Long-serving Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou is seeking to change his organisation’s rules on age limits in order to continue at the helm well into the next decade, officials said on Tuesday.
CAF currently requires officials who reach 70 to step down but a proposal to scrap the age limit is to be placed before the ruling body's Congress in Cairo from April 7-8.
“FIFA does not have any limits on age for its committee members so CAF want to bring this in line with them,” executive committee member Kwesi Nyantakyi of Ghana told reporters.
It will open the door for Hayatou, who is 68 and in his seventh term in power, to continue his leadership of African football well past 30 years.
His current mandate ends in 2017 and he is seeking four more years until at least 2021, when he turns 75. The CAF statutes state that “at the time of their election, all candidates nominated to the CAF Executive Committee must be "Bona Fide" members of their national associations and must be under seventy (70) years of age.”
But this will be scrapped if passed, as expected, at the congress.
The change in the rule follows success in recent years in adapting the statutes to limit potential opponents to Hayatou’s rule. CAF previously brought in a rule that candidates for its presidency can only come from the ranks of its own executive committee, a tight-knit club closely controlled by Hayatou. FIFA does not have the same restriction.
Cameroon-born Hayatou, a former athletics official, is already the longest serving senior member in FIFA structures, where he acts as vice president, and has had few challengers for power in Africa since first winning election in 1988.
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