COSAFA and ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa has torn apart his Guinea-Bissau compatriot Opes Nascimento over his criticism of FIFA boss Gianni Infantino in what is seen as a battle for the control of the game in the continent.
Chiyangwa might be shooting himself on the foot after garnering expected votes for COSAFA presidency recently.
Unwittingly pressing the wrong button, Chiyangwa could be blowing off his hopes for CAF presidency should he consider contesting for the post in the future.
Nascimento, a close confidante of the current CAF president Issa Hayatou, accused Infantino of allegedly dividing Africa. His comments did not go down well with Chiyangwa who has leapt to the Fifa boss’s defence.
In a strongly worded letter which has been circulating on social media, Chiyangwa came out guns blazing in defence of the FIFA Boss, “I listened to an interview granted by Mr Nascimento, president of Guinea-Bissau Football Association where he threw decorum, caution and dignity into the air by not only casting aspersions but directly throwing tantrums on the personality of the symbol of global football, Mr Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA,” said Chiyangwa.
The COSAFA boss might be right in his defence for Infantino but the timing is very wrong considering that he might need the support of the very people he is smashing.
The flamboyant businessman could have done himself justice by not commending. Though it’s constitutionally offside to involve politics in football matters but there is a serious scheming in the beautiful game of football. One has to be politically onside to survive the dirty tactics in the game.
Yes, Chiyangwa might be a very judicious man but numbers in any appointment matter. If you are new to any system, you need to be a structure student first before you pretend to be a master. Some wars are not worth fighting; wisdom is to know when and where to exercise your authority.
Mr COSAFA President your points are very valid but not at this interval. Experience wise, you are just teething in the game. Study it first before you start creating own enemies.
I am afraid it might work against you. Don’t we need those people’s’ support when you bid for the hosting of the prestigious continental competition, the Total Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in Zimbabwe?
The FIFA boss has no power to decide the venue of the AFCON tournament but those people has.
Remember, Nascimento is a close ally of CAF president Hayatou and attacking such people needs a resolute backing.
The boardroom battles for the control of African football have split the continent. The Madagascar football leader, who is challenging Hayatou, has already been punished by CAF with the continent’s football leadership withdrawing the island’s rights from hosting a youth tournament this year.
Hayatou uses the tournaments as his power pawns’, rewarding those who support his cause and that has helped him to remain in power since 1998.