Africa pledges its support for Sepp Blatter in Fifa presidency elections

Every one of Africa’s 54 member countries will vote for Sepp Blatter in next month’s Fifa presidential election, the president of the Confederation of African Football, Issa Hayatou, said on Tuesday.

“Africa is comfortable having you. Africa stays with you,” Hayatou said in a speech to open Caf’s annual congress in Cairo, at which Blatter is present.

Although the individual countries do not have to follow Hayatou’s directive, Africa is expected to be a strong base of support for Blatter. With 54 of the 209Fifa member countries eligible to vote in the presidential election in Zurich on 29 May, Africa is the largest of the six continental confederations.

Blatter is seeking a fifth term in office to extend a reign that began in 1998. The Fifa vice-president Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, the Dutch FA head, Michael van Praag, and the former Portugal international Luís Figo are standing against him. Those three challengers will not be addressing Caf delegates.

In his speech to the congress in Cairo, Blatter reflected on Africa’s achievements during his time as Fifa president, including the continent’s first World Cup in South Africa in 2010.

He said Hayatou, who has led CAF for 27 years despite allegations of corruption and an official reprimand by the International Olympic Committee, was a pillar of African football.