YAOUNDE: Issa Hayatou, the president of CAF, the African football confederation, urged the three other African members on FIFA’s executive committee for a clean vote when they decide which African country will host the 2010 World Cup next month.
“I’m exhorting all the African FIFA executive committee members to vote cleanly, freely and according to their conscience and assessment of the bids from the five countries,” Hayatou, one of six FIFA vice-presidents, told reporters in Yaounde on Friday.
Morocco, South Africa, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia are all bidding for the right to stage the first World Cup in Africa in six years’ time. The decision will be taken by FIFA in Zurich on May 15.
As well as Hayatou, who comes from Cameroon, Tunisian Slim Aloulou, Mali’s Amadou Diakite and Ismail Bhamjee of Botswana are also on the 24-man FIFA executive committee who will decide the venue for the 32-team Finals.
Last year, Bhamjee caused a stir when he said he could not guarantee voting for South Africa despite it neighbouring his own country.
Voting is expected to be especially tight for the two front-runners in the campaign: Morocco and South Africa. Morocco are bidding to host the World Cup for the fourth time, while South Africa are bidding for the second time, following their one-vote defeat to Germany for the 2006 Finals.
Egypt, Libya and Tunisia are regarded as the outsiders in the race. – Reuters