Cote d’Ivoire’s Jacques Anouma is to run for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) presidency next March – seven years after his first attempt – after receiving the nomination of his federation for the role.
Anouma, 68, is the second person to be publicly announced for the role ahead of Thursday’s deadline, with reigning CAF President Ahmad having done so late last month. Cote d’Ivoire’s Football Federation (FIF) announced its support for Anouma, a former member of FIFA’s executive board, on Saturday evening. “FIF has decided to give its backing to Mr Jacques Anouma for the CAF presidential election of March 2021,” the body said in a statement. “FIF wishes Mr Anouma full success in this election.” Candidates wishing to contest March’s election in Morocco must be nominated by their federation by Thursday, when two-month registration period comes to a close. Anouma is an honorary president of the Ivorian federation, which he ran between 2002 and 2011, and was a member of FIFA’s Executive Committee, now the FIFA Council, between 2007 and 2015. This is the second time he has declared his presidential ambitions, with his previous bid having ended before it began. Anouma’s intentions were thwarted after CAF changed it statutes six months before the March 2013 elections, so effectively barring the Ivorian – who called the decision “scandalous” – from running. At the time, Anouma’s presence as one of Africa’s representatives on the FIFA executive committee made him sit on CAF’s Executive Committee as a non-voting member. In September 2012, CAF’s congress adopted a new statute which meant only voting members of its Executive Committee could contest presidential elections. Anouma, who blamed the statute change on “all kinds of manoeuvres” by then CAF president Issa Hayatou, appealed the ruling at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, only for the legal body to uphold CAF’s decision just days before the 2013 election took place. That rule has since changed, whereby not only executive committee members but any African administrators who can show they have worked in football for the past five years can run for the job. Although Ahmad has formally submitted his candidacy, it is understood that the Malagasy is facing a possible ban from football which could rule him out of March’s elections. The 60-year-old, who has previously strenuously denied any wrongdoing, is believed to have breached various codes of FIFA’s Ethics, with a public verdict expected later this month.