With Hayatou’s CAF loss came Kenya’s CHAN security

Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) president, Issa Hayatou (second left) and Deputy President William Ruto (...
Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) president, Issa Hayatou (second left) and Deputy President William Ruto (right) during their meeting on Friday, August 26, 2016 to discuss the progress of the 2018 CHAN. PHOTO/Courtesy/William Ruto

The possible re-election of Issa Hayatou would have spelt doom for Kenya’s hosting rights for the 2018 African Nations Home Championship (CHAN).

Citizen Digital learnt of the imminence of the impending danger in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during the Confederation of African Football 39th Ordinary General Assembly that saw Ahmad Ahmad oust veteran leader Hayatou as CAF President.

According to close allies of Hayatou, the deposed leader had prior knowledge Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa had sworn allegiance to Ahmad and had issued threats of withdrawing Kenya’s CHAN hosting rights should he have held on to power.

A close lieutenant of the leader whose bid to extend his 29-year-rule came tumbling down 34-20 in favour of Ahmad, Mwendwa was viewed as ‘an arrogant and an ungrateful person’ by the Hayatou camp.

“I can assure you your president’s decision will cost you CHAN. He is big-headed; he is approaching matters without any decorum.

“I’m not a delegate, but I didn’t come here for a tour. We know what is happening and the old man (Hayatou) is not happy,” the Togolese lady charged on the eve of the election.

She insisted CAF’s Executive Committee resolution earlier in the week that Kenya was best placed for the biennial tournament would have been inconsequential had Mwendwa’s candidate of choice lost.

An attempt had been made to coerce Mwendwa into changing his stand but the FKF boss stood his ground.

It would not have been strange to deny Kenya CHAN, as it was with Madagascar whose 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) U-17 successful bid was later cancelled following Ahmad’s decision to run against Hayatou.

The tournament was later moved to Zambia, with the hosts going on to lift the trophy just under a fortnight ago.

In his congratulations message to Ahmad, Mwendwa who was at the Ethiopian Capital confirmed Kenya’s CHAN ambitions were sealed after the Malagasy win.

“The win means we keep CHAN, and we get involved deeper because we are part of the winning team,” stated Mwendwa.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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