ZIFA and COSAFA president, Philip Chiyangwa, has come to the defense of under-fire FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, following accusations by Guinea-Bissau that the latter is dividing African football.
President of the Football Federation of Guinea-Bissau, Opes Manuel Nascimento, recently accused the FIFA president of dividing Africa in an interview in Gabon.
“We have the elections for the Confederation of African Football coming in March and can you imagine a whole FIFA President is meeting people separately because he wants a change in Africa,” said a tough speaking Manuel during an interview at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Libreville on Sunday.
The Guinea-Bissau FA president said it is unfortunate that some African football leaders have accepted to be used by Infantino to decide the fate of football leadership in Africa. He alleged that because most of Africa openly supported Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa for the FIFA’s presidency during the elections last year, Infantino thinks it is the time to revenge and ring changes in Africa.
“I will vote for Issa Hayatou during the CAF elections on March 16th in Addis Ababa because he is the best for African football,” added Manuel.
Dr. Philip Chiyangwa however ‘outrightly condemned’ Mr. Manuel’s sentiments in a press release:
“I listened to an Interview by Mr. Nascimento, President of Guinea-Bissau Football Association where he threw decorum, caution, and dignity into the air by not only casting aspersions but directly throwing tantrums on the personality of the symbol of global football, Mr. Gianni Infantino the President of FIFA.
“His action is not only regrettable but outrightly condemnable. Indeed, majority of various Federations in Africa hold a radically contrary view and I constrained to respond on their behalf”, Said Philip Chiyanga.
The ZIFA President went on to laud Mr.. Infantino for his good service for African football.
“Mr. Infantino as President of FIFA has not only brought greater respect, recognition, and acceptability to the Continent of Africa by the appointment of a black lady, Mrs. Fatma Samoura from Senegal as General Secretary of FIFA” he added.
Mr. Chiyangwa also praised the raise of annual FA support to US$5 Million to each Football Association which has aided several CAF Associations.