Council of Southern Africa Football (COSAFA) and Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) president, Philip Chiyangwa, has formally responded to Confederation of African Football (CAF)’s warning on unregulated meetings and demanded an apology for accusing him of threatening to destabilise the continental body.
CAF had written to Chiyangwa earlier this week warning him not to have a meeting of football association presidents outside his region, stating such a meeting violated CAF statutes.
Chiyangwa is the campaign manager of Mauritian FA president Ahmad who will take on CAF president Issa Hayatou in next month’s key presidential election.
However, Chiyangwa has hit back and denied any wrongdoing, and has instead said the gathering is meant to celebrate his belated birthday as well as his election as COSAFA president and if anything, it has fulfilled CAF statutes.
In a letter to the CAF secretary general, Chiyangwa said he has been taken aback by the tone of the letter and insinuation that such an ‘informal’ gathering of his family and friends – be they presidents of member associations on the African continent – would not be considered outrightly as an attempt to destabilize CAF.
Chiyangwa argued that such a gathering did not violate any football statutes and that the largest audience would actually be the Zimbabwean society.
“At all times I have considered myself bound by football statutes, from the ZIFA statutes right up to the universally acclaimed FIFA statutes. My conduct and actions are strictly informed and influenced by provisions of football statutes and at no point in time have I disregarded or attempted to disregard the authority of properly elected/appointed football bodies. My conduct does not violate either Article 2.3 of Article 14.2 of the CAF statutes [and] if anything it fulfills article 2 of CAF statutes and as read with Article 5.1 of FIFA statutes,” read part of the letter.
“The gathering, therefore, by any stretch of imagination, does not seek to undermine or destabilize CAF, rather it is meant to foster friendly relations between brotherly associations for the overall development of football on our continent.
“In the circumstance, considering the clear misapprehension of my noble intentions by CAF, an apology is warranted for the inconvenience caused by the allegations arising from your letter.”