The Confederation of Africa Football has warned Cosafa over a planned meeting with other member associations which it says is “an attempt to destabilise” the governing body.
Phillip Chiyangwa, the chairman of Cosafa – the Council of Southern African Football Associations – has called for a meeting with other African FA chairmen in Harare in Zimbabwe on 24 February.
In a letter sent by Caf on behalf of president Issa Hayatou, the governing body tells Cosafa “you do not have any authority to convene such a meeting, without Caf knowledge nor without its required approval”.
It adds: “Convening a meeting with representatives of many member associations outside Cosafa zone is deemed to represent an attempt to destabilise Caf.
“We draw your attention to the obligation of all zonal unions to respect the authority of Caf, and not to conduct in any activities that undermine the common objectives of Caf, for the benefit of African football development.
“The Caf Executive Committee reserves it rights to sanction any infringement to the Caf statutes.”
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 long-standing Caf leader Hayatou in March’s elections in Ethiopia.
Hayatou is seeking an eight term in office.
Chiyangwa has already sent a reply to Caf’s warning, writing “I was taken aback, to say the least, by the tone of your letter and the clear insinuation that such a gathering between presidents of member associations on the African continent would be considered, outrightly, as an attempt to destabilise Caf”.
He adds that Caf’s statutes “promote friendly relations between National Associations, zonal unions, clubs, officials and players” and insists the meeting is for “that very objective”.
Chiyangwa’s letter also refers to Fifa’s statues relating to the protecting of human rights which he says include “freedom of Association of member associations and zonal unions for the development and growth of the game on our continent”.