ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa has come out guns blazing, declaring that he will go ahead with his planned February 24 bash because he doesn’t need authority from any institution to mark his birthday.
The property mogul, who will also use the occasion to celebrate his ascendency to the Cosafa presidency, was responding to a warning from Caf which issued a statement warning that the planned gathering was ‘an attempt to destabilise’ the continental football governing body.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino is expected to grace the occasion, according to Chiyangwa.
In a letter sent by Caf on behalf of president Issa Hayatou, the governing body told Cosafa “you do not have any authority to convene such a meeting, without Caf knowledge nor without its required approval”.
Chiyangwa said he was still struggling to find clauses in either the Caf or Fifa statutes that say one must get authority to hold birthday celebrations.
“I have invited my friends to attend my celebrations. I don’t see how I must first get authority to hold such a function. As it is, we are busy trying to identify the relevant statutes that Caf is talking about which it claims have been violated,” said Chiyangwa.
Caf’s warning comes shortly after Cosafa announced it had unanimously endorsed Ahmad Ahmad as a presidential candidate in upcoming Caf elections.
Ahmad, currently the head of Madagascar’s FA, had already outlined his intention to challenge longstanding Caf leader Hayatou in March’s elections in Ethiopia.
Hayatou is seeking an eighth term in office. Cosafa is the biggest zonal grouping of the six Caf zones, with 14 members followed by the Central East Zone that has 11 members.
Chiyangwa scoffed at suggestions that they are attempting to destabilise Caf by convening a meeting of association presidents outside Cosafa.
“We have been invited to Nigeria by that country’s FA president where even the Fifa president attended; why was there no such outcry? I will not seek authority to hold my birthday celebrations,” said Chiyangwa.