Ahead of the March election into the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), CAF has threaten to sanction the president of Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA), Philip Chiyangwa, over “an authorized” planned visit of FIFA president Gianni Infantino to Zimbabwe.
It was gathered that CAF President, Issa Hayatou, is agitated with the Infantino's planned visit to Zimbabwe without the approval of the continental body; warning Chiyangwa to seek his approval or face sanctions.
Infantino is invited by COSAFA and ZIFA President, Philip Chiyangwa, to visit him in Harare on February 24, but CAF wants Chiyangwa to seek their approval.
It was gathered that the FIFA boss has since confirmed he will be coming to Zimbabwe following Chiyangwa’s invitation despite CAF being irked by the meeting.
Hayatou is running for the CAF presidency where he will be pitted against Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad in an election that will be held on March 16 in Ethiopia.
COSAFA have since thrown their weight behind Hayatou's opponent as a candidate to succeed the Cameroonian administrator.
It is reported that CAF secretary-general, Hicham El Amrani, wrote to Chiyangwa last Saturday expressing reservations about the gathering in Harare, warning that it could attract sanctions.
“The president of CAF, Issa Hayatou, directs me to send you this letter in relation to the above-mentioned subject (convening of presidents of member associations in Harare, Zimbabwe, on February 24, 2017),” reads the letter in part.
“The CAF leadership has been informed that a meeting is convened by you in your capacity as COSAFA chairman, in Harare, Zimbabwe on February 24, 2017, right after the FIFA executive summit planned in Johannesburg on February 21, 2017.
“Such a meeting would not include only presidents of many member associations outside the zonal union of COSAFA. The CAF leadership would like to remind you that you do not have any authority to convene such a meeting, without CAF’s knowledge nor without its required approval.”
In his response, Chiyangwa insisted that he will support Hayatou’s rival at the CAF election and doesn't understand why CAF is irked by the meeting in Harare.
“We, as Zimbabwe, have a position and our position is that we will support everything that is in tandem with COSAFA resolutions,” he is quoted.