HARARE – Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa has received glowing praises from the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) after spearheading former Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Issa Hayatou’s downfall.
The long-serving Hayatou was deposed by Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar during last week’s elections held during the Caf General Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Chiyangwa, who is also the Cosafa president, was Ahmad’s campaign manager and openly denounced Hayatou’s 29-year reign.
The rest of the African football leaders soon gravitated towards Chiyangwa’s anti-Hayatou campaign culminating in Ahmad receiving 34 votes against the Cameroonian’s 20 during the elections.
LeFA president Salemane Phafane praised Chiyangwa for taking on Hayatou, who was seeking an eighth term in office and had presided over African football with an iron-fist since 1988.
“The president of LeFA…reiterates Lesotho’s commitment to the leadership of the Cosafa under your command,” Phafane said in a letter written on his behalf by LeFA secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi.
“He further on his behalf and on behalf of the football fraternity … wishes to thank you for the role you played in the creation of a new dispensation in the Caf.”
Ahead of the elections, Fifa president Gianni Infantino together with some 12 African football leaders attended Chiyangwa’s 58th birthday celebrations in Harare last month.
Hayatou tried to stop Chiyangwa’s celebrations and accused the Harare businessman of trying to “destabilise” Caf.
The 70-year-old Cameroonian had also manipulated the Caf Executive Committee to arraign Chiyangwa before a disciplinary hearing shortly before the elections but that case is likely to go nowhere after Ahmad’s victory.
“While you worked overtime to ensure the delivery, the president implores on you to take a moment to revisit your spiritual leader in God Himself,” the letter to Chiyangwa said.
The Zifa boss said the correspondence was well received and advices noted.
“It was the will of God through the various FAs that stood united and delivered Africa’s wish,” Chiyangwa said in reply.