Despite the criticism that has followed the recent amendments to the rules governing presidential elections into the Confederation of African Football (CAF), former African Footballer of the Year and head of the Zambian Football Association, Kalusha Bwalya says there is nothing wrong in the amendment.
On Monday, the executive committee of CAF voted to make amendments to the rules for presidential elections which will see only executive committee members as eligible candidates. With the new rule, Ivorian FIFA executive member Jacques Anuoma -who had earlier launched a campaign to oust incumbent CAF president Issa Hayatou- has been disqualified. Also, South Africa 2010 Local Organising Committee chief, Danny Jordaan who is rumoured to have interest in the CAF seat cannot contest
This decision has led to widespread criticism from across the continent but Bwalya insists the right thing was done.
Speaking to the BBC, the Zambian FA boss says, “The decision was carried out by majority of the voting congress and as such cannot be said to be dictatorial. You cannot allow outsiders to come in. you need people who are already in the system.”
Responding to accusations of corruption in CAF Bwalya added: “If the organisation is as corrupt as people are making out to be, then you will not have the likes of me in it.”
According to critics, the new law ultimately means CAF boss Issa Hayatou will retain his position as president next year as the congress will be one of coronation rather than election as 40 delegates voted in favour of the new rule, 6 against while there was one abstained from voting.
Hayatou has been in power since 1988 and despite series of allegations leveled against him, has actually overseen the rise of African football. The continent has gone from two representatives for the FIFA World Cup to five. Also, South Africa became the first African nation to host the completion. In a related development, club competitions in the continent have witnessed a massive boost with winners of the African Champions League getting as much as $2 million.