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Improved Integrity Checks Scare Bility Away …As CAF holds election for expended FIFA Council Featured

28 Sep 2016
1930 times

By Sylvester Worwee

The Confederation of African Football Association (CAF) goes to the poll on September 29, 2016 to elect two of its members to represent the Body at the FIFA Council, formerly, FIFA Executive Committee.

FIFA Council has been significantly expanded as part of reforms introduced by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, but candidates wishing to sit on the new council will have to face an improved integrity checks in keeping with Article 27 of the 2016 FIFA statutes.

The integrity checks will be conducted by the Review Committee in accordance with the FIFA Governance Regulations, before candidates are finally confirmed for the ballot at CAF extraordinary congress.

Seven candidates are in the race for Thursday’s election, which takes place in Cairo, Egypt; but Musa Bility, President of the Liberia Football Association is not one of them.

Apparently, the Liberian football chief is not contesting due to the integrity checks instituted by the World Football Governing Body, which candidates must undergo.

Bility was barred from contesting February’s FIFA Presidential elections after he failed an integrity check in November 2015.

The LFA President, who barely stay away from controversies challenged his exclusion by Domenico Scala’s ad-hoc electoral committee at the Court of Arbitration for Sports, but was unsuccessful in his bid to re-enter the race.

He told the FrontpageAfrica Newspaper in Monrovia that he’s supporting one of the candidates, and it does not have to always be him.

“I’m not running. We have a candidate that I helped to select. It doesn't have to always be me. That's called selflessness,” he said.

When asked who the candidate is and whether his decision to not contest is premised on the improved integrity checks, Bility said: “Before, I could act alone and speak aloud. Now I speak a lot more than myself. This means different approach.

“You will hear it in the international [media] when we assemble in Egypt starting this weekend. Our group chose the GFA [Ghana Football Association] President as one of two people we will vote for.

“We are currently negotiating with the French or Arab/Portuguese to consolidate behind a single slate of candidates during the elections. I've just appointed a special committee headed by the President of Zimbabwe FA [Philip Chiyangwa] and [it] includes the Presidents of GFA, NFF, South Sudan, Uganda and Malawi,” Bility told the local daily.

Ambitious’ Bility has participated in every footballing election since his ascendency as LFA President on March 27, 2010.

Barely a year after his election, Bility broke ranks with most of his African colleagues, when he declared he would vote against former FIFA President Joseph Sepp Blatter, who was instrumental in bringing the FIFA World Cup to the continent for the first time, in that year’s election.

On August 13, 2011, Bility was elected second vice President of West African Football Union (Wafu) Zone “A” at an extraordinary congress in Accra, Ghana.

On March 10, 2013, Bility contested but miserably lost the CAF executive committee elections in Marrakech, Morocco, obtaining just three votes.

On February 17, 2016, Bility was elected as Wafu Zone “A” first vice President at the Novotel Hotel in Dakar, Senegal during its congress.

When Infantino visited Nigeria from July 24-26 to meet African football associations Presidents, Bility announced that he have been elected as President of Anglophone member countries in Africa.

“It is truly an honor to have been elected chair of football in Anglophone Africa. I am a proud Liberian and will continue to work to show what is possible,” Bility wrote on his Facebook page on July 30.

Those expected to contest in tomorrow’s election are CAF first vice President Suketu Patel of Seychelles and CAF second vice President Almamy Kabele Camara of Guinea.

Others are CAF Executive Committee members Kwesi Nyantakyi, who is also Ghana Football Association President and AHMAD Ahmad, president of the Madagascar Football Federation.

The rest are Senegal Football Federation President Augustin Senghor, Niger Football Federation President, Djibril Hima Hamidou and South Sudan Football Association President, Chabur Goc Alei.

The two winners will sit on the FIFA Council until another round of elections take place at the CAF congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on March 17, 2017.

The 36-member FIFA Council will hold its first meeting in Zurich, Switzerland from October 13-14 as it replaces the tarnished 24-member executive committee and takes responsibility for setting the overall strategic direction of world football's governing body.

The Cairo meeting will also pass a new set of statutes as part of the FIFA reform process.

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