WINDHOEK: The Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) has put its weight behind the incumbent Gianni Infantino ahead of FIFA’s presidential election next year, an indication that he will enjoy broad support across Africa.
The new COSAFA President Artur de Almeida e Silva made the announcement on Saturday in the presence of Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Patrice Motsepe.
“We believe that Gianni Infantino represents the best candidate to lead global football for another four years,” said Artur de Almeida.
“He has repeatedly shown his desire to grow African football and has backed up his words with action.”
Infantino is likely to run for a third term as president at next year’s 73rd FIFA Congress. He was re-elected without opposition in 2019.
Angolan Artur de Almeida was also elected without opposition on Saturday as president of COSAFA, which consists of 14 national associations in southern Africa, a large voting bloc.
The fact that the announcement was made in the presence of Motsepe probably indicates a more widespread support for Infantino across the continent.
Motsepe took the opportunity at COSAFA’s Electoral General Assembly to reiterate CAF’s support for holding the World Cup every two years, a controversial idea that has drawn sharp criticism from Europe and South America in particular.
“We have supported and will continue to support that the World Cup has every two years and the reason is very simple,” said Motsepe.
“I need more money for football development in Africa. We need resources, so it’s a no-brainer for us.
“When I talk to people who do not support it, they do not need money as much as we do. They tell me, ‘we should get money in other ways.'”