The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has declared that it will be backing FIFA President Gianni Infantino for re-election next year.
Africa becomes the first continent to declare its support for Infantino even though no other candidate has declared interest in standing for the position.
The declaration is a massive boost for Infantino as the unconditional, open support for his candidature is a clear indication of his popularity in Africa.
CAF President Ahmad Ahmad revealed Africa’s support on Sunday when the continent’s football governing body met in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, amid big applause.
Counting the successes football has chalked under Infantino during the CAF Extra Ordinary General Assembly, Ahmad said it was necessary for the Swiss to continue in his role.
He cited the appointment of Senegalese Fatma Samoura as the first African to be the General Secretary of the FIFA, improved financial support for federations as well as the successful hosting hosting for the 2018 World Cup.
Morocco FA President Faouzi Lekjaa joined Ahmad Ahmad on the podium on behalf of the 54 federations to declare the support.
“We are not only backing you but we will be travelling with you to publicise your ideals and the great work you have done since you took over,” Lekjaa said.
CAF’s decision to back Infantino is a massive boost for the incumbent as the backing of the Africa – one of the biggest voting bloc would go a long way to secure his re-election.
Africa reached the decision to support Infantino after the Swiss revealed in June that he will run for re-election as head of soccer’s global governing body.
Speaking at the FIFA Congress in Moscow on the eve of the World Cup, the Swiss-Italian said he would present his candidacy for elections taking place in Paris in June 2019.
Infantino was elected to the post in February 2016.
Infantino tenure has seen a significant improvement in the organization’s finances resulting in the quadrupling of financial assistance to federations.