Zuma rejects Hayatou

Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma

THE South African government has denied that President Jacob Zuma has given an endorsement to Caf president Issa Hayatou for the upcoming continental body elections next month.

Hayatou faces perhaps the biggest challenge of his near three-decade reign as Caf president after the Cosafa endorsed Madagascar Football Association president Ahmad to stand against the Cameroonian.

A number of other associations around the continent have followed suit in a bid to unseat Hayatou, around who corruption allegations have long swirled.

Hayatou met Zuma on Saturday in the presence of Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula, Safa president Danny Jordaan and Mamelodi Sundowns president Patrice Motsepe.

Hayatou was in South Africa for the Caf Super Cup between Mamelodi Sundowns and DR Congo side TP Mazembe and Caf later released a statement which in part claimed Zuma offered “South Africa’s flawless support for his (Hayatou’s) candidacy for a new term at the helm of the Caf”.

However, Mbalula’s office later denied this in what is an embarrassing blow for Hayatou.

“President Jacob Zuma did not pledge his personal support or that of the South African government behind the name of Mr Hayatou,” the statement read.

– Kick-Off

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