle blowers at CAF headquarters in Cairo.

Ahmad was endorsed by 46 of the 54 CAF member countries in a collective statement last month despite being under investigation by FIFA’s ethics committee for alleged corruption and his imminent suspension widely reported across western media has opened the door for challengers.

The CAF elections are set for Rabat on March 12.

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